Dr. Thomas Kehl-Fie Named 2017 Vallee Scholar

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The Vallee Foundation supports original, innovative, and pioneering work by early career scientists. Kehl-Fie is one of five scientists chosen from an international pool of candidates.

The Vallee Scholars Program recognizes outstanding early career scientists at a critical juncture in their careers. It provides $250,000 in discretionary funds for basic biomedical research. Candidates are competitively selected based on their originality, innovation, and quality of the proposal, in addition to their record of accomplishment.

Using an interdisciplinary approach, which combines microbiological and biochemical approaches with advanced elemental analysis, the Kehl-Fie group is working to understand how pathogens maximize their ability to compete with the host for essential nutrients and elucidate the adaptations that enable bacteria to grow even when nutritional immunity prevents them from satiating their appetite.

Due to the continued emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance, more than 10 million people per year are expected to die worldwide from infectious diseases exceeding the number of people who die from cancer by 2050. Elucidating how bacteria overcome the host’s defenses has the potential to identify new opportunities for therapeutic intervention and blunt the growing threat of infection.

Dr. Kehl-Fie is an assistant professor of microbiology in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology. He is also an affiliate member of the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The Vallee Foundation was established by Bert L and N Kuggie Vallee as their legacy to the advancement of medical science and medical education. The Foundation stimulates development of interdisciplinary sciences related to human health by promoting interaction between productive scientists worldwide.

Posted September 13, 2017.