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Tufts Biomedical Researcher Honored

Tufts Biomedical Researcher HonoredAsa prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, Tuftsscientist Andrew Camilli's research of bacterial pathogens willreceive unrestricted funding.Boston

Boston [04.11.05] A pioneering researcher in the field of infectiousdiseases, Tufts’ Dr.Andrew Camilli hopes to help unlock the secrets to controllingsome of the world’s most deadly contagious diseases. Camilli’sresearch received a major boost when he was recently named oneof 43 new Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigators.The appointment – which is reserved for the nation's "mostpromising biomedical scientists" – awards Camilli withunrestricted funds to further his research on cholera and pneumoniabacteria.

"I’mworking to understand the basic mechanisms of how bacterial pathogenscause disease,” said Camilli, associate professor of molecularbiology and microbiology at Tufts University School of Medicine.“If we can understand how pathogens travel and present themselveswithin the body, we are a step closer to the development of moreeffective vaccines and antibiotics."

Camilli, considereda pioneer in the development of methods to determine how bacteriaact within an infected host, hopes his research will eventuallyhelp to make inroads in fighting some of the world's most deadlycontagious diseases.

"Diarrhealdiseases and pneumonia are worldwide threats and these two bacterialpathogens are emblematic of numerous other pathogens," saidCamilli. "Unraveling these mysteries may help to understandother pathogens in addition to bringing us closer to controllingcholera and pneumonia."

"Oneof the biggest challenges facing medicine here and around theworld is better understanding and treatment of infectious diseases,"Dr. Michael Rosenblatt, dean of the medical school, said. “Dr.Camilli’s research contributes to the body of knowledgethat will help eradicate or fully control diseases that plagueus."

He is thethird infectious disease researcher at Tufts to be appointed aninvestigator by the Institute. The others are Ralph Isberg, whoseworks focuses on how bacteria enter and grow within cells, andMatthew Waldor, who researches the evolution of bacterial pathogens.

Camilli isamong five Boston-area researchers out of the 43 honored aroundthe country. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute, founded in 1953,now has more than 300 investigators nationwide – including52 around Boston, more than any other metropolitan area, The BostonGlobe reported.

There arehigh expectations for the Institute's honorees.

"We wantand expect them to be daring," Thomas R. Cech, the Institute'spresident, was quoted as saying in the Globe.















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