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Penn Vet’s Boris Striepen, PhD, Earns William Trager Award

By: Martin Hackett Date: Nov 7, 2017

Dr. Boris Striepen; photo credit: Andrew Tucker
Presented by the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
(Photo credit: Andrew Tucker)

[November 7, 2017; Philadelphia, PA] – Penn Vet’s Boris Striepen, Professor of Pathobiology, has earned the American Committee of Molecular, Cellular and Immunoparasitology’s prestigious William Trager Award for Basic Parasitology. Striepen received his award on November 5th at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene’s Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland. Named in honor of malaria research pioneer Dr. William Trager, the annual award recognizes scientists who have made a fundamental breakthrough in basic parasitology that allows for new areas of investigation.

Striepen, who joined Penn Vet’s faculty in July, is a leader in the study of Cryptosporidium, a microscopic single-celled parasite that can cause gastrointestinal illness. Typically transmitted through contaminated water, the parasite lives in the small intestine and can be particularly chronic for young children with compromised immune systems. Cryptosporidium is the second leading cause of global child mortality due to diarrheal disease. Striepen’s emphasis has been in the isolation and genetic manipulation of Cryptosporidium to identify and validate effective drug treatments. His approach has provided an investigative framework that allows for microbiologists to experiment and investigate the biology of this genus.

“It is professors like Dr. Striepen who continue to make Penn Vet a leader in biomedical research that has a profound impact on human lives,” said Christopher A. Hunter, the Mindy Halikman Heyer President’s Distinguished Professor of Pathobiology and Chairman of the Department of Pathobiology at Penn Vet. “He is a highly innovative scientist who is making significant contributions within the microbiology community here at Penn. We extend our sincerest congratulations to Dr. Striepen on the receipt of this most prestigious award.”

“It is a great honor. I met Dr. Trager personally,” said Striepen. “It was a formative meeting for me, so I am really happy to receive this award in his name. I would like to thank my colleagues at both Penn Vet and the University of Georgia for nominating me, and to the panel at the American Committee for selecting me.”

Prior to arriving at Penn Vet, Striepen served as Distinguished Research Professor in the Center for Tropical and Emerging Diseases and in the Department of Cellular Biology at the University of Georgia. His research focused on the cell and molecular biology of protozoan parasites that cause severe opportunistic infections in AIDS patients. Recognized as an international leader in molecular parasitology research, he was awarded the University of Georgia Creative Research Medal and named a Georgia Research Alliance Distinguished Investigator. His research program is supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Wellcome Trust. Striepen serves on numerous scientific advisory and editorial boards including the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, Keystone Conferences, PLoS Biology, and MBio, and he was the director of the Biology of Parasitism summer research course at the Marine Biological Laboratories in Woods Hole. Striepen received his PhD at Philipps-Universität in Marburg, Germany and was a Post-doctoral Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania.