Erica Saphire, La Jolla Institute of Immunology, USA

Erica Ollmann Saphire, Ph.D. is the incoming President and CEO of the nonprofit La Jolla Institute for Immunology. Her research explains, at the molecular level, how and why viruses are pathogenic and provides the roadmap for medical defense.  She is best known as the galvanizing force behind the Viral  Immunotherapeutic Consortium and Coronavirus Immunotherapeutic Consortium. These international efforts have united dozens of previously competing academic, industrial and government labs across five continents to understand and provide antibody therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2, Ebola, Marburg, Lassa and other viruses.  In all these endeavours, she has used molecular insight to bring together scientists and policymakers alike for scientific advancement and social change.

Dr. Saphire’s work has been recognized at the White House with the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering, with young investigator awards from the International Congress of Antiviral Research, the American Society for Microbiology, and the MRC Centre for Virus Research in the United Kingdom. She has also been recognized with an Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease Award from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, and by the Surhain Sidhu award for the most outstanding contribution to the field of diffraction by a person within five years of the Ph.D. She has been awarded a Fulbright Global Scholar fellowship from the United States Department of State and a Mercator Fellowship from Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, to develop international collaborations around human health and molecular imaging through cryoelectron microscopy and was the 2021 Scientist of the Year of the ARCS Foundation San Diego.

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