ASM's Top 5 Textbooks

Helping educators teach tomorrow's microbiologists.

Teach Undergraduates to Think Like Scientists

High quality resources from ASM to inform your teaching.

Videos for Improving Learning

Videos from Microbe 2016 to improve your courses.

New Governance Information
Become a member today!
Submit Abstracts for ABRCMS
Register for ABRCMS

Ko Dennis

Dennis Ko, M.D., Ph.D., Duke University Medical Center has won a 2014 Merck-ICAAC Young Investigator Award for his innovative and multidisciplinary research on the genetic basis for pathogen susceptibility in humans. Samuel Miller, University of Washington, describes Ko “as a uniquely qualified individual with the talent and ability to become a leader in biomedical science.”

In 1997, Ko received a B.S. from Cornell University and later he obtained a M.D. and Ph.D. from Stanford University where he worked in the laboratory of Dr. Matthew Scott. Using a combination of biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, and animal models, he pioneered a new subject in the lab examining how genetic alterations lead to the neurodegenerative lipid disorder, Niemann-Pick type C (NPC).

As a post-doctoral Life Sciences Research Foundation fellow in the lab of Miller, Ko developed a novel screening method termed Hi-HOST (high throughput human in vitro susceptibility testing) for identifying human genetic variation that affects cell-based readouts of bacterial infection. Through this approach, he was able to discover unexpected cell biology involving Salmonella-induced cell death and identify genetic differences important for sepsis.

Ko joined the faculty of Duke Molecular Genetics & Microbiology, Medicine, and the Center for Human Genome Variation in 2012. In addition to studies of host variation to Salmonella, his laboratory has expanded the pathogens under study with Hi-HOST to other bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa. The long-term goal of the research is to fully understand human genetic variation for traits important for infection and inflammation that impact human disease.

Back to the Merck-ICAAC Young Investigator Awards