Chelsie E. Armbruster, PhD, is one of two early-career faculty members in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology recognized for their work in the field of host-microbe interactions.

Scientists Honored for Work on Host-Microbe Interactions

Published April 15, 2021

Chelsie E. Armbruster, PhD, and Elsa Bou Ghanem, PhD, assistant professors of microbiology and immunology, are being recognized as highly-promising, early-career scientists in the field of host-microbe interactions by the American Society for Microbiology’s Infection and Immunity (IAI) Journal.

“The journal selects researchers it believes will be at the cutting edge of moving this field forward.”
Assistant professor of microbiology and immunology
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Journal Recognizes Future Leaders in Field

The Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences faculty members are among 12 researchers selected from more than 90 nominees for the honor. IAI published articles from the honorees in its special annual issue.

“This is something IAI started last year. The journal selects researchers it believes will be at the cutting edge of moving this field forward,” Armbruster says. “I’m humbled that people in my field think highly enough of my research to nominate me for this honor.”

Armbruster Studies Polymicrobial Interactions

Armbruster and Bou Ghanem authored peer-reviewed articles for the journal.

“Polymicrobial Interactions in the Urinary Tract: Is the Enemy of My Enemy My Friend?” is the title of Armbruster’s article.

“We attempt to understand host and microbial factors that influence the transition from asymptomatic colonization — colonization of our bodies not causing any disease — to an infection state, and risk of having severe disease and complications,” Armbruster says. 

“One of the unique parts of my research program is the idea of polymicrobial interactions, the ways that the bacteria interact with each other, and how that impacts disease progression. That was the focus of my article,” she adds.

Co-authors on Armbruster’s article are: Jordan Gaston, third-year medical student; Kirsten L. Bair, PhD, postdoctoral associate in microbiology and immunology; and Alexandra O. Johnson and Ashley N. White, students in the doctoral program in microbiology and immunology.

Bou Ghanem Researching Neutrophils

Elsa Bou Ghanem, PhD

Bou Ghanem says she is “very excited to be chosen for this honor.” 

“It’s a review of the field you work on, and where the research is going forward,” Bou Ghanem adds.

“Older But Not Wiser: The Age-Driven Changes in Neutrophil Responses During Pulmonary Infections” is the title of Bou Ghanem’s article.

“We’re trying to understand why we get more susceptible to bacterial pneumonia as we grow older,” Bou Ghanem says. “We’re studying changes in the immune system that happen with age. And the immune cells we focus on are neutrophils. They’re among the first responders to infection. We’re characterizing how these cells change with age.”

Co-authors on Bou Ghanem’s article are: Manmeet Pal Singh Bhalla, PhD, postdoctoral associate in microbiology and immunology; and Sydney Elizabeth Herring, Shaunna Richelle Simmons and Essi Yayra Ines Tchalla, all students in the doctoral program in microbiology and immunology.