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Faculty Development Award Helps Advance Career As Well As Research

For Sarah E. Henrickson, MD, PhD, FAAAAI, pursuing the AAAAI Foundation Faculty Development Award was a path towards independence. “I needed to pivot from my post-doctoral work in a new direction and begin to ask questions about the mechanisms by which inborn errors of immunity (IEI) impact T cell function. I knew that being able to take the first step would require independent funding and this grant seemed perfectly aligned.”
Sarah E. Henrickson, MD, PhD, FAAAAI
Dr. Henrickson was granted the 2018 AAAAI Foundation Faculty Development Award for her project “Defining Exhaustion and Immunometabolic Alterations in Primary Immunodeficiency,” which has led to new, exciting discoveries and ongoing projects. “We have spread beyond the initial diseases that were the focus of this work (IEI that mimic chronic infection, e.g., activated P13K delta syndrome, CTLA-4 haploinsufficiency) into IEI that mimic chronic inflammation. We have also taken this initial dataset and developed hypotheses focused on fundamental T cell exhaustion mechanisms and mitochondrial function that have taken our work in new directions,” said Dr. Henrickson, who is currently employed at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
The award made it possible for Dr. Henrickson to not only secure supplies but also to support the work of her technician, which allowed her to study the impact of a small group of related IEIs on T cell immunometabolic function. “Being able to support my technician's work on this project for three years was fundamental to our ability to generate preliminary data for a DP2 submission and R01 submissions in related areas,” she said.
Dr. Henrickson recently reflected on the Faculty Development Award, and how it altered the trajectory of her career. “This award (and the work it funded) supported my ability to apply for assistant professor positions and was noted in my applications for career and training awards that further facilitated my career development.”
Read the 2021-2022 AAAAI Foundation Annual Report
The 2021-2022 AAAAI Foundation Annual Report is now available. See how your donations are helping fund A/I research that will help prevent and cure asthma and allergic and immunologic disease.