Nicholas Dickenson, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, is the recipient of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) K22 Career Development Award.
Each year, this award is given to a promising researcher to develop their independent research skills and provide resources for a successful career. Funding from the award is more than $250,000 over the course of three years.
Dickenson gained the grant for his project “Lipid raft effects on Shigella type III secretion system-based interactions.”
Shigella is similar to E. coli and is the cause of shigellosis, a diarrheal disease.
Dickenson said it is important to study this topic because it primarily affects children.
“Though most commonly seen in the developing world, Shigella infections are a worldwide health concern posing the greatest health risk to children under 5 years of age,” Dickenson said when asked about his research. “The rapid emergence of multiple antibiotic resistant Shigella strains underscores the need to strike back by better understanding the mechanisms that Shigella use to infect human hosts and developing new and effective treatments against shigellosis.”
With the funding from the grant, Dickenson plans to create a research program at Utah State. He also plans to construct a custom mic
roscope to improve research techniques.
Dickenson has also received the NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, the J.K. Lee Award in Analytical Chemistry, and Dynamic Aspects of Chemical Biology NIH Predoctoral training grant, in recognition for his unprecedented research.
He received a National Science Foundation Major Research Instrument award and recently an NIH R15 award to help support his research about the energetics that drive the Shigella infection.
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