Professor Lee-Ann H. Allen at the University of Missouri School of Medicine has been named a 2021 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Allen joins professors Susan Renoe and Cheryl S. Rosenfeld from the University of Missouri being recognized for their distinguished efforts in advancing various fields of science.
Allen is a professor and chair of the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, and the George Trimble Endowed Chair for Excellence in Medicine. Being chosen to be a fellow is due to her "outstanding contributions to our understanding of innate immunity, focusing on neutrophils and macrophages and the ability of bacterial pathogens to manipulate the functions of these cells to cause disease."
"I'm honored the AAAS has selected me for this prestigious honor," Allen said. "This recognition reflects the dedication of all the current and former members of my team over the past 25 years in our quest to better understand the fundamental processes related to the body's innate ability to protect against infection."
Allen's laboratory studies cells of the immune system and how their function is altered by Helicobacter pylori, a type of bacteria that lives in the human stomach and is the primary cause of peptic ulcers and gastric cancer. She also studies Francisella tularensis, a bacterium that causes tularemia, a rare infectious disease that attacks the skin, eyes, lymph nodes and lungs.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world's largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science. Founded in 1848, the nonprofit fulfills its mission to "advance science and service society" through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education and public engagement.
This story originally appeared in Show Me Mizzou on Jan. 26, 2022.