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Stephania Libreros, PhD, Receives NIH Pathway to Independence Award

August 22, 2023

Stephania Libreros, PhD, a newly appointed Assistant Professor of Pathology and a member of the Vascular Biology Therapeutics Program at Yale School of Medicine, was recently awarded a National Institute of Health (NIH) K99-R00 Award from National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, to support her independent research as she moves into a full-time tenure track faculty position. Dr. Libreros' research in her new laboratory at Yale focuses on the understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that govern hematopoiesis and hemopoietic stem cell fate decisions during inflammation and infection.

Dr. Libreros focuses on the immunological signals that occur during acute inflammation and subsequent resolution. The acute inflammatory process is widely accepted to be the body's first line of defense in response to pathogens or injury and is actively resolved. Emerging evidence indicates that chronic, unresolved inflammation is an important underlying cause of numerous complex conditions such as sepsis, arthritis, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer.

The goal of her R00 award is to understand the mechanisms that govern resolution programs in the bone marrow and map the roles of chemical mediators in directing hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell (HSPC) function during infection to promote host defense. Advances in our knowledge of mechanisms that govern HSPC functions, and their environment, have a direct clinical relevance by providing needed pre-clinical results for novel therapeutic approaches for alleviating conditions, such as arthritic, sepsis, trauma, and myeloid disorders.

Dr. Libreros comes to Yale from Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, where she was an Instructor in Anaesthesia. She has won several awards in her academic career, including the Society for Leukocyte Biology-Presidential Scholar Award, Brigham and Woman's Hospital Research Excellence Award, and the Eicosanoid Research Foundation Santosh Nigam Outstanding Young Scientist Award.

The NIH Pathway to Independence Award, the K99-R00 award, has two phases, the K99 phase, which supports postdoctoral training, and the R00 phase supporting an independent research career. It has helped many postdoctoral fellows launch their careers.

Submitted by Terence P. Corcoran on August 22, 2023