Mandy Ford Honored With 2019 AST Basic Science Investigator Award

March 2019

Dr. Mandy Ford

Dr. Mandy Ford

Mandy Ford, PhD, associate professor and scientific director of the Emory Transplant Center, has been designated as this year's recipient of the Basic Science Investigator Award of the American Society of Transplantation. This prestigious award is given by the AST to recognize investigators who have made substantial contributions to the field of transplantation medicine and show great promise for continuing to make such contributions in the future.

As a leading researcher in the study of the cellular mechanisms of T cell responses in transplantation and immunosuppression, Dr. Ford's ultimate goal is to identify novel targets to attenuate these processes and improve clinical outcomes. Her work is funded by various federal, foundation, and industry grants.

Dr. Ford is a vital member of the Emory research team currently spearheading new efforts to develop novel third-generation costimulation blockers as better and less toxic immunosuppression in clinical transplantation. Based on her foundational studies in experimental transplant models over the last 10 years in collaboration with Andrew Adams, MD, PhD, this team — composed of Dr. Ford, Dr. Adams, and Christian Larsen, MD, DPhil — was awarded a $5.6M NIH grant to fund a clinical trial of the costimulation blocker lulizumab in 2018.

Dr. Ford's current portfolio includes two NIH R01s, several private foundation grants, the Emory Transplant Center's T32 training grant, and two R01-funded collaborative studies with Emory surgical critical care surgeon-scientist Craig Coopersmith, MD. The studies with Dr. Coopersmith are investigating the impact of chronic alcohol abuse on the pathophysiology of sepsis, and the roots of the systemic immune dysregulation that switches on the immune suppression that is a major contributor to sepsis-induced mortality.

Dr. Ford will accept the award at the AST Awards Ceremony during the upcoming American Transplant Congress (ATC) in Boston, June 1-5, 2019.