Lamar Dodd Creative Research Award
Karen Norris, professor and Charles H. Wheatley Georgia Research Alliance Chair in Immunology & Translational Biomedical Research, is a global leader in the fields of immunology and infectious diseases as well as cardiopulmonary diseases associated with long-term HIV infection. She has expanded her research interests in a series of innovative, well-funded and transformative programs. Her major contributions include establishing the first non-human primate models of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary arterial hypertension and Pneumocystis pneumonia. She assisted in the formation of the University of Georgia Center for Vaccines and Immunology and helped establish and directed the Non-human Primate Research Core. Her laboratory has developed a broadly protective vaccine and immunotherapeutic agents to prevent and treat life-threatening fungal infections, including pulmonary aspergillosis and invasive candidiasis. She holds patents for related technologies and her work has led to the establishment of NXT Biologics, Inc, a company founded by Norris to advance life-saving vaccines and immunotherapies.