Daria Esterhazy, PhD, named 2020 Pew Scholar

Pathologist Daria Esterhazy, PhD.

Daria Esterhazy, PhD, a researcher who studies immunological balance in the digestive system, has been selected to join the 2020 class of Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Esterhazy investigates how immune equilibrium is maintained in the digestive system and how imbalances can lead to diseases such as food allergies, inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), autoimmune diseases and cancer.

In particular, Esterhazy’s lab explores how immunologically distinct niches within the digestive system are created by diet and infections over the course of a person’s lifetime. For example, her research findings may contribute to the understanding of how gastrointestinal infections may trigger diseases such as type 1 diabetes.

Esterhazy and the 21 other early-career scientists in this year’s class of Pew scholars will receive four years of funding to pursue breakthroughs that advance human health.

“Pew is proud to support these promising researchers as they conduct world-class research to address biomedicine’s most complex questions,” said Rebecca W. Rimel, Pew’s president and CEO. “They join a group of distinguished scientists who have worked for decades to advance science and protect public health.”

Craig C. Mello, PhD, a 1995 Pew scholar and 2006 Nobel laureate in physiology or medicine, and chair of the national advisory committee for the scholars program, noted that “science’s work is never truly done. By leveraging findings and investigating new ways to solve problems, this year’s class will continue the legacy of countless scholars before them.”