Adit Alreja Receives First Place J. Howard Brown Outstanding Graduate Student Abstract Award

Fri, Jan 28, 2022
Adit Alreja

Adit Alreja (IBBR Graduate Assistant, UMCP Department of Biology) was recently honored with the First Place J. Howard Brown Outstanding Graduate Student Abstract Award by the Maryland Branch of the American Society of Microbiology for his work on “An investigation on the molecular basis for dimerization of Streptococcus pneumoniae endolysin Cpl-1 for antimicrobial applications.” His research is focused on the study of endolysins, enzymes that hydrolyze the bacterial cell wall and represent an alternative to antibiotics. Cpl-1 is one of the most potent pneumococcal endolysins, but it is also one of the only ones that forms dimers and understanding the mechanisms of the interactions between Cpl-1 monomers is at the heart of Adit’s work. 

Along with Adit’s co-authors Daniel Nelson (Faculty Advisor, IBBR Fellow and Professor, UMCP Department of Veterinary Medicine) and Sara Linden (IBBR Postdoc), we congratulate him on his achievement. “Adit's work not only disproved a well-accepted hypothesis about how pneumococcal endolysins form dimers, but he uncovered a conserved binding interface shared by almost all pneumococcal endolysins,” said Daniel Nelson. We look forward to following his contributions and career over the coming years. More information on the awarded abstracts can be found here

J. Howard Brown Award

The J. Howard Brown Awards are presented to outstanding graduate and undergraduate students who are making contributions worthy of recognition in the field of microbiology. The awards are based on research presented in abstracts submitted for an annual Maryland Branch meeting at which the two first-place winners give oral presentations of their research. The award was established in 1954 in memory of J. Howard Brown of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine He became President of the Society of American Bacteriologists, the predecessor of the national ASM organization, in 1931. In 1934 he became President of the Maryland Society of Bacteriologists, which was an independent organization until it became an ASM branch in 1936.