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Congratulations to Dr. Jakob von Moltke!
Congrats to UW Immunology Assistant Professor, Dr. Jakob von Moltke who received the Damon Runyon-Dale F. Frey Award for Breakthrough Scientists. This award provides additional funding to scientists completing the prestigious Damon Runyon Fellowship Award for postdoctoral scholars who have greatly exceeded the Foundation's highest expectations and are most likely to make paradigm-shifting breakthroughs that transform the way we prevent, diagnose and treat cancer. Each awardee will receive $100,000 to be used toward their research.
Successful cancer immunotherapy requires a "type 1" immune response, while "type 2" immune responses have been linked to disease progression and a poor prognosis. As a Damon Runyon fellow, Dr. von Moltke's research has focused on understanding how type 2 immune responses are initiated and regulated, with the hope that insights gained from answering these fundamental questions will lead to improved cancer therapies. He has discovered several novel mechanisms through which type 2 immune responses are initiated, including a critical role for tuft cells—an epithelial cell type that was identified over 50 years ago, but whose physiologic function remained undetermined until now. Dr. Von Moltke's research goals will be to uncover the signals that activate tuft cells, to identify additional effector functions of tuft cells, and to understand how tuft cells work with downstream type 2 effector cells to monitor and regulate tissue homeostasis.