Neeraj (“Neil”) Surana, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of pediatrics, immunology, and molecular genetics and microbiology in the School of Medicine, is one of 12 recipients of the 2019 Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Award, according to The Hartwell Foundation. Surana will receive three years of research support at $100,000 per year for his project, “Developing Bacteria-Derived Therapies to Cure Inflammatory Bowel Disease.”
Surana, a Translating Duke Health Scholar, seeks to understand how the trillions of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and archaea that live in and on each of us influences our susceptibility to inflammatory disease. More specifically, he seeks to identify and characterize “healthy” bacteria that can modulate the immune system, with the ultimate goal of translating these bacteria and/or their products into clinical practice to treat various inflammatory and autoimmune conditions.
For each of the past 12 years, Duke has been designated as one of The Hartwell Foundation’s Top Ten Centers of Biomedical Excellence. Each year the foundation invites each of its Top Ten Center institutions to nominate up to three principal investigators from their faculty to compete for Individual Biomedical Research Awards, which support early-stage research to advance children’s health.
"The 2019 competition was once again very competitive, with diversity in strategic innovation and translational research that offers the potential to impact directly healthcare outcomes to benefit children. Nominees who received an award leveraged internal support and guidance from their participating institution, as well as the experience of previous Hartwell Investigators," said Fred Dombrose, President of The Hartwell Foundation, in a news release.