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David Engman Elected Microbiology Academy Fellow

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March 2, 2009
EVANSTON, Ill. --- David M. Engman, professor of pathology and microbiology-immunology at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, has been elected to fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology. He is among 72 microbiologists selected as fellows this year.

Engman has been on the Northwestern University faculty since 1990 and is also an attending pathologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He has been director of the Medical Scientist Training Program since 1995 and is a member of several of the University's research centers, including the Center for Genetic Medicine, the Center for Drug Discovery and Chemical Biology and the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Research topics of the Engman laboratory include the cell biology and molecular genetics of trypanosomes, single-celled parasites that cause human illnesses such as African sleeping sickness and Chagas heart disease, and development of diagnostic tests for human cancers and genetic diseases.

One major recent discovery is that cilia, finger-like projections from cells that have functions such as sweeping foreign particles out of the upper airways, also function as sensory "antennae" to let the cell know the state of the outside environment. Another finding is that Chagas heart disease results partly from an autoimmune response against heart proteins.

Engman is a fellow of the American Heart Association, a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the "Pluto Society" of University Pathologists. He recently served as president of the National Association of MD/PhD Programs and chair of the MD-PhD Section of the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Engman received the 2008 Amgen Outstanding Investigator Award of the American Society for Investigative Pathology.