ERS Research Award: Innovation in Non-Tuberculous Mycobacteria Science and Medicine

Presented to: Jennifer Honda Financially supported by Insmed

The ERS Research Award offers a €10,000 research grant to the recipient and recognises an awardee who is both a researcher and pursuing an active research project in the NTM lung disease field.

Jennifer Honda

Jennifer R. Honda, PhD, was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawai’i. She is a basic science nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) microbiologist and Assistant Professor in the Center for Genes, Environment, and Health and the Department of Biomedical Research at National Jewish Health, Colorado, USA. Established in 2017, the Honda Lab’s overarching mission is to understand the fundamental 1) environmental- 2) host- 3) microbial factors that contribute to NTM pulmonary disease emergence globally to directly improve the lives of patients. Dr Honda studies NTM in Hawai’i to elucidate the conspiring factors driving disease emergence in this geographic hot spot. Environmental and clinical NTM isolates from Hawai’i are leveraged to explore the intra- and inter- NTM species differences that contribute to pathogenicity and host evasion. Specifically, her group is elucidating particular NTM-derived phospholipids as virulence factors that promote evasion of innate immunity and survival in alveolar macrophages and airway epithelial cells. Additional studies include understanding the NTM interactions between amoeba and associations with gastroesophageal reflux disease. As an Affiliate Graduate Faculty at the University of Hawai’i, Dr Honda continues to be deeply invested in the mentoring of Asian, Native Hawaiian, other Pacific Islanders, and other underrepresented populations in microbiology in the context of academic research.

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