I am an immunologist, driven by a passion for the gut. Bottom line, if it lives, visits, or is influenced by the gut, then this is something we want to understand. I view the gut as an “untapped resource” from which to glean information about host-microbe interactions, the balance that enables peace with microbiota, and also, how the balance must be swayed to battle against pathogens and cancer. We have ongoing research programs investigating immune dynamics in the healthy gut, the inflamed gut, the pathogen infected gut, and colorectal cancer. If there is any unifying principle that we have learned from these studies it would be that the gut has its own rules when it comes to immunity and host-microbe interactions, and this set of rules is unique for each setting. As mucosal immunologists, we thrive in this arena. Dr. Hammer obtained her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, where she studied in the laboratory of Dr. Nilabh Shastri. She described the formative roles of the antigen-processing enzyme ERAAP, a quintessential editor of the MHC class I peptide repertoire. For her contributions to science during her Ph.D. training Dr. Hammer was awarded the Harold Weintraub Award, a national award recognizing outstanding thesis research. Dr. Hammer’s postdoctoral training was in the laboratory of Dr. Averil Ma at University of California, San Francisco. As a postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Hammer was awarded fellowship support from Damon Runyon Cancer Research. After starting her lab at Duke University in 2013, Dr. Hammer has been named a Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences, a V scholar for Cancer Research, a Scialog Fellow, and also been awarded a Careers in Immunology award from the American Association of Immunologists.
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