Patricia Spear Elected to National Academy of Sciences
Patricia G. Spear, PhD, Guy and Anne Youmans Professor of Microbiology—Immunology at the medical school, recently received what is considered to be one of the highest honors that can be awarded to an American scientist—election to the National Academy of Sciences. Nationwide, only 72 people this year were invited to join the academy including two other Northwestern faculty members based on the Evanston campus.
Dr. Spear, who also is chair of the Department of Microbiology—Immunology, conducts research on entry mechanisms of herpes simplex virus (HSV) into cells and virus-induced cell fusion. She is identifying and characterizing the cell surface carbohydrates and proteins required and the role of viral envelope proteins in viral entry and cell fusion. She also studies cell tropism and pathogenesis as determined by differential expression of multiple viral receptors in the different cell types, and the variable ability of viral strains to use different receptors for entry.
In addition, Dr. Spear holds a MERIT award from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; she previously held a MERIT award from the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Spear has written more than 250 journal articles, research chapters, and abstracts. She also holds two patents and serves on the editorial board of Virology .
On July 9 Dean Lewis Landsberg hosted a medical school reception to honor Dr. Spear for her election to the National Academy of Sciences.