LJI Researcher Named Public Policy Fellow by National Association

LA JOLLA, CA—Mallory Paynich, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow at La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI), was recently named a Public Policy Fellow by the American Association of Immunologists (AAI). Dr. Paynich is one of a select few young scientists nationwide to earn a spot in the AAI Public Policy Fellows Program. The goal of the program is to engage postdoctoral fellows and junior scientists in public policy activities that impact biomedical research.

During her one-year term as a Fellow, Dr. Paynich will have the opportunity to visit Capitol Hill and to delve more deeply into key issues related to biomedical research through the AAI public affairs program. “I am grateful and honored to be selected as an AAI Public Policy Fellow for 2018-2019. This fellowship will provide an invaluable opportunity to learn the dynamics of how funding decisions are made, and how we, as scientists, can communicate the tremendous impact of immunology research in treating human disease. It is of the utmost importance that the scientific community has the training, resources, and funding necessary to continue its vital role in advancing human health,” said Dr. Paynich.

“As young scientists, we must learn how to advocate for science education and continued investment in biomedical research, and it is our responsibility to inform the public of the crucial benefits of this research. I look forward to this experience with AAI to gain insight on issues pertaining to biomedical research and communication among scientists, politicians, and the public,” she added.

In her role as a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Professor Mitchell Kronenberg, Ph.D., President and Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Paynich studies innate-like T cells, which comprise a small but potent arm of the immune system. These cells inhabit many tissues throughout the body including lung, where they provide vital immunity to bacterial infections, including Streptococcus pneumoniae, a leading cause of pneumonia. The ultimate goal of her research is to determine how tissue localization impacts the gene program of innate-like T cells in order to better understand how these cells contribute to systemic immunity, not only during bacterial infections, but other diseases, as well.

About the American Association of Immunologists
The AAI is an association of professionally trained scientists from all over the world dedicated to advancing the knowledge of immunology and its related disciplines, fostering the interchange of ideas and information among investigators, and addressing the potential integration of immunologic principles into clinical practice.

About La Jolla Institute for Immunology
The La Jolla Institute for Immunology is dedicated to understanding the intricacies and power of the immune system so that we may apply that knowledge to promote human health and prevent a wide range of diseases. Since its founding in 1988 as an independent, nonprofit research organization, the Institute has made numerous advances leading toward its goal: life without disease.