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May 2005 Issue

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UC Scientist Receives VA Research Award

Published May 2005

Research microbiologist Melanie Cushion, PhD, an internationally known expert on the pneumonia-causing fungus Pneumocystis carinii, has received the Veterans Affairs (VA) Research Career Scientist(RCS) Award from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

A professor in the UC's infectious diseases division and project leader of the international Pneumocystis Genome Project, Dr. Cushion is currently working at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center studying the role of Pneumocystis as a "silent" infection in other chronic diseases. The organism especially threatens patients whose immune systems have been weakened by chemical agents, such as cancer drugs, or some other infection.

The RCS award provides nearly $400,000 in support over five years and is the highest level award in the career track for nonclinician scientists at the VA. Dr. Cushion is only the third Cincinnati VA Medical Center scientist to receive this honor in the last 20 years.

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