Trudeau scientist Leadbetter named Public Policy Fellow

SARANAC LAKE – Trudeau Institute faculty member Elizabeth Leadbetter has been named a 2013-2014 Public Policy Fellow by the American Association of Immunologists.

Leadbetter was one of 10 fellows chosen for the program this year.

Based in Bethesda, Md., the American Association of Immunologists 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. The association owns and publishes the Journal of Immunology, the largest and most highly cited journal in the field.

Established in 2011, AAI’s Public Policy Fellowship Program provides postdoctoral fellows and other junior scientists committed to a career in biomedical research with the opportunity to learn about and participate in the public policy and legislative activities of AAI.

Leadbetter earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, in 1993 and worked for Immulogic Pharmaceutical Corporation in Waltham, Mass., before receiving a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from Boston University School of Medicine in 2002. She served as a post-doctoral fellow with Michael Brenner, M.D., and later as an instructor in the Division of Rheumatology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School until 2009.

Leadbetter joined the Trudeau Institute in 2009 as an assistant member. Her laboratory currently studies cooperation between lipid-reactive NKT cells and B cells, and is also developing a universal lipid-based vaccine approach.

“I am honored to have been selected a 2013 AAI Public Policy Fellow and look forward to learning all I can about establishing effective lines of communication between our policy leaders and members of the scientific community,” Leadbetter said after learning of her selection.

She added: “It’s imperative that our lawmakers understand the importance of adequately training, funding and retaining new generations of scientists to ensure the educational and economic future of our country. I’m eager to discuss with our legislators the importance of financially supporting basic research, maintaining this key national economic resource, and continuing to improve the accessibility of a career in this field for talented men and women with families.”