Katherine L. Knight and Sakthivel Sadayappan Named Loyola's 2012 Scientists of the Year

News Archive October 26, 2012

Katherine L. Knight and Sakthivel Sadayappan Named Loyola's 2012 Scientists of the Year

MAYWOOD, Ill. - Katherine L. Knight, PhD, one of the nation's leading immune system researchers, has been named 2012 Senior Scientist of the Year at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

Sakthivel Sadayappan, PhD, FAHA, who is doing groundbreaking research on a protein that is critical for normal heart function, has been named 2012 Junior Scientist of the Year.

Knight and Sadayappan were honored Oct. 25 during the annual St. Albert's Day celebration of research on Loyola's Health Sciences Campus.

Knight's primary research interest focuses on two critical components of the immune system, antibodies and B lymphocytes. She also has expanded her research to include studies on how microbes regulate the immune system and how certain bacteria protect us from infectious diseases. She also is working to develop a vaccine for Clostridium difficile (C. diff.), the leading cause of hospital-acquired infections.

Knight is passionate about mentoring students and faculty, and has written and spoken widely on the topic.

Knight is chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and co-director of the Infectious Disease & Immunology Institute. She has had continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health for 45 years, and now is funded by four multiyear grants totaling $4,458,710.

She has served on and chaired many NIH review panels and was president of the American Association of Immunologists in 1996-97.

Sadayappan's research has shown that during a heart attack a protein called cardiac myosin binding protein-C breaks into pieces. This fragmentation coincides with damage to the heart muscle that leads to heart failure.

He is studying what happens to the protein, known as cMyBP-C, during a heart attack. This could lead to the development of drugs to protect cMyBP-C following a heart attack, and thereby limit damage to heart muscle.

Sadayappan is an author of many peer-reviewed publications. He has served on the editorial boards of Frontiers in Cardiac Muscle Physiology and the American Journal of Cardiovascular Disease. He also has served on study sections of the American Heart Association and National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

Sadayappan joined Loyola in 2009 as an assistant professor in the Department of Cell & Molecular Physiology.

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The Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences Division (HSD) advances interprofessional, multidisciplinary, and transformative education and research while promoting service to others through stewardship of scientific knowledge and preparation of tomorrow's leaders. The HSD is located on the Health Sciences Campus in Maywood, Illinois. It includes the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, the Stritch School of Medicine, the biomedical research programs of the Graduate School, and several other institutes and centers encouraging new research and interprofessional education opportunities across all of Loyola University Chicago. The faculty and staff of the HSD bring a wealth of knowledge, experience, and a strong commitment to seeing that Loyola's health sciences continue to excel and exceed the standard for academic and research excellence. For more on the HSD, visit LUC.edu/hsd.
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