Dr. Alan Rothman has been named the Institute for Immunology and Informatics’ Featured Researcher of the Month for August. The designation comes on the heels of an announcement from the National Institutes of Health which recently awarded Dr. Rothman an $11.4 million grant to continue his research on dengue virus. The project is titled “Flavivirus Infections: Pathogenesis and Prevention.”

The funding will be dedicated to a combination of field studies and laboratory research. The NIH-funded grant was initially awarded in 1994 with Rothman taking over as program director in 2008. This latest award will provide funding for an additional five years of research.

Rothman is the head of iCubed’s Laboratory of Viral Immunity and Pathogenesis located on the University of Rhode Island’s Providence campus. He has been involved in research on immunity and pathogenesis of viral diseases in humans for over 20 years.  Rothman’s research involves both clinical and basic research studies on pathogenesis and immunity of emerging and re-emerging viral infections.

Dengue is a disease caused by dengue virus, a member of the flavivirus family which includes other mosquito-borne viruses like West Nile virus. Dengue is a significant global public health burden, particularly in resource-poor countries of tropical and subtropical regions of the world.

Although the death rate from dengue is less than one percent globally, Rothman points to the high number of new infections each year that need to be addressed with further research.

“There are hundreds of millions of infections per year and it’s estimated around 20,000 deaths. It is a big impact globally and so there’s a need both for people living in endemic countries as well as for travelers to improve approaches to identify, treat and prevent,” Rothman said.

iCubed thanks Dr. Rothman for his tireless work ethic and dedication to fighting disease around the world.