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Ekaterina “Katya” Heldwein, program director of molecular microbiology and professor of molecular biology and microbiology at Tufts University School of Medicine, has been appointed the American Cancer Society (Massachusetts Division) Professor of Molecular Biology, while Rachel J. Buchsbaum, chief of the division of hematology/oncology at Tufts Medical Center and associate professor at the School of Medicine, has been appointed the Jane F. Desforges, M.D., Chair of Hematology and Oncology.During her postdoctoral training at Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Ekaterina (Katya) Heldwein became interested in herpes viruses—a family of important human pathogens. Early in her career, she made several breakthroughs in an essential aspect of herpes virus infection: the viral penetration of the host cell.
Heldwein’s lab has also made major contributions in deciphering the structural basis for how herpes viruses control their movement in nerve cells by collaborating with biologist Greg Smith at Northwestern University to identify a viral factor responsible for nerve invasion. That work led to a patent that covers the use of this technology in herpes virus vaccination and oncolytic vector therapy.
Heldwein joined Tufts in 2006 as assistant professor of molecular biology and microbiology. She has been a lecturer and course director of the Sackler School’s Animal Virology course, a lecturer to medical students in medical microbiology / infectious diseases, and a lecturer and director of the Dental Infectious Disease course. She was named Outstanding Lecturer at the medical school and received the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Basic Science Teaching from the dental school. Heldwein is also an editorial board member of Virology and the Journal of Virology, and a regular member of the VIRA (Virology A) Study Section at NIH.
Buchsbaum, who has a medical degree from Cornell University, completed a fellowship in hematology and oncology at New England Medical Center, where she trained under Jane DesForges. …