2018 Glycobiology Significant Achievement Award

The Glycobiology Significant Achievement Award is given annually by Oxford University Press (publisher of Glycobiology) to honor a new or mid-career scientist that has made a key discovery during their early careers with the potential to have a substantial impact on the glycoscience community.

This year, Oxford is delighted to present the Glycobiology Significant Achievement Award to Dr. Galit Alter, who was recently appointed as a Full Professor in the Department of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and faculty member at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard. The award will be given to Dr. Alter at the Society for Glycobiology Annual meeting this November in New Orleans, Louisiana. Dr. Alter’s work has contributed significantly toward understanding the role of innate immune recruiting antibodies in the control and clearance of a number of infectious diseases, including HIV, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and malaria. She has developed unique, comprehensive systems serology approaches that have revealed unexpected correlates of humoral immunity. These include previously under-appreciated mechanisms, which tune antibody glycosylation in an antigen- and pathogen-specific manner to modulate effector functions. For instance, her characterization of the glycosylation of antigen-specific antibodies demonstrated enhanced IgG Fc N-glycan sialylation in individuals capable of developing neutralizing antibodies to HIV, whereas individuals able to control disease spontaneously elicit selectively afucosylated/agalactosylated virus-specific antibodies. She continues to leverage her appreciation of glycan functions to  define opportunities to actively elicit selective antibody functions via vaccination, with the goal of developing therapeutics against a broader array of pathogens. Additionally, Dr. Alter has been an enthusiastic advocate and inexhaustible catalyst for building collaborations between glycoscientists, immunologists, and virologists. Oxford is proud to honor her with this year’s Glycobiology Significant Achievement Award.