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Katherine Fitzgerald: Waiting, but not in vain

Ishani Ganguli
<figcaption> Credit: © JASON VARNEY | VARNEYPHOTO.COMwww.VARNEYPHOTO.COM</figcaption>
Credit: © JASON VARNEY | VARNEYPHOTO.COMwww.VARNEYPHOTO.COM

After Kate Fitzgerald submitted her thesis on adhesion molecules at Trinity College, Dublin, she was ready for a change of scenery. So when her graduate advisor, Luke O'Neill, set out for a sabbatical at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, the young immunologist jumped at the chance to join him. Her summer spent studying a cytokine receptor in Boston "cemented in my mind that I wanted to live here," she says. The city offered the thriving research community she craved.

With a job offer from Millennium, Fitzgerald returned to Ireland to defend her thesis, but a company acquisition soon put a freeze on new hires. While waiting for things to thaw, she finished an absent postdoc's research on Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling, a field that had always interested her. "There was a Nature paper every week describing Toll receptors and their role in immune response," she says. "I...

Title: Assistant Professor of Medicine
Age: 33
Representative Publications:

1. K.A. Fitzgerald et al., "Mal (MyD88-adapter-like) is required for Toll-like receptor-4 signal transduction," Nature, 413:78-83, 2001. (Cited in 345 papers) 2. KA Fitzgerald et al, LPS-TLR4 signaling to IRF-3/7 and NF-kappaB involves the toll adapters TRAM and TRIF," J Exp Med, 198:1043-55, 2003. (Cited in 150 papers) 3. KA Fitzgerald et al, "IKK epsilon and TBK1 are essential components of the IRF3 signaling pathway," Nature Immunology 4:491-496, 2003. (Cited in 249 papers)

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