BPH faculty member, Sarah Merritt Fortune, has been promoted to Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases in the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Spanning the field from molecules to populations, Dr. Fortune’s research has focused on Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) using novel genetic tools and new technologies to study the related biological problems. Rather than focusing on a single approach, her research has touched on a variety of sub-fields, and, in each case, she has made a substantial impact often changing thinking in each area. Using a combination of single cell, genetic, and genomic approaches, Dr. Fortune seeks to understand why there is successful immune clearance within infected individuals and why, in some cases, sterilization is incomplete.
Dr. Fortune strives to build a broad understanding of the global epidemic of tuberculosis (TB) and foster multidisciplinary discussion of solutions. She is the Director of the TB Research Program at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard, Co-Director of the Harvard University Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) Developmental Core, and Associate Member of the Broad Institute. Dr. Fortune is the Co-Director of the National HIV-TB Working Group for the Centers for AIDS Research and is the Co-organizer of the 2016 Keystone Symposium, TB and Associated Co-morbidities. She is a member of the Gates Foundation TB Vaccine Portfolio Management Working Group and its Collaboration for TB Vaccine Discovery. Dr. Fortune is also the Associate Editor for Science Advances, an open access journal for high quality and important research articles from American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) publishing.
In 1996, Dr. Fortune completed her MD at the Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons followed by an internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. In 2001 she pursued a clinical fellowship in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Fortune completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the School in 2006, and that same year she joined the faculty as Assistant Professor in the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases. In 2012 she was promoted to Melvin J. and Geraldine L. Glimcher Associate Professor of Biological Sciences. Dr. Fortune was honored by the School’s Committee on the Concerns of Women Faculty in 2013 with the Alice B. Hamilton Award, which recognizes the path-breaking achievements of a promising young woman investigator in public health.
Congratulations Dr. Fortune!