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Distinguished Scientist Larisa Poluektova, M.D., Ph.D.

Image with caption: Larisa Poluektova, M.D., Ph.D.

Larisa Poluektova, M.D., Ph.D.

This profile is part of a series to highlight the researchers who will be honored at a ceremony for UNMC's 2016 Scientist Laureate, Research Leadership, Distinguished Scientist and New Investigator Award recipients.

The Distinguished Scientist Award

The Distinguished Scientist Award -- which is sponsored by the chancellor -- recognizes researchers who have been among the most productive scientists at UNMC during the past five years.

  • Name: Larisa Poluektova, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Title: Professor, UNMC Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience, College of Medicine
  • Joined UNMC: 1998
  • Hometown: Yampol, Ukraine

Research focus:
Humanized mice models

The goal of my research is to improve basic and translational studies for human immune system and infectious diseases.

My research will make a difference because humanized mice hold great value and promise in biomedical research when considering the ethical and technical constraints associated with human studies. Through a better understanding of human gene function in an in vivo setting, these models play a key role in the identification and development of new therapies for the treatment of human infectious disease such as HIV, hepatitis and herpes viruses, as well as highly relevant microbial infections such as tuberculosis and malaria. Humanized mice models demonstrate outstanding potential for the investigation of critical aspects of the neurodegenerative disorders, for example, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. We are expecting expanding use of humanized mice for cancer research.

The best advice I've ever been given is:

  • "However much you knock at nature's door, she will never answer you in comprehensible words." -- Ivan Turgenev
  • "Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do." -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Three things you may not know about me:

  • I studied music in school.
  • I love visual and performing arts.
  • I can't ride a bicycle.

Ceremony Jan. 17

A campus ceremony will be held at 4 p.m. Jan. 17 in the Durham Research Center Auditorium to recognize the award recipients, as well as the winner of the Community Service to Research Award, who will be announced later. A reception will follow. The ceremony will be livestreamed; click here or paste http://www.unmc.edu/livevideo/unmc_live1.html in your browser.


Research Award winners include:
Scientist Laureate
Tammy Kielian, Ph.D., College of Medicine

Research Leadership Award
B. Timothy Baxter, M.D., College of Medicine
Robert Lewis, Ph.D., Eppley Institute

Distinguished Scientist Award
Maneesh Jain, Ph.D., College of Medicine
Shelby Kutty, M.D., Ph.D., College of Medicine
Rongshi Li, Ph.D., College of Pharmacy
Mark Mailliard, M.D., College of Medicine
Kaleb Michaud, Ph.D., College of Medicine
Joseph Norman, Ph.D., College of Allied Health Professions
Larisa Poluektova, M.D., Ph.D., College of Medicine
Matthew Rizzo, M.D., College of Medicine
Sarah Thayer, M.D., Ph.D., College of Medicine
Melissa Tibbits, Ph.D., College of Public Health

New Investigator Awards
Laura Bilek, Ph.D., College of Allied Health Professions
Martin Conda Sheridan, Ph.D., College of Pharmacy
Sung-Ho Huh, Ph.D., Munroe-Meyer Institute
R. Katherine Hyde, Ph.D., College of Medicine
Mariano Sanchez-Lockhart, Ph.D., College of Medicine
Kimberly Scarsi, Pharm.D., College of Pharmacy
Jessica Nichols Snowden, M.D., College of Medicine
Hanjun Wang, M.D., College of Medicine
Wanfen Xiong, M.D., Ph.D., College of Medicine

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