Joel Meyers Endowment Scholarship

The Joel Meyers Endowment Scholarship Was Established to Honor the Pioneering Legacy of Infectious Disease Sciences Program Founder, Dr. Meyers.


In the early days of bone marrow transplantation, Dr. Meyers was among the first to study infectious diseases that affect transplant recipients and other individuals with compromised immune systems. He was committed to eliminating the life-threatening infections that afflicted his patients. His work led to improved survival rates for transplant patients, through important advances in the treatment and prevention of infectious diseases including the herpesvirus cytomegalovirus (CMV). Dr. Meyers was also renowned as a devoted mentor for young physician-scientists.

Infectious Disease Consult
Dr. Pergam, an associate member in the Infectious Disease Sciences Program in VIDD and previous Joel Meyers Scholar, consults with Dr. Michael Boeckh a full member in VIDD. Bo Jungmayer / Fred Hutch

Since his passing in 1991, the scholarship founded in his honor has helped create leaders in the field by supporting promising, early-career scientists as they gain more expertise in order to advance scientific knowledge and develop innovative strategies to prevent, treat and control infections. The Joel Meyers Endowment Scholarship fosters rigorous, interdisciplinary, innovative and collaborative training and research in the transplant setting and in other known and emerging areas of immunosuppression.

The scholarship provides a critical link in the chain of trainee support and a platform for successfully initiating independent careers, directly ensuring the impactful, life-saving work of our trainees. Past recipients have established independent careers in the United States and around the world, advancing the field through prestigious positions at universities, medical centers, public research institutions and in industry.

Supporting Pioneering Research

Outside support is the backbone of the Joel Meyers Endowment Scholarship. Donations are our most important resource for advancing the field and training the next generation of scientists who will contribute to it for years to come. Scholarship recipients study aspects of infectious diseases that affect immunocompromised patients, including epidemiology, risk, diagnosis, pathogenesis and disease burden. These are all critical areas of research for improving detection and treatment for these serious illnesses. It is thanks to generous contributions that we are able to create leaders who are poised to make the bold discoveries that will ultimately improve the lives of countless patients and their families.

Joel Meyers, Raleigh Bowden and Steve Crawford
Joel Meyers, Raleigh Bowden and Steve Crawford Fred Hutch archive photo

A Visionary Leader

Dr. Joel Meyers founded the Infectious Disease Sciences Program at Fred Hutch as an integral part of the bone marrow transplantation group established by E. Donnall Thomas more than four decades ago. A pioneer in the study of infectious diseases that affect transplant patients and others with compromised immune systems, Dr. Meyers sought ways to eliminate infection-related deaths in these patients. His work increased survival rates for transplant patients by improving treatment and prevention of infectious diseases including cytomegalovirus (CMV); his critical contributions included writing the first chapters on CMV epidemiology in the hematopoietic cell transplant population and establishing the critical role of viremia in the pathogenesis of CMV disease. An international leader in his field, Dr. Meyers worked tirelessly to develop and share critical advances that continue to save the lives of patients worldwide.

Joel Meyers Endowment Scholarship recipients have gone on to create lasting impact on the field, through prestigious positions in universities, public institutions and industry organizations worldwide.

Featured Scholars

For more than 20 years, the Joel Meyers Endowment Scholarship has provided critical resources to our transplant infectious disease fellows at a key point in their careers. The ongoing support honors Dr. Meyers’ passion and commitment and serves as a platform for recipients’ successful transitions to independent, impactful careers preventing infectious disease and saving lives.

See the full list of scholarship recipients.

Dr. Kieren Marr

Dr. Kieren Marr 

Dr. Marr attended our Infectious Disease Fellowship Program in the late 1990s. The Joel Meyers Scholarship provided funding at a crucial time in her career — before she fully established herself as an independent investigator. Marr initially worked on invasive fungal disease in hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT), and during the later years of her fellowship, she became a highly successful NIH-funded investigator who gained an international reputation.

Marr was appointed assistant member at Fred Hutch and assistant professor at the University of Washington in 2002, becoming one of the earliest promotions to the associate professor/member level for a physician-scientist.

She received multiple offers from top U.S. institutions, including Harvard Medical School. She accepted a position as Director of Transplant Infectious Disease (ID) at Oregon Health Sciences University in 2007 and subsequently as the ID Division Director at the Comprehensive Transplant/Oncology Center at Johns Hopkins Medical Center, where she also is a Professor of Medicine.

Dr. W. Garret Nichols

Dr. W. Garret Nichols

Dr. Nichols is a graduate of Duke University Medical School. He came to our program in 1995 to work on cytomegalovirus in HCT recipients. After a highly successful fellowship, Nichols was awarded the Joel Meyers Scholarship. He became a junior faculty member and received an NIH research career development award.

Nichols was subsequently recruited by GlaxoSmithKline where he rose to the rank of Vice President for Global HIV Clinical Development. He led multiple global antiviral programs in the US and Europe, which resulted in the FDA approval of dolutegravir/abacavir/lamivudine (Triumeq™).

He is now the Chief Medical Officer at Chimerix Inc., a company that develops a broad spectrum antiviral drug (brincidoforvir) that holds great promise for immunocompromised patients.

Recent Scholars

Jim Boonyaratanakornkit

Jim Boonyaratanakornkit, M.D., Ph.D. | Current Scholar

Dr. Boonyaratanakornkit is a research associate in the Infectious Disease Sciences Program in Fred Hutch’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division and a senior fellow and acting instructor in the Division of Allergy and Infectious Disease at the University of Washington. He studies the epidemiology and immunology of respiratory viral infections. His research is focused on developing diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics against respiratory viruses

Chikara Ogimi, M.D., Current Scholar

Chikara Ogimi, M.D.

Dr. Ogimi is a research associate in the Infectious Disease Sciences Program in Fred Hutch’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division and acting instructor in the Division of Pediatric Infectious Disease at the Seattle Children’s Hospital/University of Washington. His research is focused on the impact of respiratory viral infections on clinical outcomes, as well as the interaction between respiratory viral infections and antibiotic use in transplant recipients.
 

Jonathan Golob, M.D., Ph.D.

Jonathan Golob, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Golob is an assistant professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Michigan and an affiliate investigator in the Infectious Disease Sciences Program in Fred Hutch's Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division. His research is focused on how the human microbiome is affected by treatments in immunocompromised patients, and in turn, how the microbiome can affect patient outcomes.

Joshua Hill, M.D.

Joshua Hill, M.D.

Dr. Hill is an assistant member in the Infectious Disease Sciences Program in Fred Hutch's Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division, and assistant professor in the Division of Allergy and Infectious Disease at the University of Washington. He specializes in epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of viral infections in immunocompromised patients.

Cynthia Fisher, M.D., M.P.H.

Cynthia Fisher, M.D., M.P.H.

Dr. Fisher is an assistant professor in the Division of Allergy and Infectious Disease's Solid Organ Transplant ID program at the University of Washington and an affiliate investigator in the Infectious Disease Sciences Program in Fred Hutch's Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division. Her research is focused on invasive fungal infections and respiratory viral infections in cancer patients and transplant recipients.

Steven Pergam, M.D., M.P.H.

Steven Pergam, M.D., M.P.H.

Dr. Pergam is an associate member in the Infectious Disease Sciences Program in Fred Hutch's Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division, and associate professor in the Division of Allergy and Infectious Disease at the University of Washington. He is also Medical Director of Infection Control at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. His research and clinical focus is on epidemiology and prevention of nosocomial bacterial infections and respiratory viruses in high-risk immunocompromised patients.