Pew Scholar Wins Vilcek Prize

Sun Hur, a 2010 Pew biomedical scholar and associate professor of biological chemistry and molecular pharmacology at Harvard Medical School, was one of three winners announced Jan. 26 of the 2015 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science. The Vilcek Foundation honors and supports foreign-born scientists and artists who have made outstanding contributions to society in the United States.

Hur’s work focuses on the innate immune system—the body’s first line of defense, which recognizes invading pathogens and recruits other immune cells to respond. In previous studies, her laboratory shed light on the tools the immune system uses to distinguish components of viruses from the body’s own molecules. She now aims to develop medicines to prevent miscommunication in the immune system as well as strategies to use the immune system to combat certain cancers.

A native of South Korea, Hur has a joint appointment at Boston Children’s Hospital. She will receive a $50,000 award at a ceremony in New York City in April.

Learn more about Pew’s biomedical programs.