Jennifer A. Philips, MD, PhD
Photo: Jennifer A. Philips
Elected 2021

Dr. Philips is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Molecular Microbiology at Washington University School of Medicine. She is Co-Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases. Her laboratory studies the pathogenesis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. M. tuberculosis infects one quarter of the world’s population and is a leading cause of death worldwide from an infection. M. tuberculosis has infected humans for millennia and is well adapted to the human immune system. Dr. Philips’s laboratory is elucidating the mechanisms of immunity to M. tuberculosis and defining the host-pathogen interactions that contribute to immune evasion. The discoveries in her laboratory have delineated how M. tuberculosis blocks lysosomal trafficking, alters host metabolism, and impairs antigen presentation. Understanding how M. tuberculosis prevents its own clearance by the host will enable new kinds of treatments. Her laboratory is also interested in identifying unique metabolites that occur in M. tuberculosis infected individuals, to enable development of biomarkers to individualize TB treatment. Thus, by making fundamental discoveries in M. tuberculosis pathogenesis, her work will enable better therapies, novel biomarkers, and effective vaccines for one of humankind’s greatest afflictions.

Dr. Philips received her MD/PhD from UCSF and did her Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases training at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. She has been honored to receive the Maxwell Finland Award for Excellence in Research, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Clinical Scientist Development Award, the Infectious Disease Society of America Astellas Young Investigator Award, Edward Mallinckrodt, Jr. Foundation Grant, and Fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology.

In addition, to running her lab and serving as a co-Director of the Infectious Disease Division, she sees patients on the Infectious Disease service at Barnes Jewish Hospital.