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Erica Ollmann Saphire

Erica Ollmann Saphire

President & CEO, La Jolla Institute for Immunology

Erica Ollmann Saphire, PhD, is the President and CEO and also a Professor at the nonprofit think tank La Jolla Institute for Immunology. Her research explains, at the molecular level, how and why viruses are pathogenic and provides the roadmap for medical defense. She is best known as the galvanizing force behind the Viral Immunotherapeutic Consortium and Coronavirus Immunotherapeutic Consortium. These international efforts have united dozens of previously competing academic, industrial and government labs across five continents to understand and provide antibody therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2, Ebola, Marburg, Lassa and other viruses.  

Dr Saphire’s work has been recognized at the White House with the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering, with young investigator awards from the International Congress of Antiviral Research, the American Society for Microbiology, and the MRC Centre for Virus Research in the United Kingdom. She has also been recognized with an Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease Award from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, and by the Surhain Sidhu award for the most outstanding contribution to the field of diffraction by a person within five years of the PhD. She has been awarded a Fulbright Global Scholar fellowship from the United States Department of State and a Mercator Fellowship from Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and was the 2021 Scientist of the Year of the ARCS Foundation San Diego.