Ali H. Ellebedy, PhD
DEPARTMENT OF PATHOLOGY & IMMUNOLOGY
Associate Professor of Pathology and Immunology, of Medicine and of Molecular Microbiology
2023 Dean’s Impact Award Recipient
Ali H. Ellebedy, PhD, has made astounding contributions to COVID-19 research that have directly impacted human health. When the scramble began to develop a vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, Ellebedy’s work on the influenza virus stood out. First, using the human lymph node analyses he developed for flu, Ellebedy’s lab quickly assessed how immune responses, specifically B cell responses, occur in COVID-19 patients and those recovering or recovered from it. Second, Ellebedy and his team (along with Michael S. Diamond, MD, PhD, and his lab) were instrumental in detailing responses in people who took the experimental COVID-19 vaccinations developed by Moderna (and Pfizer). This testing of responses and development of longstanding memory B cells in humans was instrumental in improving the vaccinations. Third, as the COVID-19 vaccination strategy via mRNA vaccines was entirely new, Ellebedy’s studies on how immune responses are initiated in vaccinated individuals, how long it lasts, the type(s) of responses and maturation of antibody responses post-vaccination were all truly groundbreaking. Lastly, Ellebedy secured multiple grants via federal and industry sources, which have allowed training of many new individuals in influenza and COVID-19 research. Over 2020 and 2021, Ellebedy’s team published 41 manuscripts, and his work has been acknowledged by Anthony Fauci and many other leading scientists around the world. The volume, quality
and rapidity of this work, performed in the midst of shutdowns and laboratory restrictions, has improved pandemic responses and brought tremendous national and international positive exposure to Washington University.