Dr. Sara Cherry

University of Pennsylvania, USA

Sara Cherry is a Professor in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania, Scientific Director of the High-throughput Screening Core and Director of the Chemogenomic Discovery Program in the School of Medicine. She obtained her BS with Dr. Peter Schultz at Berkeley synthesizing new biopolymers for drug scaffolds, and then her PhD with Dr. David Baltimore at MIT studying early B cell development. Next, she completed her postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Norbert Perrimon where she developed high-throughput RNAi screening to study virus-host interactions. She started her laboratory at Penn in 2006 where she has applied RNAi technology and other cell-based screening approaches to discover mechanisms by which diverse viral pathogens, largely focusing on arthropod-borne viruses, hijack cellular machinery while evading defenses. Her pioneering screening platform has opened up new avenues of discovery. More recently, she has uncovered new insights into the interplay between metabolic regulation, the microbiota and immune defense. While her laboratory continues to explore the interface of viruses, including globally important emerging pathogens, with host cells, she has expanded her interests to cancer where she has developed a functional precision pipeline to screen acute leukemia cells for their sensitivities to FDA approved drugs.