President's Service Award 2013 - Dylan Dodd
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Photo of Dylan Dodd Dylan Dodd

Starting this year, APSA will be conferring the President's Service Award to an APSA member who is not a member of the Executive Council and who has made extraordinary contributions to the organization over the past year. The awardee is selected by the president and approved by the board. The inaugural recipient is Dylan Dodd. The award will be conferred during the APSA reception at the AM. APSA is very grateful for Dylan’s passionate service to the association and looks forward to being able to recognize his many contributions to APSA at the Annual Meeting this year.

Dylan Dodd completed his PhD in 2010 in Microbiology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, studying the molecular mechanisms underlying host-microbe symbiosis in the gastrointestinal tract. During this time he has co-authored 13 peer-reviewed manuscripts and received an NIH NRSA MD/PhD fellowship from the NIDDK.

Dylan became involved with APSA very early in his training program. He met Freddy Nguyen, the founder of APSA, and soon became involved with the organization. He served as Annual Meeting Committee chair from 2006-2007 and led the committee to nearly double attendance at the 3rd Annual Meeting. In addition, from his committee, a number of future leaders in APSA emerged including Nicholas Kummer who led the Annual Meeting Committee in 2008 and Eric Schauberger, past policy chair and a current APSA Board member. The following year, Dylan moved into a new role as chair of the Finance committee and spearheaded APSA’s effort to obtain NIH funding. Working closely with Kerry O’Banion, Freddy Nguyen, and Joseph Bast, Dylan prepared the first submission of APSAs NIH R13 grant. Although not funded on the first round, it laid the groundwork for a subsequent submission which was ultimately funded and served as a financial foundation for the organization. In the years that followed, Dylan has been actively involved in the Annual Meeting at the Fairmont, serving as the A/V chair for 4 of the last 6 meetings.

This past year, APSA’s R13 award came up for renewal and Dylan stepped in to help coordinate the efforts for resubmission. Most organizations have an office for sponsored research awards that maintains connections with the government agencies that coordinate funding requests and awards. However, since APSA is a student run organization, all of the business registration has to be coordinated by our own leadership. Since the first grant submission, APSAs registration with several government agencies had lapsed and Dylan took the initiative to completely re-register the organization and coordinate the transition into management by the Sherwood Group. Without this vital role, it is unlikely that our R13 resubmission would have been completed on time.

Dylan is currently a 4th year medical student at UIUC and recently matched in Clinical Pathology at Stanford University where he will be moving in June. His goal is to continue studying host-microbe interactions in the GI tract as an R01-funded investigator and co-direct a clinical microbiology lab, helping to usher in the next generation of sequencing techniques in the molecular diagnosis of human infectious diseases.