Kumar recognized as 'Future Leader' by Infection and Immunity journal

Recognition honors promising early-career scientists in the field of pathogenesis and immunology

May 26, 2022

Anand Kumar

Los Alamos National Laboratory microbiologist Anand Kumar has been recognized as a “Future Leader in the Field of Host-Microbe Interactions” by Infection and Immunity, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

The journal’s recognition honors the most-promising early-career scientists who specialize in researching host-microbe interactions and have shown potential as leading researchers. Kumar is one of just 12 scientists chosen for this recognition from among 28 nominees around the world. He was nominated for the Infection and Immunity recognition by Patrick Chain, a Laboratory Fellow and a scientist who specializes in bioinformatics.

“Anand’s unique background and professional history coupled with this past decade’s advances in understanding how host-associated microbes help shape human, animal and plant health, has helped focus his research in this hot field of microbiome science,” said Chain. “Anand combines his expertise in host immunology, microbial pathogenesis and host-microbe interactions with new experimental tools and protocols developed at Los Alamos, and is poised to make great strides in understanding how to use microbes in the treatment of human diseases.”  

A primary focus of Kumar’s research is the host- and microbe-microbe relationships within the human body. This research holds promise for identifying novel therapeutics to treat infectious and non-infectious diseases including diabetes, obesity and cancer.

The editors of Infection and Immunity invited Kumar to submit a minireview article as part of a special issue showcasing the future leader’s promising research. Kumar’s minireview, co-authored with his fellow team members Nathan Cruz, George Abernathy and Armand Dichosa, presents a brief history of therapeutic microbes, the current understanding of them and their limitations. The minireview also offers, for the first-time, perspectives on the discovery of therapeutic microbes by exploiting microbe-microbe and host-microbe interactions, detailing the novel microbe-screening platform discovered by Kumar and his team.

“The ability to screen for therapeutic microbes from a complex microbial community is an emerging field of research,” said Kumar. “We’re interested in being able to discover and apply the microbe’s properties for treating various diseases in humans. This research has huge potential to address ongoing antibiotic discovery crisis and mitigate the spread of antimicrobial resistance pathogens.”

Kumar joined Los Alamos as a Director’s Postdoctoral Fellow in 2016. In 2017 he was selected to be among the first class of Entrepreneurial Postdoc Fellows, a joint initiative of the University of California and Los Alamos through the Richard F. Feynman Center for Innovation in 2017. He took a position as a Scientist at the Laboratory in 2019. Kumar earned a doctoral degree in Comparative Veterinary Medicine from the Ohio State University in 2015 and obtained a Doctoral of Veterinary Medicine degree from University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad, India, in 2005.

Founded in 1967, Infection and Immunity is a peer-reviewed medical journal publishing research related to pathogenic bacteria, fungi and bacteria, as well as topics pertaining to microbiology, infections and bacterial genomics, among others. The journal is published by the American Society for Microbiology.