Newswise — MAYWOOD, Il. – Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine scientist Elizabeth J. Kovacs, PhD, has received a Distinguished Service Award from the American Association of Immunologists (AAI).

“You are being recognized for your years of service and leadership on the AAI Committee on Public Affairs as both a member and chair,” AAI Executive Director M. Michele Hogan, PhD, wrote in a letter to Dr. Kovacs. “This award recognizes the invaluable contributions you have made to AAI and the immunology community through your leadership and generosity of time.”

The Committee on Public Affairs keeps informed of public policy issues important to AAI members, develops AAI positions, and works to achieve public policy goals. The committee leads AAI efforts to advocate for the best interests of science and to improve the professional lives of immunologists.

As chair of the committee, Dr. Kovacs presented written testimony to Congress regarding immunology research, spoke in educational sessions designed to improve scientific understanding among policy leaders, and accompanied junior scientists to Capitol Hill through the AAI Public Policy Fellows Program. Dr. Kovacs also presented Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Il.) with the AAI Public Service Award.

Dr. Kovacs researches the effects of aging, gender and alcohol exposure on inflammation and cell-mediated immunity. She is a professor in the Department of Surgery; co-director of Stritch’s Burn & Shock Trauma Research Institute; and director of the Alcohol Research Program of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

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