Congrats Dr. Lisa Osborne on receiving funding from Scialog Competition!
Photo of Lisa with quote from story.
Jul 5, 2022

Dr. Lisa Osborne, an assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, is a member of two winning interdisciplinary teams awarded funding in year two of Scialog: Microbiome, Neurobiology and Disease.

The initiative, sponsored by Research Corporation for Science Advancement, ​The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group and the Frederick Gardner Cottrell Foundationwith support from Walder Foundation, aims to catalyze advances in the understanding of the gut-brain axis.

“Participating in Scialog this year felt like a real treat,” says Dr. Osborne. “Everyone I engaged with was clearly passionate about their work and in group discussions, people were generous with ideas and excited to hear what other colleagues had to say, which allowed for free-flowing ideas. At the end of each day, I was tired but inspired by all the cool work being done in this space and the possibilities of what’s to come.”

Scialog is short for “science + dialog.” Created in 2010 by RCSA, the Scialog format supports research by stimulating intensive interdisciplinary conversation and community building around a scientific theme of global importance. This year, approximately 50 early-career faculty were invited to participate in Scialog as Fellows, with early career spanning the time from the first year on the faculty through recently post-tenure.

Fellows indicate their interests during the registration process, and are assigned to groups based on their preferences, as well as deliberate attempts on the part of the organizers to generate interactions across disciplines and scientific approaches. The intent is to provoke Scialog Fellows to look at where the science in their field is going, and the most promising and impactful directions in the topical area. Fellows are encouraged to interact, discover common or complementary scientific interests, and to voice what may seem in other contexts to be “far out” ideas. High risk/high impact projects are the desired outcome.

Within the 2022 cohort, only 13 researchers came away with funding for those high impact ideas – with Dr. Osborne playing a role on two of the final seven US-Canandian teams. She will draw a $55,000 award for her participation on each team.


  • Understanding the Protective Effect of Helminth Immunotherapy Through the Lens of the Gut-Brain Axis
    Lisa Osborne, Microbiology & Immunology, University of British Columbia
    Ukpong Eyo, Neuroscience, University of Virginia
  • The Intersection of Age, Microbiome and the Zeal for Continuous Learning by Cells of the Neuro-Immune Network
    Linnea Freeman, Biology, Furman University
    Gianna Hammer, Immunology, University of Utah
    Lisa Osborne, Microbiology & Immunology, University of British Columbia

“The collaborations arose differently,” explains Osborne. “The helminth immunotherapy project has been developing in my lab, and I had an idea of where I wanted it to go, but don’t have the expertise to make it happen on my own, so when I met the person who DID have that expertise, I pitched the idea and luckily enough, Dr. Eyo thought it was exciting and agreed to collaborate. This funding opportunity has broken down barriers to experiments we’ve been dreaming of. For the aging project, there was some mutual affinity between Drs. Hammer, Freeman & I, and after some discussion we hit on an idea that uses all our expertise to advance a really exciting question that was starting to develop in Dr. Hammer’s lab. This project builds on technical expertise we have in the lab and has the potential to expand our research interests in new directions.

“Altogether, these awards give us some freedom to explore areas we otherwise wouldn’t be able to, and we’re excited to see where the science takes us.”


This story was originally published on and written by the Life Sciences Institute. Click here to visit the original post