Anna Wang-Erickson, PhD

  • Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Associate Director, Institute for Infection, Inflammation, and Immunity in Children

Anna Wang-Erickson, PhD, is an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases.  She is also the associate director of the recently established Institute for Infection, Inflammation, and Immunity in Children (i4Kids), a unique joint research effort with the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh focused on improving children’s health by fighting infectious and inflammatory diseases through catalyzing new multi-disciplinary collaborations.

Wang-Erickson received her AB in Chemistry, magna cum laude, from Princeton University.  She completed her postdoc and PhD as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow at Harvard University with a certificate from the Leder Human Biology and Translational Medicine program, winning the commencement oration competition to deliver the commencement address in 2015, "A disruptive, innovative, scalable valuation."  Before joining the faculty at Pitt, she was based at University College London in the UK, managing the operations and £6.8 million research portfolio of the newly created National Institute for Health Research Global Health (NIHR) Research Unit on Mucosal Pathogens (MPRU), working with research partners on projects across the UK, The Gambia, Ghana, Mali, Malawi, Kenya, South Africa, and Uganda to improve the prevention of pneumonia, meningitis, and sepsis.  She was also responsible for developing the training strategy for the Unit's postdoctoral researchers and PhD students.  Wang-Erickson was formerly a Scientific Associate in Computational Biochemistry at DE Shaw Research, LLC in New York City.

Wang-Erickson’s research interests include infectious disease epidemiology, global health, bacterial genetics, vaccines and phage therapy development.  Building on her experiences internationally, in academia, and in the private sector, she is also particularly interested in leadership and organizational development to initiate and support the success of complex cross-disciplinary initiatives.

Professional and Scientific Society Memberships

  • Sigma Xi, 2006

Education & Training

  • AB, magna cum laude, Princeton University, 2016
  • PhD, Harvard University, 2015
  • Certificate in Human Biology and Translational Medicine, Harvard Medical School, 2015
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University, 2015-2017

Selected Publications

Bradley LH, Kleiner RE, Wang AF, Hecht MH, Wood DW. An intein-based genetic selection allows the construction of a high-quality library of binary patterned de novo protein sequences. Protein Eng Des Sel. 2005 Apr;18(4):201-7. doi: 10.1093/protein/gzi020. Epub 2005 Apr 22. PMID: 15849217.

Arai R, Kobayashi N, Kimura A, Sato T, Matsuo K, Wang AF, Platt JM, Bradley LH, Hecht MH. Domain-swapped dimeric structure of a stable and functional de novo four-helix bundle protein, WA20. J Phys Chem B. 2012 Jun 14;116(23):6789-97. doi: 10.1021/jp212438h. Epub 2012 Apr 10. PMID: 22397676.

Camp AH, Wang AF, Losick R. A small protein required for the switch from {sigma}F to {sigma}G during sporulation in Bacillus subtilis. J Bacteriol. 2011 Jan;193(1):116-24. doi: 10.1128/JB.00949-10. Epub 2010 Oct 29. PMID: 21037003; PMCID: PMC3019954.

Traag BA, Ramirez-Peralta A, Wang Erickson AF, Setlow P, Losick R. A novel RNA polymerase-binding protein controlling genes involved in spore germination in Bacillus subtilis. Mol Microbiol. 2013;89(1):113‐122. doi:10.1111/mmi.12262

Flanagan KA, Comber JD, Mearls E, Fenton C, Wang Erickson AF, Camp AH. A Membrane-Embedded Amino Acid Couples the SpoIIQ Channel Protein to Anti-Sigma Factor Transcriptional Repression during Bacillus subtilis Sporulation. J Bacteriol. 2016 Apr 14;198(9):1451-63. doi: 10.1128/JB.00958-15. PMID: 26929302; PMCID: PMC4836239.

Wang Erickson AF, Deighan P, Garcia CP, Weinzierl ROJ, Hochschild A, Losick R. An Amino Acid Substitution in RNA Polymerase That Inhibits the Utilization of an Alternative Sigma Factor. J Bacteriol. 2017;199(14):e00277-17. Published 2017 Jun 27. doi:10.1128/JB.00277-17

Wang Erickson AF, Deighan P, Chen S, Barrasso K, Garcia CP, Martínez-Lumbreras S, Alfano C, Krysztofinska EM, Thapaliya A, Camp AH, Isaacson RL, Hochschild A, Losick R. A novel RNA polymerase-binding protein that interacts with a sigma-factor docking site. Mol Microbiol. 2017 Aug;105(4):652-662. doi: 10.1111/mmi.13724. Epub 2017 Jun 19. PMID: 28598017; PMCID: PMC5558796.

Academic and Research Interests

  • Infectious diseases
  • Global health
  • Bacteria
  • Transcription
  • Vaccine
  • Phage therapy

Research Grants

SARS-CoV-2 Surveillance in Child Care Centers (Co-I), Merck, 2020, $422,965

Prevention and Cure of Acute Flaccid Myelitis (Co-I), RK Mellon Foundation, 2020-2023, $1,500,000

Creating University-wide infrastructure and policies to enhance career development and professional networks of Pitt employees and students through non-routine dependent care support (PI), Pitt Seed Grant, 2020-2022, $29,708

Pittsburgh Phage Project (Co-I), Pitt Momentum Teaming Grant, 2020-2021, $60,000

1UO1P001051-01, New Vaccine Surveillance Network (Co-I), CDC, 2016-2021, $2,214,285

UNS96843, All for One and One for All (former Operational Lead; currently Advisory Board member), Wellcome Trust Public Engagement Fund, 2019-2021, £156,802