Beate Illek PhD

Dr. Illek received her Ph.D. from the University of Stuttgart-Hohenheim, Germany in 1992. Her graduate work included studies on the hormonal regulation of salt and fluid transport in the amphibian lung using blocker-induced current fluctuation analysis of basolateral potassium channels. Dr. Illek has developed a long-standing interest in basic cystic fibrosis research that dates back to her post-doctoral studies at the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at UC Berkeley, from 1992 to 1996 and at the Department of Cell Biology and Physiology at the University of Pittsburgh, from 1996-1997. She completed post-doctoral studies that established the function of the CFTR protein as an anion channel that is conductive for both chloride and bicarbonate and she was involved in early drug discovery projects that established the small molecule genistein as direct CFTR channel opener. In 1998 Dr. Illek helped expand the cystic fibrosis research program at the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in Oakland, CA. While at the Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute, her work provided the first proof-of-principal for the treatment of the underlying channel defect in cystic fibrosis patients with the G551D gating mutation. Her current research interests include the development of a patient-in-a-dish model for personalized ion transport measurements in cystic fibrosis patients to monitor drug responsiveness of FDA approved and investigational CF drugs. She is the author/co-author of more than 50 scientific articles. Dr. Illek has founded the Cystic Fibrosis Summer Research Program in partnership with the Elizabeth Nash Foundation and manages the program for almost ten years. She emphasizes on students who are directly or indirectly impacted by cystic fibrosis and provides one-on-one research training opportunities for the next generation of scientists.