IDSA and the IDSA Education and Research Foundation offer awards to individuals to honor outstanding achievements in the field of infectious diseases. Learn about the 2014 winners below. It's never too early to begin thinking about nominations for next year. The deadline for nominations is April 1, 2015.|
Alexander Fleming Award
The Alexander Fleming Award is granted in recognition of a career that reflects major contributions to the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge about infectious diseases.
Martin J. Blaser, MD, FIDSA, is a world renowned researcher and clinician who has greatly advanced the medical field’s knowledge of Helicobacter pylori and its role in human health and disease. His groundbreaking scientific work on the organism helped untangle its complex molecular behavior, illuminating its ability to not only harm, but also possibly benefit, human health. The conceptual framework he developed for how H. pylori interacts with humans—a dynamic equilibrium that allows bacterial persistence at low cost to the host—has become a general model for understanding the persistence of other co-adapted microbes. His work has led to exciting new research—by Dr. Blaser, a wide group of collaborators, and other investigators—on H. pylori and other indigenous microbiota, exploring the dynamic relationships between the human microbiome and health. A scientist of unusual breadth and a past president of IDSA, Dr. Blaser has conducted research over more than 30 years spanning topics including Legionnaires’ disease, Campylobacter infections, Guillain-Barré syndrome, salmonellosis, plague, and anthrax, among others.
Oswald Avery Award
The Oswald Avery Award recognizes outstanding achievements in an area of infectious diseases by an individual member or fellow of IDSA who is 45 or younger.
Sara E. Cosgrove, MD, MS, FIDSA, FSHEA, an international leader in antimicrobial stewardship, has helped advance the stewardship field and improve patient care. Dr. Cosgrove’s early work with collaborators investigating Staphylococcus aureus infections led to widely cited articles that have helped set the standard of care and increased the urgency for prevention of these infections. Her publication demonstrating the nephrotoxicity of low-dose gentamicin for the treatment of S. aureus bacteremia received the Emanuel Wolinsky Award for the most outstanding study in Clinical Infectious Diseases in 2009. Her contributions have moved the field of antimicrobial stewardship forward in a unique way by examining not only the impact of stewardship but also how these programs can be implemented to achieve lasting, evidence-based prescribing. Dr. Cosgrove’s 2012 study of the impact of antimicrobial stewardship across five academic medical centers was the first multi-center study of its kind and is a model for other researchers.
Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH, FIDSA, has had a significant impact on national and global policies for HIV screening and treatment. Her research has changed HIV policy, ultimately extending resources to individuals most in need. Her 2005 study of widespread HIV testing demonstrated that routine screening in the general U.S. population was both cost-effective and clinically justified. Her 2006 paper in The Journal of Infectious Diseases was the first to clearly demonstrate the extraordinary survival benefit of combination antiretroviral therapy (ART), and was critical to expanding treatment resources in the U.S. In South Africa, her analysis showing a clear benefit from starting ART earlier than previously recommended led, in part, to a change in international HIV treatment guidelines in resource-limited settings. The comprehensive modeling tool that Dr. Walensky and her colleagues have developed is now used to study the impact and costs of HIV interventions globally. Her research has also underscored the importance of maintaining and expanding U.S. investments in HIV research and care.
The Walter E. Stamm Mentor Award
Named to honor the memory of Walter E. Stamm, MD, FIDSA, a past president of IDSA, this award was created to recognize individuals who have served as exemplary mentors and is presented to an IDSA member or fellow who has been exceptional in guiding professional growth of infectious diseases professionals.
G. Ralph Corey, MD, FIDSA, has guided the professional growth of countless ID physicians. At Duke University, he created innovative training programs in clinical epidemiology and global health, providing transformational experiences that have influenced many career paths. Now in his fourth decade of training physicians, he continues to teach and mentor housestaff, in addition to his ongoing work in research, clinical care, and global health. One of the traits that characterizes Dr. Corey is his tendency to take a back seat in order to give his junior colleagues recognition. He has more than 230 peer-reviewed publications, and in more than 150 of them, one of his mentees was a first or last author. In his role at the International Collaboration on Endocarditis, Dr. Corey has ensured that all of the participating investigators—especially younger ones—are recognized for their work. His mentees cite Dr. Corey as one of the most valuable and inspiring mentors in their careers. Many continue to rely on his guidance and good humor, and consider him a role model for their own mentoring activities.
The Society Citation is a discretionary award given in recognition of exemplary contribution to IDSA, an outstanding discovery in the field of infectious diseases, or a lifetime of outstanding achievement in a given area—either in research, clinical investigation, or clinical practice.
David L. Thomas, MD, MPH, FIDSA, was honored for his effective leadership and substantial contributions to the rapidly evolving field of viral hepatitis. He has played a key role in IDSA’s ongoing effort with the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) and the International Antiviral Society-USA (IAS-USA) to develop new guidance for the treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. This guidance is being updated in real time at HCVguidelines.org to keep pace with improved diagnostic tools and new drug options. In addition, under his leadership, IDSA’s Hepatitis Task Force has developed a broad range of educational activities, including webinars, a Maintenance of Certification module, an online core curriculum, and sessions for IDWeek. The Task Force also helped advocate for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force to strengthen its recommendation that all Americans born between 1945 and 1965 be screened for hepatitis C. Dr. Thomas’s energy, focus, and determination have been critical to the success of IDSA’s efforts on hepatitis.
Clinical Teacher Award
The Clinical Teacher Award honors a career involved in teaching clinical infectious diseases to fellows, residents, or medical students and recognizes excellence as a clinician and motivation to teach the next generation.
Nesli Basgoz, MD, FIDSA, has inspired countless trainees—and her fellow faculty—with her expertise, clinical acumen, and unmatched commitment to her patients. Her gift for teaching has been recognized with multiple teaching awards. Colleagues and former patients praise Dr. Basgoz’s unmatched bedside manner and willingness to go above and beyond to meet the needs of patients. At Massachusetts General Hospital, she has worked with colleagues to develop a continuity of care initiative, guidelines on “How to Be a Subspecialty Fellow,” an outpatient parenteral antibiotic therapy (OPAT) program, and a comprehensive, multidisciplinary HIV program. Throughout her career, Dr. Basgoz has been a consummate clinician and educator whose immense dedication, talent, and commitment to excellence have inspired all who have known her.
Watanakunakorn Clinician AwardEliot W. Godofsky, MD, is a leading expert in the management and treatment of patients with HCV infection. He is well known for his strong commitment to patients and his efforts to advance clinical care through research. In the 1990s, recognizing there were no viral hepatitis experts in western Florida to whom he and others in his community could send their patients, Dr. Godofsky became the local expert and provided an invaluable service to countless patients. He pioneered hepatitis care a decade before interest in integrating this care into ID practice became more common. Today, he is an active member of IDSA’s Hepatitis Task Force and a contributor to the joint IDSA-AASLD project that issues timely new clinical guidance on the treatment of HCV to help clinicians keep pace with newly approved, direct-acting antiviral medications. He has participated as a principal investigator in nearly 100 Food and Drug Administration-sponsored clinical trials focusing on HIV and HCV, which have helped provide better and safer treatments for patients.
Named to honor the memory of Dr. Chatrchai Watanakunakorn, this award is given annually by the IDSA Education and Research Foundation to an IDSA member or fellow in recognition of outstanding achievement in the clinical practice of infectious diseases.
The 2014 awards were presented during IDWeek in Philadelphia. More information about the Society Awards, including how to submit nominations for 2015, is available on the IDSA website.
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