ESCMID announces winners of 2015 excellence awards in microbiology

Excellence awards pay tribute to ground-breaking work in hospital epidemiology, respiratory tract infections, antimicrobial therapy for ICU patients and the treatment of emerging gastrointestinal pathogens

Bonten (centre) received his award at the 25th ECCMID in Copenhagen from Gunnar Kahlmeter, ESCMID Past President, and Murat Akova, ESCMID President

The European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease (ESCMID) has announced the winners of its 2015 excellence awards. The exceptional contributions to scientific research made by four scientists working in the field of clinical microbiology were recognised at the 25th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) held recently in Copenhagen.

Marc Bonten, who runs the Medical Microbiology department at UMC Utrecht and leads the Infectious Disease Epidemiology Research Group at the Julius Center of Health Sciences and Primary Care, received the ESCMID Award for Excellence in Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases 2015. This award recognises and rewards an outstanding lifetime contribution in the areas of science, education or professional affairs in clinical microbiology and/or infectious diseases.

The Young Investigator Award acknowledges excellence in research, and stimulates further research of the highest scientific level. Due to the large number of excellent applications this year, ESCMID found it especially difficult to select a single winner and decided to choose three recipients for 2015: Carolina Garcia-Vidal (Hospitalet de Llobregat, Spain); Jason Roberts (Brisbane, Australia); and Roy Sleator (Cork, Ireland).

All four presented papers at this year’s exhibition and conference.

Bonten is being recognised by ESCMID for his ground-breaking work in the field of hospital epidemiology and ICU infections, in which he has published nearly 400 articles in top refereed journals. He co-ordinates several very large projects within the Framework Programmes of the European Commission, and is currently leading one of the largest public-private partnership programmes in the world to support the development of new drugs against resistant bacteria (the New Drugs for Bad Bugs, ND4BB, Programme).

His recipient’s lecture was entitled: ‘The modern ICU: are antibiotics used to save the patients or to soothe the minds of the doctors?’.

Garcia-Vidal’s work is proving invaluable in the fields of respiratory tract infections, especially in immunocompromised hosts. Roberts has developed large networks of researchers throughout the world, enabling him to deliver seminal studies of antimicrobial therapy in ICU patients, while Sleator’s work on the characterisation and treatment of new and emerging gastrointestinal pathogens has made a significant impact in this field.

'In making these Awards, and the grants that go with them, ESCMID is demonstrating its continuing, strong commitment to supporting clinical research,' said Annelies Zinkernagel, chairperson of the ESCMID Scientific Affairs subcommittee. 'We will also be supporting 14 other individuals through ESCMID Research Grants, plus a generous allocation of funds for ECCMID travel grants.'

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