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Alexander Fleming Award Winners

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The Alexander Fleming Award for lifetime achievement is granted to an IDSA member or fellow in recognition of a career that reflects major contributions to the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge about infectious diseases.

2021 Winner: David Relman, MD, FIDSA

David Relman, MD, FIDSA, a pioneer in the study of the human microbiome, is the recipient of IDSA’s 2021 Alexander Fleming Award for Lifetime Achievement. This award recognizes a career that reflects major contributions to the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge about infectious diseases.

A trailblazing researcher, Dr. Relman developed the first cultivation-independent, molecular approach to identify previously uncharacterized microbes in humans. Using this strategy, he characterized bacterial diversity in the mouth and gut, provided evidence of individuality in the microbiome, and demonstrated loss of diversity and loss of recovery after brief courses of antibiotics. His innovative research has creatively explored the human microbiota, including the diversity between pathogens and commensals and their roles in human health and disease. His work has inspired a revolution in ID molecular diagnostics.

Dr. Relman is the Thomas C. and Joan M. Merigan Professor of Medicine, Microbiology and immunology, and a senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University, where he joined the faculty in the early 1990s. He is also chief of infectious diseases at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System in Palo Alto, California.

A clear voice for ethics, transparency and the public good in the scientific enterprise, Dr. Relman has led many important national committees on microbial pathogens, genetics, bioterrorism and gastroenterological diseases. He has contributed to national policy discussions in multiple areas including gain-of-function research and, most recently, the search for the origins of the SARS-CoV2 virus. A past president of IDSA, he has served on the editorial boards of 14 journals and has received many awards and honors for his scientific contributions.

Dr. Relman’s work has inspired a new field of discovery and transformed the way we think about the maintenance and restoration of health. The society is proud to honor this true pioneer in the field with the 2021 Alexander Fleming Award for Lifetime Achievement.


Past Alexander Fleming Award Winners

2020 James D. Cherry, MD, MSc, FIDSA
2019 Michael Scheld, MD, FIDSA
2018 Richard J. Whitley, MD, FIDSA
2017 Barbara E. Murray, MD, FIDSA
2016 Carol J. Baker, MD, FIDSA, FSHEA, FPIDS
P. Frederick Sparling, MD, FIDSA
2015 Anne Gershon, MD, FPIDS, FIDSA
2014 Martin J. Blaser, MD, FIDSA
2013 King K. Holmes, MD, FIDSA
2012     Martin S. Hirsch, MD, FIDSA
2011 Barton F. Haynes, MD, FIDSA
2010 Herbert L. DuPont, MD, FIDSA
2009 Arnold S. Monto, MD, FIDSA 
2008       Robert C. Moellering, Jr., MD, FIDSA 
2007 Sherwood L. Gorbach, MD, FIDSA
2006 Merle A. Sande, MD, FIDSA
2005 John G. Bartlett, MD
2004 Stanley A. Plotkin, MD
2003 Bennett Lorber, MD
2002 Gerald T. Keusch, MD
2001 William A. Craig, MD
2000 Gerald L. Mandell, MD
1999 Anthony S. Fauci, MD
1998 Vincent Andriole, MD
1997 Andre J. Nahmias, MD
1996 Jack S. Remington, MD
1995 Jerome Klein, MD
1994 Paul Quie, MD
1993 Seymour Klebanoff, MD
1992 Sheldon Wolff, MD
1991 Theodore Woodward, MD, MACP
1990 George McCracken, Jr., MD
1989 Willy Burgdorfer, PhD, MD
1988 Samuel Katz, MD
1987 Sydney Finegold, MD
1986 Robert Austrian, MD
1985 Elisha Atkins, MD
1984 Morton Swartz, MD
1983 Wesley Spink, MD
1982 Edward Kass, MD, PhD, MS
1981 Jay Sanford, MD
1980 Thomas Weller, MD, MS
1979 Gordon Meikeljohn, MS
1978 Louis Weinstein, MD, PhD
1977 William Kirby, MD
1976 Saul Krugman, MD
1975 Harry Dowling, MD
1974 Lawrence Sherwood, MD
1973 Charles Rammelkamp, MD
1972 Paul Beeson, MD
1971 Colin MacLeod, MD
1970 K. F. Meyer, PhD, DVM
1969 Thomas Francis, MD
1968 John Dingle, MD
1967 Chester Keefer, MD
1966 Maxwell Finland, MD
1965 W. Barry Wood, MD
1964 Ellard Yow, MD



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