Skip to nav Skip to content

Oswald Avery Award

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Email

The Oswald Avery Award for Early Achievement recognizes outstanding achievement in an area of infectious diseases by an individual member or fellow of IDSA who is 45 or younger (on December 31 of the year preceding the IDWeek at which the award is given). The award is based on overall achievement, not usually a single study.


Nominees for the Oswald Avery Award for Early Achievement must be 45 or younger. Please take a moment to review the nomination application and ensure that an NIH biosketch is available to upload as a part of the nominations package.

2019 Winner: Nasia Safdar, MD, MS, PhD, FIDSA, FSHEA

Nasia Safdar.jpgNasia Safdar, MD, MS, PhD, FIDSA, FSHEA, an internationally recognized leader in healthcare-associated infection prevention research, is the recipient of IDSA’s 2019 Oswald Avery Award for Early Achievement. This honor recognizes members or fellows of IDSA age 45 or younger who have demonstrated outstanding achievements in an area of infectious diseases.

Dr. Safdar uses multidisciplinary approaches, including human factors ergonomics, mathematical modeling, clinical trials, implementation science, and bench-based microbiome research to tackle C. difficile infection prevention comprehensively. Her transformative and innovative work has changed the paradigm for effective C. difficile prevention in many healthcare systems and has been incorporated into national guidelines. An avid believer that research must be applied in real-world settings to have an impact on patient outcomes, Dr. Safdar has created a network of healthcare facilities that participate in the active adoption, evaluation, and dissemination of research findings. Her contributions to implementation science have resulted in greater adoption of evidence-based practices for infection prevention, narrowing the gap between evidence generation and practice.

A leading authority on systems engineering approaches to infection prevention, Dr. Safdar has received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers—the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on outstanding scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers—and a National Institutes of Health Director’s New Innovator Award, given to highly creative investigators. A frequently cited and prolific author whose work includes approximately 300 peer-reviewed articles and other publications, Dr. Safdar is a professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases and vice chair for research in the Department of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, and also serves as hospital epidemiologist at University of Wisconsin Health. In addition, she is the associate chief of staff for research at the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital and remains an active clinician.

An invited speaker to multiple national and international scientific meetings who has presented widely, Dr. Safdar is a past chair and vice chair of the SHEA Research Committee and currently serves as chair of the committee updating IDSA’s catheter-related bloodstream infection management guideline. She received her medical degree from Aga Khan University Medical College in Pakistan and completed residency training, followed by fellowships in infectious diseases and women’s health, at the University of Wisconsin, where she also earned an MS degree in population health sciences and a PhD in clinical research.

In recognition of her strong leadership as a physician-scientist in healthcare-associated infection prevention research, specifically in the area of C. difficile infection, and in bridging the gap between research and clinical practice, IDSA is delighted to honor Dr. Safdar with the 2019 Oswald Avery Award for Early Achievement.

Past Oswald Avery Award Winners

2018 Susanna Naggie, MD, MHS, FIDSA
2017 William J. Steinbach, MD
2016 Susan S. Huang, MD, MPH, FIDSA, FSHEA
2015 Eric R. Houpt, MD, FIDSA
2014 Sarah E. Cosgrove, MD, MS, FIDSA, FSHEA and Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH, FIDSA
2013 Cesar A. Arias, MD, MSc, PhD, FIDSA
2012 Dan A. Barouch, MD, PhD
2011 Umesh Parashar, MBBS, MPH
2010 Eleftherios Mylonakis, MD, PhD, FIDSA 
2009 Jean-Laurent Casanova, MD, PHD
2008 Vance G. Fowler, Jr., MD, MHS 
2007 Pablo C. Okhuysen, MD, FIDSA
2006 Cynthia G. Whitney, MD, MPH
2005 James E. Crowe, MD
2004 B. Brett Finlay, PhD
2003 Joseph Heitman, MD, PhD
2002 Matthew K. Waldor, MD, PhD
2001 David A. Relman, MD
2000 Michael S. Donnenberg, MD
1999 William A. Petri, Jr., MD, PhD
1998 Joseph W. St. Geme, III, MD
1997 Samuel I. Miller, MD
1996 David D. Ho, MD
1995 Michael Osterholm, PhD, MPH
1994 Mark Klempner, MD
1993 Claire Broome, MD
1992 Martin Blaser, MD
1991 Marcus Horwitz, M.D.
1990 Jerrold Ellner, MD
1989 Henry Murray, MD
1988 Walter Stamm, MD
1987 John Gallin, MD
1986 Charles Dinarello, MD
1985 Dennis Kasper, MD
1984 Adel Mahmoud, MD, PhD
1983 Anthony Fauci, MD
1982 George Miller, PhD
1981 Gerald Keusch, MD
1980 Robert Purcell, MD
1979 Stanley Falkow, PhD
1978 King Holmes, MD, PhD
1977 Lowell Glasgow, MD, MS
1976 Sheldon Wolff, MD
1975 Kenneth Warren, MD
1974 Malcolm Artenstein, MD and Emil Gotschilch, MD
1973 Frank Austen, MD
1972 Zanvil Cohn, MD
1971 Jonathan Uhr, MD
1970 Hans Mueller-Eberhard, MD, DMSc
1969 Robert Chancock, MD
1968 Robert Good, MD, PhD



This website uses cookies

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Cookies facilitate the functioning of this site including a member login and personalized experience. Cookies are also used to generate analytics to improve this site as well as enable social media functionality.