Leading Infectious Diseases Experts Honored at IDWeek 2018 for Outstanding Work in Patient Care, Research, Public Health and Education
Richard Whitley, MD, FIDSA, Recognized for Lifetime Achievement
SAN FRANCISCO – October 3, 2018 – Among the nine exceptional individuals being honored by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and the IDSA Foundation at IDWeek 2018 in San Francisco, Richard Whitley is the recipient of the Alexander Fleming Award for lifetime achievement. IDSA is pleased to recognize the following individuals for excellence in the field of infectious diseases:
Alexander Fleming Lifetime Achievement Award: Richard J. Whitley, MD, FIDSA
Dr. Whitley’s work over more than 40 years has spanned from fundamental drug discovery through complex clinical trials that established the safety and efficacy of new therapies for many previously untreatable viral infections including herpes simplex encephalitis, neonatal herpes, and West Nile encephalitis. He was instrumental in the development of guidelines for the emergency use of oseltamivir in infants following the 2009 H1N1 influenza outbreak, and his ongoing laboratory research focused on genetically engineered herpes viruses as oncolytic agents holds promise for patients with otherwise fatal brain tumors.
A sought-after authority on viruses, biodefense, and emerging infections, Dr. Whitley is a Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics, Vice Chair of the Department of Pediatrics, Co-Director of the Division of Pediatrics, the Loeb Eminent Scholar Chair in Pediatrics, and Professor of Microbiology, Medicine and Neurosurgery at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). He has served on major national and international committees, including the Board of Scientific Counselors at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and has authored more than 400 publications. Under his leadership, the Collaborative Antiviral Study Group, based at UAB and funded by the National Institutes of Health, has led multicenter trials of antiviral therapies for important diseases since the 1970s.
Dr. Whitley was president of IDSA from 2009 to 2010 and has been a strong supporter of the work of the Society for many years. He has served as an associate editor for The Journal of Infectious Diseases since 2004.
“Dr. Whitley’s work over more than four decades has changed the way physicians diagnose and care for children and adults with viral infections that were once untreatable. IDSA is honored to recognize him with this year’s Alexander Fleming Award for Lifetime Achievement,” said Paul Auwaerter, MD, MBA, FIDSA, President of IDSA.
Other awards presented during IDWeek 2018 include:
- The D.A. Henderson Award for Outstanding Contributions to Public Health, named after the late epidemiologist who directed the international effort to eradicate smallpox. The recipient of this honor is William Schaffner, MD, FIDSA, FSHEA of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Dr. Schaffner has advanced epidemiologic science, translated that science into national policy, and eloquently communicated these developments and other infectious diseases-related topics to the public throughout his career. He has served on the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices since 1982 and has provided a respected voice about vaccines across the U.S. Among Dr. Schaffner’s more than 300 peer-reviewed publications are several with a significant impact on public health, including the first demonstration that vaccination could eliminate measles from a state, and an investigation of infections associated with defective bronchoscopes that led to a nationwide recall. Recognized as a premier ambassador of the ID discipline and a dedicated advocate for adult immunization and evidence-based policies, he has brought a greater understanding of infectious diseases and public health to the general public.
- The Watanakunakorn Clinician Award honors the memory of Dr. Chatrchai Watanakunakorn and is given by the IDSA Foundation to an IDSA member or fellow in recognition of outstanding achievement in the clinical practice of infectious diseases. This year’s awardee is Barry J. Hartman, MD, FIDSA a private practice clinician and Clinical Professor of Medicine at Weill Medical College of Cornell. Recognized by his institution’s house staff as one of the most respected physicians, Dr. Hartman has repeatedly been named among the Best Doctors in America and in New York. Sought after for his advice on the most challenging clinical cases, he is the ID physician that many colleagues would choose as their own. The author of more than 40 peer-reviewed publications and 12 book chapters, Dr. Hartman is an esteemed clinician with an impressive record of dedicated service to patients, students, and colleagues.
- The Walter E. Stamm Mentor Award, which honors late past-president Walter E. Stamm, MD, is presented to an IDSA member or fellow who has been exceptional in guiding professional growth of infectious diseases professionals. This year’s winner is Carol A. Kauffman, MD, FIDSA, FSHEA of the University of Michigan Medical School and the Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System. Committed to equity and diversity, Dr. Kauffman has been an inspirational role model for trainees through her excellent patient care, inspirational teaching, innovative research, and participatory leadership. She has made mentoring a priority with a commitment to fostering the careers of women and encouraging them to seek and excel in leadership roles. Dr. Kauffman maintains lifelong mentoring relationships, celebrating former trainees’ successes, providing support during adversity, and serving as a valued sounding board.
- The Oswald Avery Award recognizes outstanding achievement in infectious diseases by a member or fellow of IDSA who is 45 or younger. This year’s recipient is Susanna Naggie, MD, MHS, FIDSA, of Duke University School of Medicine, whose novel research on the treatment of patients co-infected with HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) has advanced the field. Dr. Naggie’s work has laid an important foundation for understanding the disparity in HCV treatment response in co-infected African Americans. In addition to her own prolific research, she has shown a strong interest in mentoring trainees to pursue their own careers in research and academics by helping them gain important exposure to clinical trial design, operations, and leadership.
- The Society Citation Award is given in recognition of exemplary contribution to IDSA, outstanding discovery in the field of infectious diseases, or a lifetime of outstanding achievement in a given area – whether research, clinical investigation or clinical practice. This year’s Society Citation award goes to Louis D. Saravolatz, MD, FIDSA of St. John Hospital and Medical Center and Wayne State University School of Medicine. Dr. Saravolatz developed an extensive background in bacterial infections early in his career, including early outbreaks of Legionella, and was among the first to document the emergence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). He was actively involved in NIH committees that developed treatment strategies for HIV before modern antiretroviral therapy became available. Dr. Saravolatz has also made substantial contributions to IDSA through his dedicated service on multiple committees including serving more than five years on the Publications Committee during which he served as chair of the search committee for the editor-in-chief of Clinical Infectious Diseases. He also served on former IDSA committees including the Committee on Antimicrobial Usage and Clinical Trials, the Fellows-in-Training Examination Writing Committee, and the Regional Representative National Committee.
- The Clinical Teacher Award honors a career dedicated to excellence in teaching fellows, residents or medical students, and motivating them to teach the next generation. This year the award goes to:
- Frank E. Berkowitz, MD, MPH, of Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Berkowitz is highly regarded by students, residents, fellows and colleagues for his astute clinical reasoning, the clarity of his teaching, and his unparalleled physical exam skills. He has received the senior pediatric residents’ annual teaching award 12 times during his tenure at Emory. His effective teaching styles range from bedside instruction to didactic lectures, including case studies and images collected from his own experience, and even medically relevant poetry, and
- Allen R. Tunkel, MD, PhD, FIDSA, of Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School. Over three decades, Dr. Tunkel has contributed greatly to the education and training of medical students, residents, and fellows through his excellent teaching, clinical expertise, effective administrative leadership, and respected scholarship. He is passionate about physician training and mentorship and is a leader in the development of unique and innovative medical education programs. He has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications and more than 150 book chapters, including for prominent textbooks in the field. He has served multiple times on the writing committee for the American College of Physician’s Medical Knowledge Self-Assessment Program, a highly regarded resource for internal medicine residents preparing for the board certification exam.
- The Clinical Practice Innovation Award recognizes an IDSA member who devotes the majority of her or his time to patient care and who has significantly advanced the clinical practice of infectious diseases within the last five years. The 2018 honoree, Javeed Siddiqui, MD, MPH, of TeleMed2U, is a pioneer in the clinical application of telemedicine to infectious diseases. In less than a decade since co-founding a multi-specialty medical practice that is entirely telemedicine based, Dr. Siddiqui has become an authority on telemedicine and its application to the delivery of high quality ID clinical consultation, infection prevention, and antimicrobial stewardship programs. His efforts have brought expert ID services to numerous hospitals and locations with no previous clinical ID presence. His achievements have demonstrated the great potential of telemedicine at a time when the ID workforce faces challenges and the specialty’s role in stewardship and infection prevention has never been more critical.
“On behalf of IDSA, I am truly honored to recognize each of these outstanding individuals and the contributions they have made to the field of infectious diseases. Each is an innovator, a mentor, and an inspiration. Future generations of infectious diseases physicians and scientists will stand on the shoulders of these giants,” said Dr. Auwaerter.
The Society’s annual meeting, IDWeek 2018 takes place Oct. 3-7 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. To learn more, visit IDWeek.org.