October 1, 2007


Congratulations to the 2007 Society Award Recipients


IDSA and the Education and Research Foundation offer awards to individuals to honor outstanding achievements in the field of infectious diseases and HIV/AIDS.  Award recipients are pioneers in the study of newly emerging emerging diseases, inspiring and supportive teachers and those who paved the way for life-saving vaccines.  The awards were presented during ceremonies at the 45th Annual meeting of IDSA in San Diego.

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.

Sherwood Gorbach, MD, FIDSA
Sherwood Gorbach, MD

Sherwood L. Gorbach, MD, FIDSA, a pioneering researcher, educator, mentor, and editor who has shaped the discipline of infectious diseases for more than 40 years, is the recipient of IDSA’s 2007 Alexander Fleming Award for Lifetime Achievement. Previously known as the Bristol Award and first bestowed in 1964, 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. Dr. Gorbach currently holds professorships in the Departments of Community Health, Medicine, and Molecular Biology and Microbiology at Tufts University School of Medicine. He also serves as professor in the university’ School of Nutrition Science and Policy.

Described as a remarkable physician whose ongoing contributions to the field of infectious diseases have been deep, diverse, and profound, Dr. Gorbach began his celebrated career upon graduating from Tufts University School of Medicine in 1962. After completing his internal medicine residency at Cornell-Bellevue Medical Center, he returned to the Tufts-New England Medical Center for a fellowship in infectious diseases and a stint as chief medical resident. Heading across the Pond for additional postgraduate work, Dr. Gorbach trained in parasitology and entomology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and in gastroenterology at the Hammersmith Royal Postgraduate Medical School in London. Back stateside, he held several prestigious academic and hospital appointments in Chicago and Los Angeles before returning “home” to the faculty of Tufts University School of Medicine, where he has made a celebrated impression for the past 32 years.

A testament to his exceptional research skills, Dr. Gorbach has been continuously funded as a principal investigator by the National Institutes of Health for research in infectious diseases and nutrition since 1969. Prominent among his many contributions was the seminal demonstration—through a series of meticulous studies carried out under difficult conditions in Calcutta in the 1960s—that enterotoxigenic E. coli was a major cause of life-threatening diarrheal disease in both adults and children, especially in the developing world. Following this pioneering work, he demonstrated that enterotoxigenic E. coli was also the cause of infantile diarrhea in Chicago—the first time the organism had been linked to severe pediatric diarrheal disease in the industrialized world.

Dr. Gorbach’s revered status as an investigator is matched by his passion and skill as a disseminator of scientific knowledge. Beloved by his students at Tufts University School of Medicine, he has received the Citation for Excellence in Teaching on 12 occasions and has twice been honored with the Special Faculty Recognition Award, which is bestowed on the single outstanding faculty member as judged by the graduating class. As a mentor, he has influenced the careers of many leading figures in the infectious diseases field. And lastly, as the editor of Clinical Infectious Diseases since 1999, Dr. Gorbach has been credited with using his scientifically sound and exceptionally user-friendly editorial style to garner increasing national and international respect for a publication that many now consider the most prestigious and competitive infectious diseases journal in the world.

Despite a career overflowing with laurels, Dr. Gorbach shows no sign of resting on any. He is presently the principal investigator on no fewer than five NIH research projects, and he continues to teach, mentor, publish, edit, and contribute daily to the infectious diseases field he helped define over the past four decades. As one prominent colleague noted, “He did it all, and he still does.” For his lifetime of achievements and the many still to come, IDSA is proud to honor Dr. Gorbach with the 2007 Alexander Fleming Award. 

Oswald Avery Award

The Oswald Avery Award recognizes outstanding achievement in an area of infectious diseases by an indvidual member or fellow of IDSA who is 45 or younger.

Pablo C. Okhuysen, MD, FIDSA
Pablo C. Okhuysen, MD

Pablo C. Okhuysen, MD, FIDSA, a nationally and internationally recognized expert in experimental models and the clinical manifestations, immunopathogenesis, and therapy of enteric infectious diseases, is the recipient of IDSA’s 2007 Oswald Avery Award for Early Achievement. Previously known as the Squibb Award, this honor has been granted since 1968 in recognition of outstanding achievement in an area of infectious diseases by an individual member or fellow of IDSA who is 45 years of age or younger. Dr. Okhuysen is professor of medicine at the University of Texas Medical School and School of Public Health at Houston, as well as clinical professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.

Holding dual citizenship in the United States and Mexico, Dr. Okhuysen is a 1988 graduate of the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara Medical School. He completed his internship in internal medicine at the Cook County Hospital in Chicago and his internal medicine residency at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. He remained at the latter institution for a fellowship in infectious diseases and joined the faculty upon its completion. Over the next decade, he progressed at an accelerated pace to the level of full professor of medicine—and has become one of the most respected academicians in Houston.

Described as enormously productive and successful in his research, Dr. Okhuysen has quickly become a recognized authority in cryptosporidiosis, volunteer studies with parasitic and bacterial pathogens, and enteric bacterial and parasitic immunity and pathogenesis and host genetics. He directs the clinical and volunteer aspects of the University of Texas research program dealing with the infectivity of Cryptosporidium, through which he has established the low infectious dose of Cryptosporidium infections and provided entirely new information on strain differences in both infectious dose and immune responses. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency used data from these studies to develop nationwide safe drinking water regulations implemented in 2006. Dr. Okhuysen also is a leader in researching genetic polymorphisms that predispose to gastrointestinal infection, having created a large cohort (more than 1900 participants) of US travelers to Mexico from whom he has collected DNA and conducted groundbreaking investigations into the causes of travelers’ diarrhea.  

A natural leader and mentor, Dr. Okhuysen serves as program director for the combined M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and University of Texas infectious diseases fellowship program. In addition, he is co-director of the University of Texas NIH Center for Translational Science Award (CTSA), one of 12 recently funded “roadmap” programs nationwide. At the CTSA, he leads studies of HIV, AIDS, and cryptosporidiosis, as well as mentored training programs in both the hospital facility and in Hispanic communities in the lower Rio Grande Valley in South Texas. His career to date has produced some 70 peer-reviewed publications, as well as numerous awards for excellence in teaching, research, and clinical care. IDSA is pleased to add the 2007 Oswald Avery Award to Dr. Okhuysen’s rapidly growing list of accomplishments.

Mentor Award

IDSA’s Mentor 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 the professional growth of infectious diseases professionals. Recipients are chosen based on their proven availability to provide counsel, assistance, and encouragement; their willingness to make serving as a mentor a priority; their ability to assist in solving problems and overcoming obstacles impeding career development; and important role model characteristics, such as integrity and compassion. This year IDSA is pleased to present Mentor Awards to two worthy recipients.

Stanley Falkow, PhD, FIDSA
Stanley Falkow, PhD

Stanley Falkow, PhD, FIDSA, is the Robert W. and Vivian K. Cahill professor of microbiology and immunology and medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Widely regarded as the foremost bacteriologist in the United States for more than a generation, his discoveries and contributions to the field of microbiology have been enormous. He is recognized throughout the world for his observations related to molecular mechanisms of bacterial pathogenesis. But he is also recognized by his colleagues and trainees as the supreme example of a mentor: an inspiring, selfless, empathetic, and brilliant counselor.

Dr. Falkow earned his PhD from Brown University in 1961. He began his career as a microbiologist at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in the Department of Bacterial Immunology. He subsequently held academic positions at Georgetown University Medical School and the University of Washington Medical School before arriving at Stanford in 1981. He pioneered infectious disease research through his recognition of the role of plasmids in the development of antibiotic resistance and by originating the field of molecular pathogenesis. His most renowned discoveries include the identity of Bartonella henselae and T. whippelli and virulence pathways in Salmonella, E. coli, plague, and Helicobacter.

Beyond these storied accomplishments, Dr. Falkow has served as a highly regarded mentor for generations of microbiologists and infectious diseases physicians, many of whom have continued his successes in the study of microbial pathogenesis. Those who have trained with him say he instills a genuine love for science and the spirit of scientific inquiry into every one of his trainees—as well as all of those around him. He also embodies humility and generosity, happily giving away pieces of his research focus every time a trainee leaves his lab to set off on his or her own. Dr. Falkow has received numerous awards and honors (including others from IDSA) in recognition of his lifetime of accomplishments, but today the society is pleased to honor this inspiring and selfless advisor with a 2007 Mentor Award.

Neal H. Steigbigel, MD, FIDSA
Neal Steigbigel, MD

Neal H. Steigbigel, MD, FIDSA, is professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology at the New York School of Medicine. Before accepting his current position in 2002, he spent more than 30 years as director of the infectious diseases fellowship training program at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center, as well as founder and head of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Montefiore Medical Center. Colleagues describe Dr. Steigbigel as a tireless, enthusiastic teacher who has guided and profoundly influenced a “who’s who” list of infectious diseases specialists over the past four decades.

A 1960 cum laude graduate of Harvard Medical School, Dr. Steigbigel completed his residency and infectious diseases fellowship at the Harvard Medical Unit of Boston City Hospital. He also served for two years in the U. S. Public Health Service, working as a clinical associate in the Medicine Branch and Laboratory of Chemical Pharmacology at the National Cancer Institute. After briefly serving on the faculty at Harvard, he was recruited to develop the first formal infectious diseases division and ID fellowship training program at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. According to his colleagues, Dr. Steigbigel developed a training framework that was uniquely successful and largely derived from his intellectual rigor, organizational skills, and ability to interact and gain the cooperation of a highly talented but frequently disparate group of faculty members.

A flair for navigating institutional politics and fostering faculty cooperation wasn’t his only skill. Those who worked and trained with Dr. Steigbigel describe him as a peerless teacher and scholar in clinical infectious disease. His understanding of the fundamental science that relates to clinical infectious disease and his up-to-the-minute knowledge of new discoveries made him a superb role model for his fellows—nearly 180 of whom benefited from his tutelage during his time at Albert Einstein. Past trainees note that his unique teaching style, which often assumed a story-telling format, made even the most mundane and dry subjects memorable and exciting. Moreover, he took an active interest in each and every fellow’s career, provided each with wise counsel, and wrote letters of recommendation on their behalf years and sometimes decades after they moved on. For having inspired generations of infectious diseases specialists with his devotion, intellect, and integrity, IDSA is proud to honor Dr. Steigbigel with a 2007 Mentor Award.

Society Citation

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.  This year IDSA is pleased to present Society Citations to two worthy recipients.

Gary Wormser, MD, FIDSA
Gary Wormser, MD

Gary P. Wormser, MD, FIDSA, a bold champion for rational, evidence-based medicine, is the recipient of IDSA’s 2007 Society Citation. First awarded in 1977, 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 research, clinical investigation, or clinical practice. Dr. Wormser is receiving the 2007 Society Citation for his dedication and exemplary service to IDSA—often in the face of harsh criticism—as chair of the society’s expert panel that recently updated IDSA’s clinical practice guidelines on Lyme disease.

Dr. Wormser received his medical degree from the Johns Hopkins Medical School in 1972. He completed his internal medicine residency at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York and remained at the institution for an infectious diseases fellowship. He currently is professor of medicine and pharmacology at New York Medical College, where he also serves as vice chair of the Department of Medicine, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, and director and founder of the infectious diseases fellowship program.

A pioneering AIDS researcher during the early years of the epidemic, Dr. Wormser turned his attention to tick-borne pathogens in the 1990s, including Lyme disease, human granulocytic anaplasmosis, and babesiosis. He founded the Lyme Disease Diagnostic Center at the Westchester County Medical Center, allowing patients with tick bite-related rashes to receive rapid diagnosis and treatment. Under Dr. Wormser’s leadership, the New York Medical College ID Division became widely known for groundbreaking and well-designed studies of the treatment and prevention of Lyme disease. IDSA tapped him to head the original Lyme disease guidelines development panel in 2000, and called upon his unparalleled experience and leadership skills for the 2006 update.

That’s when things got interesting. IDSA and the panel members were faced with numerous and repeated criticisms from advocacy groups who took issue with the treatment recommendations, particularly the guidelines’ lack of support for the unfounded and potentially dangerous practice of long-term antibiotic treatment. Dr. Wormser took the lead in responding to these criticisms, including addressing dozens of media inquiries and working with IDSA staff to respond to a legal inquiry about the guideline development process from the Connecticut attorney general. Even more troubling, his institution was the site of a protest rally that included mean-spirited verbal attacks on Dr. Wormser personally. But through it all, he and his panel colleagues stood firm and continued to champion a science-based approach. For his perseverance, steadfast advocacy, and service far above and beyond the call, IDSA is proud to honor Dr. Wormser with a 2007 Society Citation.

Eduardo H. Gotuzzo, MD, FIDSA
Eduardo H. Gotuzzo, MD

Eduardo Gotuzzo, MD, FIDSA, a tireless and enthusiastic infectious diseases scholar, clinician, and teacher, is a recipient of IDSA’s 2007 Society Citation. First awarded in 1977, 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 research, clinical investigation, or clinical practice. Dr. Gotuzzo is receiving the 2007 Society Citation in recognition of his extraordinary career and his numerous contributions to the field of infectious diseases.

Dr. Gotuzzo received his medical degree from the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia in Lima, Peru, in 1973. He remained at the institution to complete his internal medicine residency and infectious diseases fellowship. Currently he is Director  of Tropical Medicine Institute “Alexander von Humboldt”-Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia and Head of Department of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine - Hospital Cayetano Heredia, Lima, and the Director of the Gorgas Course in Clinical Tropical Medicine.   He now serves as principal professor in the university’s Department of Medicine and holds associate faculty positions at Johns Hopkins, University of Miami and the University of Alabama, Birmingham.

Well known to infectious diseases clinicians and investigators around the globe, Dr. Gotuzzo is regarded as Latin America’s premier infectious diseases and tropical medicine expert. His early work with typhoid fever established him as a world authority on typhoid diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. In the early 1990s, when a cholera pandemic hit Peru after a century of absence in Latin America, Dr. Gotuzzo was deeply involved in the response and quickly became known as an international expert in clinical aspects and treatment of cholera. During the last years, Dr. Gotuzzo is also involved, as part of his great interest in investigations, on Emerging and Re-emerging diseases in Latin America: HTLV-I, free-living amebas and MDR-TB.  His reputation as a teacher also is legendary: He has served for many years as the director of the renowned Gorgas Course in Clinical Tropical Medicine, which annually trains dozens of infectious diseases specialists from around the world.

With nearly 300 articles and more than 40 book chapters to his credit, Dr. Gotuzzo has contributed prodigiously to the infectious diseases literature on a broad range of topics. His dedication to the specialty is also obvious from his track record of service. Most notably, he serves as a member of the prestigious Forum on Microbial Threat of the Institute of Medicine. Within IDSA, he has devoted his time and talents to the Society’s International Affairs Committee and the Annual Meeting Program Committee. For his many years of devotion to infectious diseases and the numerous contributions he has made to the field, IDSA is honored to present Dr. Gotuzzo with a 2007 Society Citation.

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.

Daniel Musher, MD, FIDSA
Daniel Musher, MD

Daniel M. Musher, MD, FIDSA, described as the “ultimate educator” with a unique combination of intellect, infectious curiosity, healthy skepticism, honesty, and humility, is the recipient of IDSA’s 2007 Clinical Teacher Award. This 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. Recipients must exhibit exemplary teaching skills, implementation of innovative educational programs, outstanding bedside and patient communication skills and the ability to convey these skills to others, and evidence of teaching awards at the local or regional level.

Dr. Musher received his medical degree in 1963 from the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. He interned and completed his first year of residency at Bellevue Hospital in New York. He finished residency at Tufts-New England Medical Center Hospitals in Boston and remained there for a fellowship in infectious diseases. He joined the faculty of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston in 1971, beginning a remarkable teaching career that has continued at Baylor to the present day. Dr. Musher is currently a professor of medicine and of microbiology and molecular virology at Baylor College of Medicine. He also serves as chief of the infectious diseases section at Houston’s VA Medical Center—a position he has held for 36 years as well.

Lauded for his energy, enthusiasm, and dedication to teaching, Dr. Musher’s accomplishments encompass all levels of learners at Baylor College of Medicine. As the director of the infectious diseases curriculum for second-year medical students, he has received the class’s Outstanding Teacher Basic Sciences Award eight times. Similarly, he has earned the admiration of medical students on clinical rotations, receiving the Graduating Class Outstanding Faculty Member Award five times. Residents appreciate his leadership, humility, and high standards of excellence—and awarded him their Excellence in Teaching Award six years in a row. With all those trophies competing for space on his mantle, Dr. Musher’s name was “retired” into Baylor’s Hall of Fame for Excellence in Teaching in 2003, finally allowing grateful colleagues a shot at the prizes he had unintentionally monopolized for so many years.

Although his teaching acumen is legendary at Baylor, Dr. Musher’s natural ability to impart knowledge benefits the broader infectious community as well. Each week, he participates in the City-Wide Infectious Disease Conference, offering insightful and useful thoughts about clinical cases. The popular conference attracts 50 to 100 health care professionals, due in part to Dr. Musher’s gifted approach and style, which colleagues describe as captivating to all who fall under his influence. For his substantial impact on the education of generations of infectious disease physicians, IDSA is honored to present Dr. Musher with the 2007 Clinical Teacher Award.

Watanakunakorn Award

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.

Timothy Kuberski, MD, FIDSA
Timothy Kuberski, MD

Timothy T. Kuberski, MD, FIDSA, a strong and compassionate advocate for patient care, community education, and clinical research, is the recipient of IDSA’s 2007 Watanakunakorn Clinician Award. 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 recipient must be in clinical practice, spend at least 75 percent of his or her time in direct patient care, and exhibit excellence in clinical care, clinical research, patient or community education, compassion, patient advocacy, and service to a national or state infectious diseases society.

A 1969 graduate of the University of Missouri School of Medicine, Dr. Kuberski completed his internship at Los Angeles County Hospital and his residency in internal medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He served as a research associate in the U.S. Public Health Service’s Pacific Research Section for two years before completing an infectious diseases fellowship at the UCLA School of Medicine. Since 1981, he has been in private practice in Phoenix, where he also serves as attending staff physician at four local hospitals and has a teaching appointment in infectious diseases at the only medical school in Phoenix, Midwestern Osteopathic University.

Dr. Kuberski’s outstanding abilities as a clinician were recognized early in his career: He received the Upjohn Award as the best clinician of his medical school class. The accolades continue to the present day, with Phoenix Magazine including him on its list of the best clinicians in Phoenix for the past five years. Moreover, Dr. Kuberski is credited with pioneering the specialty of infectious diseases in the Phoenix area—a city where no ID specialist had been on staff at any hospital prior to his arrival. He is an originating member of the Arizona Infectious Diseases Society, has served as the organization’s president for the past six years, and has worked in conjunction with IDSA on a variety of local and national issues. He also has organized numerous well-attended conferences for physicians in his community, thus influencing patient care well beyond his own practice.

Despite his considerable clinical responsibilities, Dr. Kuberski has strong research interests and has added meaningful information to the literature. He has published clinically oriented papers in coccidioidomycosis, mucormycosis, plague, dengue, and eosinophilic meningitis, among others. His numerous achievements and longtime devotion to the clinical practice of infectious diseases make Dr. Kuberski an ideal recipient of IDSA’s 2007 Watanakunakorn Clinician Award.

< Previous Article | Next Article >

Thinking Outside the Box
ART, Circumcision, STI Treatment as HIV Prevention
Global Surveillance, Vaccine Use Key to Controlling Seasonal Influenza
Bad Bugs on the Run
IDSA Advocacy Update
HIV PrEP: Should We or Shouldn’t We?
Keep Up with Drug Approvals, Recalls, Adverse Events
Lyme Disease: When Symptoms Don’t Improve
Alternative Approaches, Possible Vaccines Against MRSA Infections
New Hope for Viral Suppression in All HIV Patients
Resistant Staph: Use One Drug or a Combination?
Congratulations to the 2007 Society Award Recipients
Winners of the 2007 IDSA/SHEA Advancements in MRSA Awards
Congratulations to This Year’s 50 Outstanding Scholars!
IDSA Announces New Board Members
Welcome, New IDSA Members!
Electronic Tools for Infectious Diseases Practitioners
From the President
Public Reporting of HAIs May Have Unintended Consequences
Treatment Options for C. difficile
XDR TB: Where it Came From, Where We’re Going
Search Back Issues
Forward this Issue
Print-Friendly Version

© Copyright IDSA 2008 Infectious Diseases Society of America 1300 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 300 Arlington, VA 22209 info@idsociety.org

Home Page Education & Training Resources Practice Guidelines Journals & Publications Policy & Advocacy Meetings About IDSA