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Fogarty Director Wins Prestigious Infectious Disease Award

May - June, 2008  |  Volume 7, Issue 3

Fogarty Director Dr. Roger Glass receiving the Dr. Charles Merieux Award
Fogarty Director Dr. Roger Glass, receiving the Dr. Charles Merieux Award, was cited for his work on rotavirus vaccines in developing nations and is the first winner to have known Merieux personally.

Fogarty International Center Director Dr. Roger Glass was recently honored by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases with its prestigious Dr. Charles Merieux Award for his work on rotavirus vaccines in the developing world.

He is the first award winner to have known personally the late Dr. Merieux, a French virologist whose father worked under Louis Pasteur and who built a small lab into one of the world's leading vaccine manufacturers, sanofi pasteur.

The award was presented May 5 at the foundation's annual conference, the world's largest scientific meeting on vaccine research and technology for disease prevention and treatment. The prize goes each year to "an individual who demonstrates a commitment to science-based medicine and research in infectious diseases shows excellence in clinical and research activities and has an unsurpassed dedication to improving public health."

Dr. Glass was cited for his efforts to prevent rotavirus disease among infants and toddlers, more than half a million of whom will die each year in the developing world from the effects of the diarrhea and dehydration it causes. More than 55,000 American children are hospitalized with it each year.

"To receive an award named for one of the international giants of medicine is humbling, and I accept it on behalf of all those selfless researchers working around the world to put the knowledge they have derived into practice," says Dr. Glass. "As Dr. Merieux believed, it is not enough to discover treatments--they have to be delivered and administered to the right people in the right place at the right time. It's what we support at Fogarty, and I hope honors like this inspire a new generation of scientists."

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