ESCMID Lifetime Achievements Award

Evelina Tacconelli


Evelina Tacconelli is the Director of the Infectious Diseases Section at Verona University Hospital, Italy, and serves as the Senior Consultant on Antimicrobial Resistance at the Department of Internal Medicine, DZIF Clinical Research Unit at the University of Tübingen, Germany.  Former ESCMID Guideline Officer, she is the Chair of the European Committee for Infection Control (EUCIC) and since 2023 the Chief Scientific Officer of ECRAID, the largest European clinical research network on research in the field of infectious diseases.


Prof. Tacconelli coordinated with WHO the 2017 Priority Pathogen List for new, effective antibiotics for R&D and served as consultant for WHO and ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control) in the field of antimicrobial stewardship and infection control. She currently coordinates the CTS OPERA Working Group on optimising antibiotics’ prescriptions for AIFA, the Italian Medicine Agency. She is the chief author of several ESCMID guidance documents for management of antibiotic-resistant infections.  She coordinates the Cohort Coordination Board, linking major European projects with a cohort design assessing infectious diseases with pandemic potential.  Her teams participated and coordinated several European projects and networks focused on clinical and epidemiological aspects of antimicrobial resistant infections and SARS-CoV-2 infection as the ORCHESTRA project. Major research achievements are summarized in more than 300 peer-reviewed publication.  


Young Investigator Awards

Nathan Brendish

Nathan Brendish is a NIHR Clinical Lecturer and Specialist Registrar in Infectious Diseases and General Internal Medicine in Southampton, UK. He studied medicine at University College London, graduating with distinction in 2010. He completed his PhD with his “Molecular point-of-care testing for respiratory viruses” thesis at the University of Southampton in late 2019, just in time for the pandemic. He is committed to improving patient outcomes through research into innovative diagnostic approaches. Nathan`s research focuses on molecular point-of-care testing for respiratory viruses and other infections in hospitalised adults.


Nathan has spearheaded four landmark trials within Professor Tristan Clark’s group in Southampton. These have shown that molecular point-of-care testing has multiple benefits, including improved detection of respiratory virus infection, improved antiviral use for influenza, improved use of isolation facilities, and decreased length of hospital stay. 


Award lecture title: Getting to the point of point-of-care testing. (27 April 2024, 11:00-12:00, Hall B)


Pieter de Cock

Pieter de Cock is a clinical pharmacologist and antibiotic stewardship pharmacist, an assistant professor with a strong interest in improving antibiotic treatment outcomes for special patient populations. Although we live in the era of precision medicine, especially children and geriatric patients with serious comorbidity remain therapeutic orphans. His translational research aims to understand the impact and interplay of growth, development, ageing and pathophysiological changes on antibiotic pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, while his clinical research focuses on implementing model-informed dosing precision tools for anti-infectives.


Pieter started his research pathway ten years ago and has worked as a clinician-scientist throughout. During his early research career, a major achievement was his work on augmented renal clearance of antibiotics in critically ill children, leading to a substantial risk of underdosing. Several newly developed dosing regimens were cited in premium paediatric drug formularies. Pieter supervises eleven higher degree students and acts as principal investigator on >ten academic observational and interventional antibiotic trials. He has been awarded over 3 million EUR in grants over the past few years for his studies. 


Award lecture title: Antibiotic disposition in children: are we under or overdosing our most vulnerable patient population (27 April 2024, 11:00-12:00, Hall B)


Henning Grüll

Henning Grüll is a physician/scientist integrating basic and translational research with clinical work in infectious diseases. While studying medicine at the University of Münster, he joined Michel Nussenzweig’s lab at Rockefeller University to work on HIV-neutralising antibodies. Upon completing medical school, he trained in Internal Medicine at the Division of Infectious Diseases of the University Hospital Cologne. Subsequently, Henning joined the Institute of Virology in Cologne, where he completed his residency in clinical microbiology and virology, currently acts as an attending physician, and conducts research as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Florian Klein.


Henning’s research focuses on the humoral immune response to infection and vaccination. In the laboratory, he aims to decipher the interactions between pathogens and antibodies to develop effective antibody-based antiviral strategies. To translate his findings, Henning designs and conducts early-phase clinical trials of antibodies targeting viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 and HIV-1. 


Award lecture title: Antibody-mediated treatment and prevention of viral infections  (27 April 2024, 11:00-12:00, Hall B)


Rasmus Leistner

Rasmus Leistner is an infectious diseases specialist working as a clinician in the Department of Gastroenterology, Infectious Diseases and Rheumatology at Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany. He is also board-certified in hospital epidemiology and heads a research group for infectious diseases epidemiology at the Institute of Hygiene and Environmental Medicine at Charité and a cross-departmental interdisciplinary research group. His research focuses on the epidemiology, treatment and prevention of infections caused by multi-resistant pathogens and nosocomial infections. He focuses on skin and soft tissue infections caused by Panton-Valentine Leukocidin (PVL)-producing Staphylococcus aureus


Rasmus believes that infectious diseases in clinical medicine and research should be networked nationally and internationally through practicable standardisation of clinical data. He sees the future of clinical epidemiology in AI-supported research, combining and analysing microbiological and clinical data to improve infection prevention, diagnosis and treatment with a minimum time delay. 


Award lecture title: Use cases of artificial intelligence in clinical epidemiology in infectious diseases (27 April 2024, 11:00-12:00, Hall B)


Emerging Young investigator Award

Ira Praharaj

Ira Praharaj is a public health microbiologist and virologist at the Indian Council of Medical Research, with experience in capacity building for the detection and characterisation of emerging and re-emerging pathogens currently working on the genomic epidemiology of SARS CoV2, Influenza virus, Respiratory Syncytial virus (RSV) and arboviruses such as Dengue virus. She leads a public health virology laboratory involved in vaccine-preventable disease surveillance, including Measles, Rubella laboratory surveillance and Diphtheria Pertussis surveillance. Ira`s research interests include the genomic epidemiology of respiratory viruses and arboviruses such as Dengue virus. She also works on the human gut microbiome and its role in health, disease, and transmission of antimicrobial resistance in Indian settings.


Award lecture title: Genomic Surveillance of Viruses of Public Health Importance in Low and Middle-income Settings: Opportunities and Challenges (27 April 2024, 11:00-12:00, Hall B)


ESCMID TAE Outstanding Trainee Award

The TAE Outstanding Trainee Award is intended to recognise and reward multi-skilled trainees with extracurricular activities in teaching, networking and collaboration for trainees in Clinical Microbiology (CM) and Infectious Diseases (ID).


Akshatha Ravindra

Jodhpur, India


Dr. Akshatha Ravindra is an ID resident at AIIMS Jodhpur, India with a strong background in Clinical Microbiology from JIPMER. She excels in managing diverse infectious diseases, including MDROs, HIV, fungal infections and TB. Her educational contributions are highlighted by her YouTube channel 'Learn with Dr Akshatha', where she demystifies antibiotics and infectious diseases. A respected speaker at national conferences, she extends her expertise through active Twitter engagement, promoting infectious disease education. Her contribution in research is evident in form of impactful chapters in “Essentials of Antimicrobial Stewardship” and peer-reviewed articles.


She has represented her institute at various national level ID quizzes & bought laurels to the institute. She is a recipient of “Young Researcher Award” in 2020. She has completed her observership in transplant infectious diseases in CHUV, Switzerland. She has also pursued advanced training in phage therapy in Belgium and India. Her vision is to utilize her expertise to make meaningful contributions to the advancement of medical research, teaching, and patient care.


Marija Kusulja

Zagreb, Croatia


Marija Kusulja is an infectious diseases trainee in University Hospital for Infectious Diseases in Zagreb, Croatia. Her personal education spans from attendance of various postgraduate courses and observerships accross Europe to a PhD degree from School of Medicine, University of Zagreb. Besides clinical work, she participates in various educational, scientific, training and networking activities, as the president of Trainee Association of the Croatian Society for Infectious Diseases, an associate teacher in Zagreb School of medicine, a member of the Editorial Board of Croatian Journal of Infection and a local board member of Croatian Medical Union.


In her spare time, Marija periodically employs her medical skills as a Civil Protection volunteer and at sporting events. She hopes to keep learning and improving as a clinician, as well as maintain her enthusiasm in various endeavors in order to positively impact her patients, colleagues and students.