Excellence Awardee 2019

 Prof. Ron Dagan, Beer-Sheva, Israel

The ESCMID Award for Excellence in Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases is our most prestigious award. For 2019, the ESCMID Executive Committee selected Prof. Ron Dagan (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel) as recipient of this prestigious award.

Professional biography
Prof. Ron Dagan obtained his MD degree in 1974 from the Hadassah Medical School of the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel. His training included internship and residency in Pediatric at the Soroka University Medical Center. In 1982, he embarked on a 3-year fellowship in pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, USA. In 1987, two years after his return to Israel, he founded the first and largest Pediatric Infectious Disease Unit in Israel, at the Department of Pediatrics, Soroka University Medical Center, Beer-Sheva, and served as Director from 1987 to June 2014, when he moved to a full-time position at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, where he was promoted to research distinguished Professor of pediatrics and infectious diseases, a position he still holds today.

Research interests

Prof. Ron Dagan’s main interest lies in pneumococcal infections and, in particular, in their prevention. His rigorous and exhaustive multifaceted studies on the impact of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs) have aimed at a large spectrum of outcomes that, in addition to immunological and clinical outcomes, also include microbiological outcomes (i.e. impact on interaction between pneumococci and other bacteria and viruses; antibiotic resistance). The large multidisciplinary prospective population-based, immunological, microbiological and laboratory studies, including bench work, have been ground-breaking and innovative and have demonstrated his leadership in this field.

His research area has not been confined to pneumococcal diseases. Among other topics for which he became renowned are clinical aspects of acute fever in young infants/neonates, validation of the PK/PD principles, application of a pioneer multidisciplinary model for bacteriological eradication in otitis media, epidemiology and prevention of hepatitis A and rotavirus diseases, the complex immunological interaction of combined and co-administered vaccine, and more.

He has published >500 original articles in leading medical journals and presented >500 original studies at major international conferences. His publications received more than 18’000 citations and his current H-index is 68.

He is a member of the editorial boards of several major medical journals.

Leadership roles

Prof. Ron Dagan has made significant contributions to many influential societies associated with his field of interest. He is the past president of several major societies including: the Israel Infectious Disease Society, European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases, World Society for Pediatric Infectious Diseases, International Symposium on Pneumococci and Pneumococcal Diseases , and was a member of the Executive Board of the International Society for Infectious Diseases. He was also a member of the Interscience Conference of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) program committee. He has been the organizer of the successful biannual ESCMID Conference on Vaccines since 2014.

Prof. Ron Dagan has played a crucial role in the implementation of multiple vaccines such as Haemophilus influenzae Typ b (Hib), hepatitis A, rotavirus and PCVs in Israel and has been appointed by the Israeli Ministry of Health to investigate the impact of hepatitis A and PCV implementation.

Prof. Dagan will receive his award at ECCMID 2019 in Amsterdam during the Excellence Award session on Saturday 13 April 2019. During the ceremony, he will give his recipient lecture entitled “PCVs: The first vaccines against normal nasopharyngeal microbiota constituents”.