Excellence Awardee 2020

Prof. Herman Goossens, Antwerp, Belgium

The ESCMID Award for Excellence in Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases is our most prestigious award. For 2020, the ESCMID Executive Committee selected Prof. Herman Goossens (University of Antwerp, Antwerpen, Belgium) as recipient of this prestigious award.

Professional biography
Prof. Herman Goossens obtained his medical degree and PhD in Biomedical Sciences both from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). He is a full professor of Medical Microbiology at the University of Antwerp in Belgium since 1992, director of the laboratory of Clinical Microbiology at the University Hospital Antwerp since 1992 and director of Laboratory Medicine of the University Hospital Antwerp since 1997. He founded the research Laboratory of Medical Microbiology at the University of Antwerp in 1994. He was part-time professor at the University of Leiden from 2000-2008 and currently holds a part-time position at the University Medical Centre Utrecht since 2017. His professional goal is to bridge the gap between basic and clinical research, with a major focus on antibiotic resistance, to enhance the standard of healthcare, public health and professional standards, for the good of the public in large. His vision is to build a sustainable infrastructure for clinical research on infectious diseases in Europe. He is a popular resource person and opinion leader, much sought after by local and international media for views on matters related to public health and infectious diseases. Prof. Goossens coordinated several large EU funded projects and is the founder of the annual European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD).

Research interests

Prof. Goossens’s current research is focused in five areas. First, the detection and genetic mechanisms involved in the emergence and evolution of antibiotic resistance and virulence in bacteria and its epidemiological and ecological bases and implications. Second, studying antimicrobial use in hospitals, the community and long-term care facilities, developing indicators of use and quality of prescribing, initially in Europe, later globally, focusing on Low and Middle Income Countries. Third, linking scientific and clinical research throughout Europe in lower respiratory tract infections, in primary health care and hospital medical practice. Fourth, better prepare Europe for emerging infectious diseases and pandemics. Fifth, building a network of more than 800 diagnostic labs in more than 40 countries in Europe to support clinical trials that investigate the utility of new antimicrobial strategies and diagnostics.

Scientific output and awards

Prof. Goossens authored more than 600 Web of Science cited papers, and his papers have been cited close to 25,000 times. He was promotor of close to thirty PhDs, authored more than 20 chapters and was invited as a speaker at more than 400 international events. He received several honors and awards, including the Solvay award in 1983, the Horlait-Dapsens award in 1987, the Vesalius award in 1987, the Goslings price of the Dutch-Flemish Society of Infectious Diseases in 1991, the “Eugène Yourassowsky” price of the Belgian Society for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases in 2001, 2002 and 2006, the Leadership Award by the American Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics (APUA) in 2006, and the medical sciences award of the Belgian Royal Academy of Medicine in 2017. In 2008 Prof. Goossens obtained the prestigious status of Methusalem top-scientist from the Flemish government.

Prof. Goossens will receive his award at ECCMID 2020 in Paris during the Excellence Award session on Monday 20 April 2020. During the ceremony, he will give his recipient lecture entitled “Transcending European clinical research in infectious diseases through collaboration to break down traditional silos”.