Awardees 2009

Florence Fenollar born 1969 in Marseille, France; MD, PhD, Associate Professor, French National Reference Center for Rickettsioses, WHO Collaborative Center, in recognition of her outstanding achievements in the field of Tropheryma whipplei and Whipple’s disease with the aim of understanding both the bacterium and the disease but also for her involvement in the improvement of molecular tools for the diagnosis of infectious diseases.

Research Interests
Florence Fenollar is currently working in the team of Didier Raoult in Marseille, France. Tropheryma whipplei, the Whipple’s disease agent, was cultivated for the first time in 2000 by this team. Since 2000, Florence Fenollar is responsible for the diagnosis of the disease in this laboratory. She has also managed or actively participated in most of the existing studies about this topic. Her research on T. whipplei and Whipple’s disease is diverse, including fundamental aspects about the bacterium, epidemiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment.

Florence Fenollar is also involved in the improvement of molecular diagnosis of infectious diseases and has not only developed molecular tools for the diagnosis of osteoarticular infections and bacterial vaginosis but has also conducted studies to better characterize acute and chronic Q fever. Finally, she has also contributed to the description of several rickettioses due, for example, to Rickettsia africae and Rickettsia slovaca.

Evangelos J. Giamarellos-Bourboulis born 1971 in Athens, Greece; MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the University of Athens, Medical School, Greece, in recognition of his outstanding achievements in immunomodulatory therapy of Gram-negative sepsis with clarithromycin.

Research Interests
Evangelos Giamarellos-Bourboulis’s main research interests are immunopathogenesis and treatment of sepsis and the application of biomarkers in diagnosis and follow-up of sepsis. He earned his PhD in February 1998 with the thesis title, ‘The in vitro activity of polyunsaturated fatty acids on Gram-negative bacteria’, and since then he established two novel animal models of Gram-negative infections; one of bacteraemia and another of pyelonephritis. He built on them to demonstrate the successful role of intravenously administered clarithromycin for the immunomodulation of sepsis by multidrug-resistant bacteria. Based on his findings, he conducted a randomized clinical trial with the intravenous administration of clarithromycin in patients with nosocomial sepsis due to ventilator-associated pneumonia. Results revealed earlier resolution of pneumonia, earlier de-intubation and reduction of risk of death due to septic shock and multiple organ dysfunction.