Awardees 2016

The 2016 awards went to Sanne Jespersen and Timothy M. Walker for their outstanding scientific achievements.


Sanne Jespersen (Aarhus, Denmark)

Dr Sanne Jespersen graduated from Aarhus University where she received her PhD in 2015. Currently, she is doing her infectious disease training at Aarhus University Hospital and London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Motivated by her special interest in HIV, tropical diseases and global health, she has been working in various places including Lesotho, Ireland, Guinea-Bissau, and Greenland. Recently, she has been with Médecins Sans Frontières treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone.

During her PhD studies, she investigated HIV treatment in Guinea-Bissau based on data from the Bissau HIV Cohort, which is the largest single centre cohort of HIV-2 infected individuals. Sanne Jespersen has published several articles describing the specific challenges of delivering antiretroviral treatment in sub-Saharan Africa. Her work represents an important contribution to optimal HIV treatment in extreme resource-poor and politically unstable countries and applying the tools of science under difficult circumstances.

Sanne will receive her award during the ESCMID Young Investigator Awards Session at ECCMID on 11 April 2016 from 14.30 – 15.30 in Hall K. During the session, she will give her presentation: ‘The missing link in HIV treatment delivery in Africa illustrated by the Bissau HIV Cohort’

Timothy M. Walker (Oxford, United Kingdom)

Dr Timothy Walker first studied politics, philosophy and economics at Oxford before taking the unusual step of retraining in clinical medicine. After qualifying from London he obtained a specialist training position in microbiology and infectious diseases in Oxford where he subsequently took time out to pursue a DPhil within the Modernising Medical Microbiology (MMM) research group as a Medical Research Council training fellow. His current position is as an NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer at the University of Oxford where he divides his time between clinical training and further pursuing his research interests within MMM alongside a large multi-disciplinary network of investigators.

His research focuses on how whole-genome sequencing of Mycobacterium tuberculosis can better guide public health investigations into tuberculosis outbreaks, and how genomic mutations can predict phenotypic drug susceptibility. The work has influenced the government’s decision to invest in routine whole-genome sequencing for mycobacterial infections in England from 2016 onwards.

Timothy will receive his award during the ESCMID Young Investigator Awards Session at ECCMID on 11 April 2016 from 14.30 – 15.30 in Hall K. During the session, he will give his presentation: ‘How can whole-genome sequencing help eradicate tuberculosis?’

Robert P. Ryan (Dundee, United Kingdom) - Award withdrawn

In early 2016, ESCMID awarded Robert Ryan one of three ESCMID Young Investigator Awards 2016. In late 2016, the University of Dundee has made us aware of their investigation against Robert Ryan, accusing him of research misconduct and poor professional practice. Based on these allegations ESCMID decided to withdraw the award.