Profession & Career

ESCMID Panorama

Awardees 2014

Michael Ramharter, Vienna, Austria

He is Associate Professor at the Medical University of Vienna, Austria, and leader of the Infectious Disease Control Group - a scientific working group co-affiliated to the Institut für Tropenmedizin, Universität Tübingen, and the Centre de Recherches Médicales de Lambaréné in the Central African country of Gabon. Early in his career he worked under the guidance of Walther H. Wernsdorfer on the preclinical development of anti-malarials in the Thai-Myanmar border region – an experience which sparked an ever-increasing interest in the clinical investigation of infectious diseases in the tropics. He shifted the focus of his work to Central Africa when he joined Professor Peter G. Kremsner’s team at the Centre de Recherches Médicales de Lambaréné at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Gabon. He has held postdoctoral positions at the Institut für Tropenmedizin, Universität Tübingen, and the Institut Pasteur, Université de la Méditerranée, Marseille, France. He currently works as a specialist in Internal Medicine and consultant in Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine at the Division of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine headed by Professor Wolfgang Graninger.


Research interests
Starting from the preclinical evaluation of antimalarial drugs, he developed a strong interest in the clinical development of antimalarial combination therapies. He has led a series of clinical trials investigating novel drugs and drug combinations for the treatment and prevention of malaria in children and pregnant women – two of the most vulnerable patient populations in sub-Saharan Africa. Besides malaria, his main research activities focus on the epidemiology and management of neglected tropical diseases including schistosomiasis and echinococcosis and other infectious diseases occurring in the tropics.

Michael Ramharter will be presented with his award during the ESCMID Young Investigator Awards Session on 13 May 2014 at 11.30-12.30 in Hall E. During the session, he will present his work: ‘Development of antimalarial drugs in Lambaréné, Gabon’.

Joost Wiersinga, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

He received his medical training at the University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands) with additional courses at the Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH, Bethesda, MD). He achieved his PhD on the topic ‘On Toll-like receptors and the innate immune response in sepsis caused by Burkholderia pseudomallei (melioidosis)’, cum laude under the guidance of Professor Tom van der Poll (University of Amsterdam) and Professor Sharon Peacock (University of Oxford); during this period he worked in Thailand at the Wellcome Trust South-East Asia Major Overseas Programme in Bangkok. Previous awards won by him are the O'Callaghan PhD award, the Andreas Bonn medallion and the GSK ICAAC award. At the moment, he divides his time between patient care at the Department of Medicine (sub-specialty Infectious Diseases), teaching and research in the Center for Experimental Molecular Medicine (CEMM) and the Center for Infection and Immunity (CINIMA), all at the Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Research Interests
He investigates innate immune responses in sepsis, with a special interest in sepsis caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Burkholderia pseudomallei and Salmonella typhi. Recent interests include the role of gut microbiota during severe bacterial infections and optimisation of antibiotic therapy for - among others - cellulitis/erysipelas. He currently steers the European Sepsis Academy grant initiative and the European Melioidosis Network. His work has been published in Nat Rev Microbiol, PLoS Pathog, PLoS Medicine, N Engl J Med and other journals.

Joost Wiersinga will be presented with his award during the ESCMID Young Investigator Awards Session on 13 May 2014 at 11.30-12.30 in Hall E. During the session, he will present his paper: ‘Gut-lung axis: the intestinal microbiota in pneumonia’.