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UM SOM Vaccine Researcher Receives Top Award in the Study of Infectious Diseases

May 15, 2017 | David Kohn

Myron M. Levine, MD, DTPH

Internationally Renowned Vaccine Scientist Recognized for His Groundbreaking Vaccine Work on a Wide Range of Infectious Diseases

Myron M. Levine, MD, DTPH, the Simon and Bessie Grollman Distinguished Professor and Associate Dean for Global Health, Vaccinology and Infectious Disease at UM SOM, has been awarded the Maxwell Finland Award for Scientific Achievement by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID). The award honors his extensive accomplishments in public health; over his career, he has identified solutions to major sources of disease in the developing world, including cholera, typhoid, and Shigella dysentery. The award will be presented on Thursday, May 18, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Bethesda in Bethesda, Md. 

“Over his illustrious career, Prof. Levine has saved countless lives through his work on infectious diseases, particularly cholera, typhoid, and Shigella dysentery,” said Kathleen Neuzil, MD, MPH, FIDSA, professor of medicine at UM SOM, director of CVD, and deputy director of the Institute for Global Health (IGH). “He is a tireless champion for access to vaccines around the globe.”

Prof. Levine founded the Center for Vaccine Development (CVD) at UM SOM in 1974, and served as its director through 2014. During those 40 years under Prof. Levine’s leadership, the CVD has conducted a wide range of research relating to the development of vaccines for a variety of diseases, including cholera, typhoid, invasive non-typhoid Salmonella disease, dysentery caused by Shigella, diarrhea caused by toxin producing Escherichia coli and malaria. CVD has also developed new delivery systems, as well as improvements in public health and public policy relating to vaccines. Most recently, Prof. Levine led CVD’s involvement in a World Health Organization consortium to test an Ebola vaccine.

Prof. Levine is clinically trained in pediatrics and pediatric infectious diseases and is also trained in tropical public health and epidemiology. He received post-graduate laboratory training in microbiology and immunology of bacterial infections.

Prof. Levine served as a World Health Organization consultant to the Smallpox Eradication Program in Bangladesh in 1975 where he was District Coordinator for Rajshahi District. From 2000 to 2002, he was a member of the first Working Group of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (now called the GAVI Alliance), and was co-chair of its Task Force on Research and Development.

He has published 634 peer-reviewed journal articles, is an inventor or co-inventor on many issued patents, and is senior editor of New Generation Vaccines, a textbook of research vaccinology. A member of the National Academy of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, he is the recipient of the Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal Award for lifetime achievement in the area of vaccine development and implementation. He has also received the Merck-Hilleman Award, the American Society for Microbiology’s premier award for major contributions to pathogenesis, vaccine discovery, vaccine development, and control of vaccine preventable diseases and the American College of Physicians Award for Outstanding Work in Science as Related to Medicine. He has also received the Donald Mackay Medal of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in recognition of outstanding research on tropical health.

NFID is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public and healthcare professionals about the causes, prevention, and treatment of infectious diseases across the lifespan. The award is named for Maxwell Finland, MD, a pioneer in the field of infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance and a former member of the NFID Board of Directors. It is presented annually by NFID to honor scientists who have made outstanding contributions to the understanding of infectious diseases and public health.
“Prof. Levine richly deserves this important honor,” said Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, who is also the vice president for Medical Affairs, University of Maryland, and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and Dean of the School of Medicine. “His decades of diligent work have yielded numerous innovations, and have had an enormous impact on vaccine development, saving many thousands of lives around the globe.”

About the University of Maryland School of Medicine

Commemorating its 210th Anniversary, the University of Maryland School of Medicine was chartered in 1807 and is the first public medical school in the United States and continues today as an innovative leader in accelerating innovation and discovery in medicine. The School of Medicine is the founding school of the University of Maryland and is an integral part of the 11-campus University System of Maryland. Located on the University of Maryland’s Baltimore campus, the School of Medicine works closely with the University of Maryland Medical Center and Medical System to provide a research-intensive, academic and clinically based education. With 43 academic departments, centers and institutes and a faculty of more than 3,000 physicians and research scientists plus more than $400 million in extramural funding, the School is regarded as one of the leading biomedical research institutions in the U.S. with top-tier faculty and programs in cancer, brain science, surgery and transplantation, trauma and emergency medicine, vaccine development and human genomics, among other centers of excellence. The School is not only concerned with the health of the citizens of Maryland and the nation, but also has a global presence, with research and treatment facilities in more than 35 countries around the world.

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About the Center for Vaccine Development

Since its inception in 1974, the CVD has worked to eliminate vaccine-preventable diseases. The CVD has created and tested vaccines against cholera, typhoid fever, paratyphoid fever, non-typhoidal salmonella disease, shigellosis (bacillary dysentery), Escherichia coli diarrhea, nosocomial pathogens, tularemia, influenza, and other infectious diseases. The faculty and global staff includes molecular biologists, microbiologists, immunologists, internists, pediatricians, epidemiologists, malariologists, and biostatisticians. Click Here to learn more about CVD.

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• Center for Vaccine Development


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