Villanova University has named world-renowned epidemiologist and “microbe hunter” W. Ian Lipkin, MD, as the recipient of its 2014 Mendel Medal, in recognition of his groundbreaking work in the development of genetic methods for microbial surveillance and discovery, as well as his research into infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, SARS, and West Nile Virus.
Named “the world’s most celebrated virus hunter” by Discover Magazine, Professor Lipkin’s scientific contributions include the first use of genetic methods to identify an infectious agent, discovery of the implication of West Nile virus as the cause of encephalitis in North America in 1999, invention of MassTag PCR and the first panmicrobial microarray, first use of deep sequencing in pathogen discovery, and molecular characterization of more than 500 viruses. In 2003, at the height of the SARS outbreak, Professor Lipkin traveled to China at the invitation of the World Health Organization, the Chinese Minister of Science and Technology and the Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Science to co-direct research efforts and train Chinese microbiologists how to test for the virus. More recently, he was the sole external investigator invited by the Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia to assist in identifying reservoirs and vectors for transmission of the MERS coronavirus.
First awarded in 1929, Villanova’s Mendel Medal is given to outstanding contemporary scientists in recognition of their scientific accomplishments. The medal honors 19th century Augustinian friar and scientist Gregor Johann Mendel, Abbot of the Augustinian Monastery, Brünn, Austria, (now Brno, the Czech Republic), best known as “the father of modern genetics,” for his discovery of the celebrated laws of heredity that bear his name. Previous medalists have been Nobel Laureates, Lasker and MacArthur awardees, and recipients of the National Medal of Science.
Professor Lipkin will deliver the 2014 Mendel Medal Lecture “Of Microbes and Man: A Delicate Balance” at 2:00 p.m. on October 31 in the Villanova Room of the Connelly Center. The event is free and open to the public.
To learn more about epidemiology, consult the sources below, selected by Robin Bowles, liaison librarian for science, biology, and nursing.
Our epidemiology journals:
A selection of the best introductory epidemiology books from our collection:
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