Over twenty-five years of progressive work experience in Africa, Professor Umberto D’Alessandro (MD, MSc, PhD) was awarded the prestigious “Charles C. Shepard Science Award”, at the 64th Annual American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH). The meeting took place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA on October 25 to 29 2015. The award was presented for The RTS,S (a scientific name given to this malaria vaccine candidate and represents its composition) Clinical Trials Partnership, awarded for the best manuscript on original research published by CDC scientists in a reputable, peer-reviewed journal.
Professor D’Alessandro received the award as he was part of the publication’s writing team for the RTS,S Clinical Trial Partnership, with a group of investigators. The investigators were involved in the clinical development of the RTS,S malaria vaccine, more specifically the phase 3 trial carried out in children and young infants in 11 African sites. Some of the trial results were published in 2014 in PLoS Medicine, and partners continue to work on next steps for RTS,S along the pathway to possible implementation.
“I am glad that the publication on the malaria vaccine trial has been given such a prestigious award. I am proud to have been able to contribute to this achievement,” said Professor Umberto D’Alessandro.
About Professor Umberto D’Alessandro
Professor D’Alessandro was appointed as the MRC Unit, the Gambia’s Unit Director in January 2014. He started, first as a clinician in Benin, Kenya and later as a clinical epidemiologist in The Gambia. Professor D’Alessandro has been involved in malaria research since 1990 when he carried out “the evaluation of the Gambian National programme on insecticide-treated bed nets” study. He joined the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium in 1996, became a professor in 1999 and in 2010, he headed the Epidemiology Unit. In 2011, he joined the MRC Unit The Gambia as Theme leader of Disease Control and Elimination.
Charles C. Shepard Science Awards ceremony http://www.cdc.gov/od/science/aboutus/shepard/Winners/index.html