Research and Awards Committee

Current Committee Members:

Chair: Martin Grobusch, The Netherlands

Martin GrobuschProfessor Martin Peter Grobusch (MD, PhD, MSc, DTM&H, FRCP) obtained his medical degree from Bonn University, Germany, and completed his specializations in internal medicine, infectious diseases and tropical medicine in the UK and in Berlin, Germany. Following a period of full-time tropical diseases research at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Tübingen, Germany, and the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné, Gabon, he was appointed Full Professor (Chair) of Infectious Diseases at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa in 2005. In 2010, he took up the position as Professor (Chair) of Tropical Medicine and Travel Medicine and Head of the Center of Tropical Medicine and Travel Medicine at the Academic Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam. He is Visiting Professor at the University of Tübingen, Germany, Adjunct Member and Professor at the Institute of Infectious Diseases and Molecular Medicine at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and Director of the newly-founded Masanga Medical Research Center in Masanga, Sierra Leone. MPG’s main research interests are malaria, HIV/tuberculosis and co-infections, viral haemorrhagic fevers, travel medicine and general infectious diseases topics as they arise from clinical practice. In addition to the home base in Amsterdam, he heads clinical research groups based in Lambaréné/Gabon, Cape Town/South Africa and Masanga/Sierra Leone. Up to date, he has published over 400 papers in peer-reviewed journals (h-index: 46) and contributes to several journals in editorial functions as well as in various functions to several infectious diseases related societies (MPG is ESCMID Fellow).

Co-Chair: Mary Wilson, United States of America

Mary WilsonMary E. Wilson, M.D., Adjunct Professor of Global Health and Population, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Clinical Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco. Academic interests include the role of travel and trade in emerging infections and antibiotic resistance. She is Vice-Chair of the Forum on Microbial Threats at the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. She is the author of A World Guide to Infections: Diseases, Distribution, Diagnosis (Oxford University Press, 1991); senior editor, with Richard Levins and Andrew Spielman, of Disease in Evolution: Global Changes and Emergence of Infectious Diseases (NY Academy of Sciences, 1994); and editor of New and Emerging Infectious Diseases (Medical Clinics of North America). She serves as an advisor to the GeoSentinel Surveillance Network and is associate editor for NEJM Journal Watch Infectious Diseases.

Elizabeth Barnett, United States of America

Elizabeth BarnettElizabeth Barnett is a pediatrician with a specialty in infectious diseases working in an urban hospital with a large international population. Her career focus has been in general pediatric infectious diseases, travel and topical medicine, immigrant medicine, vaccines and vaccine safety, and antimicrobial therapy and resistance. With colleagues in the adult infectious diseases group, she founded the Travel Clinic at Boston Medical Center in the early 1990s and the Refugee Health Assessment Program a few years later. Her research interests have included travel medicine - through the Boston Area Travel Medicine Network (BATMN), a collaboration of 5 travel clinics in the Greater Boston Area – immigrant medicine, and vaccines, including participation in clinical trials of Japanese Encephalitis vaccine in children and oral cholera vaccine. Dr. Barnett has been Site Director for the Boston GeoSentinel site since the 1990s, contributing over 7000 records. Current academic and administrative activities include being the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program Director, a member of the BUSM Promotions Committee, and a member of the Leadership Group of GeoSentinel. Dr. Barnett has also been active in ISTM for over 20 years, including participation in the Migrant Interest Group, former Director/Co-Director of the ISTM Review Course, member and former Co-Chair of the Research Committee, and member of the Executive Board of ISTM (starting 2017).

Jose Flores, Mexico

Bio Coming.

Katherine Gibney, Australia

Katherine GibneyBio coming.

Stefan Hagmann, United States of America

Stefan HagmannBio coming.

David Hamer, United States of America

David HamerDavid Hamer obtained a BA from Amherst College (majors in biology and French) and a MD degree from the University of Vermont College of Medicine. After an internal medicine residency at the Washington Hospital Center, he completed specialty training in infectious diseases in the Department of Geographic Medicine and Infectious Diseases at Tufts Medical Center. He is a Professor of Global Health and Medicine at the Boston University Schools of Public Health and Medicine and an Adjunct Professor of Nutrition, Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.

Dr. Hamer spent nearly four years serving as the Director of Research and Evaluation at the Zambia Center for Applied Health Research and Development in Lusaka, Zambia conducting community- and hospital-based research on maternal, newborn, and child health. Since June 2014, he has been the Principal Investigator of the ISTM GeoSentinel project. Dr. Hamer currently serves as the Director of the Travel Clinic and is a member of the Section of Infectious Diseases at Boston Medical Center. He is a board-certified specialist in infectious diseases, with a particular interest in tropical infectious diseases. He has 25 years of field research experience in malaria, pneumonia, micronutrients, HIV/AIDS, and diarrheal diseases. During the last two decades, he has supervised and provided technical support to numerous studies in resource-limited countries that have evaluated interventions for improving neonatal survival and maternal health, treatment and prevention of malaria, micronutrient deficiencies, diarrheal disease, and pneumonia. He is currently participating in studies on maternal, newborn, and child health in South Africa and Zambia in addition to leading GeoSentinel. Dr. Hamer has published over 275 peer-reviewed publications, reviews, chapters, and editorials as well as 4 books.

Emily Jentes, United States of America

Bio Coming.

Eyal Leshem, Israel

Bio Coming.

Sarah McGuinness, Australia

Sarah McGuinnessDr. Sarah McGuinness is a specialist in infectious diseases (FRACP). Her clinical interests include travel and tropical medicine. She leads a hospital-based travel medicine clinic at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne that provides care for patients with complex medical needs including solid organ and bone marrow transplant recipients and patients living with HIV. In addition to her medical qualifications, Sarah holds a Certificate in Travel Health (ISTM) and a Master of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

When not in the clinic, Sarah keeps herself busy with research and teaching at Monash University. Her research interests include travel medicine, public health and infectious disease epidemiology, and she is currently enrolled in a PhD under the supervision of Professor Karin Leder.

Eskild Petersen, Australia

Eskild PetersenDr. Eskild Petersen graduated from Aarhus Medical School, Denmark in 1978 and obtained his specialist degree in infectious diseases in 1985 and tropical medicine 1988.

After spending two years in Liberia on a malaria research programme by the University of Stockholm sponsored by the WHO TDR rogram, he worked from 1999 to 2003 at the National Public Health Institute in Copenhagen as head of the Laboratory for Parasitology, which included the WHO International Collaborating Center for Research and Reference on Toxoplasmosis and the Malaria Reference Laboratory. He was head of the Institute’s travel clinic from 1995 to 2000 and participated in developing national guidelines for vaccinations and malaria prophylaxis to travellers.

After moving back into clinical infectious diseases in 2003 his research interests has included infectious endocarditis, infections in implants, therapeutic drug monitoring and malaria. He has been teaching tropical medicine at medical school, participated in clinical supervision and organized ESCMID postgradute courses on emerging infections and migrant health.

In 2015 Eskild Petersen took up a position as senior consultant, infectious diseases at the Royal Hospital, Sultanate of Oman, continuing as adjungated Professor of Tropical Medicine at the Institute for Clinical Medicine, University of Aarhus, Denmark.

His is co-charing the ESCMID Emerging Infections Task Force, is a ProMED moderator since 1999, and is the Editor-in-Chief for the International Journal of Infectious Diseases, the official journal of the ISID, since 2012.

Kyle Petersen

Kyle PetersenDr. Kyle Petersen, an Infectious Disease specialist, is a proud veteran of 24 years of service in the US Navy. Dr. Petersen received his Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and his medical degree from Des Moines University-College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Petersen is board certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, the Infectious Disease Society of America and is certified in Travel health by the International Society of Travel Medicine.

Dr. Petersen did Internal Medicine internship at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, VA, followed by training at the Naval Undersea Medicine Institute. His first tour of duty was in Undersea & Emergency Medicine at Naval Hospital Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico where he was the physician for Naval Special Warfare Unit 4, Navy Explosive Ordinance Disposal Mobile Unit 2 and Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 2 Detachment Caribbean. He provided 24-hour emergency treatment for military and civilian divers in the island’s only hyperbaric treatment facility and also deployed with Seal Delivery Vehicle Team 2 becoming a certified submarine medical officer.

Dr. Petersen completed Internal Medicine Residency followed by Infectious Diseases Fellowship at the Naval Medical Center, San Diego, CA. His research efforts included studying HIV medication adherence and travellers' diarrhea in Thailand. He was assigned to National Naval Medical Center Bethesda, MD where his duties included infection control chairman, head of travel medicine and pharmacy and therapeutics committee member. During the war he cared for complex polytrauma patients suffering from infections with antibiotic resistant pathogens like Acinetobacter baumanii and deployed on the hospital ship COMFORT during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

An experienced biomedical researcher, Dr. Petersen was a principal investigator in the Department of Undersea Medicine at Naval Medical Research Center, Silver Spring MD, where he also founded and managed the Department of Defense’s wound infection program. Dr. Petersen was then both Executive and Commanding Officer of U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit No. 6, Lima, Peru a 300 employee lab for tropical medicine research and epidemiology. He is an Associate Professor of medicine at Uniformed Services University.

Dr. Petersen is author of numerous articles in the area of infectious diseases. He has multiple military decorations including the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal with gold star, several teaching awards, and has previously been featured in the LA Times, Forbes Magazine, the Washington Post, and was named one of the 32 top travel medicine providers by Condé Nast Traveler.

Mark Riddle, United States of America

Bio Coming.

Mirella Salvatore, United States of America

Dr. Mirella Salvatore is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University and an Attending Physician, New York-Presbyterian Hospital Cornell campus. She obtained her M.D. from the Catholic University in Rome, Italy. She completed her Internal Medicine residency and her fellowship training in Infectious Disease at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. At Mount Sinai she also completed a postdoctoral fellowship training studying influenza virus.

Dr. Salvatore is also an active physician scientist. Her NIH funded research focuses on developing novel platforms for influenza vaccines. She is also interested in the study of influenza virus in the immunocompromised host, both in human and animal models, with the goal to understand pathogenesis and improve clinical therapy. Her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals, including Journal of Clinical Microbiology, Vaccine, PLoS One, Human Gene Therapy, Journal of Virology, Journal of Hepatology, Journal of Infectious Diseases, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science among others. She is a member of the International Society for Influenza and other Respiratory Virus Diseases (ISIRV), International Society for Travel Medicine (ISTM) and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA).
 

Dawd Siraj, United States of America

Dawd SiragProfessor Dawd S. Siraj, (MD, MPH&TM, FIDSA, CTropMed) received his medical degree from Jimma University Ethiopia and did his Internal Medicine training from St. Barnabas Hospital NY. He received his certificate in Infectious Diseases and Masters of Public Health and Tropical Medicine from Tulane University. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases. Following his training, he joined East Carolina University as Director of the International Travel Clinic and Infectious Diseases Consultant. He was program director for Infectious Diseases fellowship training. In 2016, he moved to the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Wisconsin Madison. Currently, he is a Professor of Medicine, Infectious Diseases Consultant, Director of the International Travel Clinic, Associate Program Director of the Infectious Diseases Fellowship Training and Director of the Internal Medicine Global Health Pathway. He has extensive experience in HIV/AIDS care in resource limited settings. He regularly travels to Ethiopia with medical students and residents to lead a tropical medicine elective.

Dawd serves in a number of committees including the Global Health committee of Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and In-training exam writing committee of IDSA. He has published extensively and contributed to book chapters. He has served as a reviewer for several journals. For his contribution to HIV training and service he received certificate of appreciation from the President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Currently he is the recipient of the Centennial Scholarship award at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. .

Haibo Wang, China

Haibo WangDr. Haibo Wang is currently the Deputy Director, at the State Key Laboratory of Emerging Infectious Disease Detection (SKLEIDD Zhuhai), Zhuhai International Travel Healthcare Center. He received his Bachelors of Science from Wuhan University in Wuhan, Hubei, China. He also holds a PhD (Wuhan University) and PostDoc (Hongkong University.)

Adrienne Willcox, United Kingdom

PhD; MA (Ed); BSc(Hons); RN; Registered nurse teacher; Lic.Ac; Fellow HEA; MFTM RCPS (Glasgow).

Adrienne Willcox’s work for A Talent 4 Health Ltd combines educational, authoring, consultancy and clinical practice. She is also a director of Health Team Ltd, researching and developing a clinical decision-making tool for the safe selection of travel vaccines and anti-malarial drugs. It is for this work that Adrienne was awarded RCN Publishing e-health Nurse of the Year 2013. Adrienne nursed people with tropical and travel-related illnesses on a specialist infectious diseases unit, and has set up private and NHS travel health clinics for several organisations.

Her previous roles include working for the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the NHS Cancer Screening Programme and health departments in several UK universities. As a Senior Fellow working for the Royal College of Nursing, Adrienne advised the Welsh Assembly on responding to influenza pandemics in addition to her e-health role and work with public broadcasting media on health and infectious disease issues.

She has a PhD in Health Sciences (Travel Health) from the University of Warwick Medical School, and is the first nurse to be awarded a research grant from the ISTM. Her research has been presented at international scientific conferences and she won a prize for oral presentation of research at the ISTM conference in 2009. Adrienne has published research and clinical articles in the nursing press, particularly on professional issues, education and travel health. As well as serving on the Executive Committee of the British Global and Travel Health Association (elected member), she is co-editor of Travelwise: Journal of the BGTHA and serves on the ISTM Editorial Board. She is an Honorary Visiting Scholar at the University of the West of England.


ISTM is pleased to offer Travel Medicine Research Grants to ISTM Members each year. Grants are awarded through a peer-review process implemented by the ISTM Research and Awards Committee. The awards are designed to stimulate travel medicine research by supporting comprehensive research projects or, for larger projects, providing support for pilot studies to enable researchers to collect data/test hypotheses so that they can then apply to other agencies for more substantive research grants.

Typical awards will be in the range of USD 5,000 to USD 10,000 although a single grant up to USD 40,000 will be considered for exceptional proposals. Detailed information on proposal criteria, as well as application forms, can be provided by the ISTM Secretariat.

ISTM offers a number of programs to help support and expand research in travel medicine. Each year, the Society supports research grants for cutting-edge research in the field. This year, the ISTM Executive Board has again increased the funding available for these awards to USD 90,000, and has added some special categories to support the Society Mission and the Presidential Goals. The 2017-2018 Research Awards that will be granted include funding for:

  • proposals from investigators in resource-poor countries,
  • proposals highlighting digital communications,
  • ISTM Interest and Professional Group research; and,
  • general travel medicine projects.

It is hoped that these grants will stimulate travel medicine research by supporting comprehensive research projects or, for larger projects, provide support for pilot studies to enable researchers to collect data or test hypotheses.

Award requirements include:

  • Research must be travel medicine or immigrant/refugee health oriented
  • Application and protocol proposal must be scientifically sound and must be in accordance with international ethical guidelines
  • There must be no conflicts of interest for any of the investigators who apply for research funding
  • Grant applicants must be ISTM members in good standing
  • Projects should be able to be realistically completed using ISTM grant funding alone.

For the first time, ISTM is opening the call for Research Award proposals to non-ISTM members who reside in countries identified by the World Bank as Low and Middle Income Country (LMIC) researchers. ISTM is committed to foster and support research in areas of the world where opportunities are otherwise limited. To see which countries are included, the World Bank economic listing can be found here.


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2017-2018 Research Award Winners

  1. Measuring neutralizing antibodies against yellow fever virus ten years after intradermal yellow fever vaccination with 1/5th-fractional dose, Anna H.E. Roukens, The Netherlands, Principal Investigator.
  2. Elucidating metagenomic markers of prolonged diarrhoea in returned travellers, Katherine Gibney, Australia, Principal Investigator.
  3. The Association Between the Proportion of Pharmacists Authorized to Administer Injections and the Proportion of Patients Adherent to Multiple-Dose Travel Vaccine Regimens: A Retrospective Cohort Analysis of Administrative Data in Alberta, Canada, Sherilyn Houle, Canada, Principal Investigator.
  4. Do Multiplex Molecular Diagnostics improve outcomes for Travellers in a Resource-poor Setting with Travellers' Diarrhea and Respiratory Illness?, Prativa Pandey, Nepal, Principal Investigator.
  5. Real-time remote monitoring of malaria chemoprophylaxis adverse events through Smartphone application (Trip App), Natalia Rodriguez Valero, Spain. Principal Investigator.

This year the ISTM devoted special funding for research in resource-limited countries and emerging markets for the first time. This funding is in addition to the annual research grant program already in place. We are happy to announce this year’s recipient of this funding.

  1. Pathogens Identification and Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing on Travellers' Diarrhea Cases in Bali, Indonesia, Arak Agung Sri Agung Aryastuti, Indonesia, Principal Investigator.

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2016-2017 Research Award Winners

  1. Inhaled Budesonide for Altitude Illness Prevention. Dr. Christopher Davis, United States of America, Principal Investigator.
  2. Persistence of neutralizing antibodies after immunization against Yellow Fever (YF) in HIV-infected patients. Dr. Charlotte Martin, Belgium, Principal Investigator.
  3. Differential Vaccination Requirements of newly arrived Eritrean asylum seekers - an informative sample analysis. Dr. Cornelia Staehelin, Switzerland, Principal Investigator.

This year the ISTM devoted special funding for research in resource-limited countries and emerging markets for the first time. This funding was in addition to the annual research grant program already in place. We are happy to announce the first recipient of this funding.
Association of Dengue Serotype-Genotype and Disease Severity in Foreign Travellers Admitted at Kasih Ibu Hospital, Bali, Indonesia. Dr. Dewa Ayu Sri Masyeni, Indonesia, Principal Investigator.

The ISTM also dedicated special funding for Zika Research. The 2016 Zika Research Award Winners are:
Persistence of Zika Virus in Semen After Acute Symptomatic Infection: a European clinical and laboratory observational prospective cohort study. Dr. Denis Malvy and Dr. Matthieu Mechain, France, Principal Investigators.


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2015-2016 Research Award Winners

The Research and Awards Committee wishes to announce the winning projects for the 2014-2015 Research Awards. Four proposals were able to be funded:

  1. Economics, knowledge, attitudes and practices of West African bushmeat in Minnesota and in VFR travellers. Dr. Jonathan D. Alpern, United States of America, Principal Investigator
  2. International pediatric travellers: risk perception, incidence of disease and adherence with recommendations at a tertiary care centre based travel clinic. Dr. Shaun K. Morris, Canada, Principal Investigator
  3. Development and validation of a novel molecular schistosomiasis viability assay for assessment of treatment success. Dr. Mirjam Schunk, Germany, Principal Investigator
  4. ELDEST-study: morbidity in elderly travellers during a short-term stay abroad, a prospective cohort study. Ms. Jessica Vlot, The Netherlands, Principal Investigator

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2014-2015 Research Award Winners

The winning projects for the 2013-2014 Research Awards. Three proposals were able to be funded:

  1. Single visit pre-exposure Rabies vaccination with a new intradermal jet injector: dose finding in healthy adults (R5). Dr. Emile F. F. Jonker, The Netherlands, Principal Investigator.
  2. Yellow fever vaccination under low dose methotrexate therapy - a pilot study. Dr. Sabine Schmid, Switzerland, Principal Investigator.
  3. Immunogenicity of co-administered yellow fever (YF) and measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccines in pediatric travellers aged 9-15 months from yellow fever non-endemic countries: A pilot study. Dr. Stefan Hagmann, United States of America, Principal Investigator.

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2013-2014 Research Award Winners

The winning projects for the 2012-2013 Research Awards. Four proposals were able to be funded:

  1. Determinants of infectious disease incidence and risk behaviours in Australian travellers visiting friends and relatives - a prospective cohort study. Dr. Bradley Forssman, Australia, Principal Investigator
  2. Flaviviruses, Alphaviruses and Phleboviruses as etiological agents of febrile syndrome in travellers. Mr. Joaquim Gascón, Spain, Principal Investigator
  3. Illness and injury to long-term aide workers to developing countries. Dr. Jenny Visser, New Zealand, Principal Investigator
  4. Acute lipid profile changes in malaria patients - a gateway towards novel antimalarial drug class identification? Dr. Rosanne Willemijn Wieten, Principal Investigator

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Charter

  • Advertise, solicit, and review applications in order to award annual Research grants.
  • Advertise, solicit, and review applications in order to award biennial CISTM travel grants to developing world nationals for outstanding research abstracts.
  • Track and report on the outcomes of both the research and travel grants.

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Main Achievements

In September of 2011, ISTM Board of Directors renamed the "Travel Awards" to the "Susan L. Stokes Travel Awards" in honor of Susan's selfless years of volunteer service. She was instrumental in the conception and early years of ISTM, working ceaselessly to ensure that the Society would be strong and operationally sound. Those wishing to read more about Susan can do so by reading the July 2011 Issue of NewsShare.

The committee provides moderate grants (USD 5,000 - USD 10,000 maximum) through a peer-reviewed comprehensive process. These grants are designed to stimulate travel medicine research by supporting comprehensive research projects or, for larger projects, providing support for pilot studies to enable researchers to collect data/test hypotheses so that they can then apply to other agencies for more substantive research grants.

Award recipients are expected to provide updates to the committee chair every 6 months. The research project should be completed within 2 years of money receipt, and published within one year of project completion. All awardees are expected to present their data to the scientific community, and are encouraged to publish their findings in the Journal of Travel Medicine.