Sabin Gold Medal awarded to vaccine developer Dr. Albert Z. Kapikian

Albert Z. Kapikian, M.D., of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), was awarded the prestigious Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal at a ceremony on May 10, 2005. Cited for his "extraordinary achievements in vaccinology," Dr. Kapikian is the 13th recipient of this recognition, awarded annually by the Sabin Vaccine Institute to honor achievements by vaccinologists and infectious disease experts. In addition, John R. La Montagne, Ph.D., who served as NIAID deputy director from 1998 until his death in November 2004, was posthumously recognized at the ceremony, which was held in conjunction with the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases Eighth Annual Conference on Vaccine Research in Baltimore, MD.

Dr. Kapikian's career of more than 47 years, with groundbreaking medical research contributions, is distinguished by the development of the first licensed rotavirus vaccine.

"This well-deserved honor recognizes decades of creative research by Dr. Kapikian and his collaborators," says NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. "Dr. Kapikian's scientific ingenuity, perseverance and leadership, notably in the development of vaccines against rotavirus, have been remarkable."

"Albert Kapikian's contribution to mankind through the field of vaccines is truly extraordinary," says H.R. Shepherd, D.Sc., chairman of the Sabin Vaccine Institute. "It takes a great vision and dedication to achieve such progress for humanity."

In the 1950s Dr. Kapikian began studying the epidemiology and causes of various viral diseases. He is renowned for pioneering studies using electron microscopy to discover and characterize viruses causing major diseases in humans. In 1972, Dr. Kapikian identified the Norwalk virus, the first virus associated with acute epidemic gastroenteritis, gaining recognition as "the father of human gastroenteritis virus research." In 1973, he and two colleagues identified the

Contact: NIAID News Office
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

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