Public Release: 

American Society for Microbiology honors Thomas E. Wellems

American Society for Microbiology

Washington, DC--September 13, 2007-- The 2007 American Society for Microbiology (ASM) sanofi-aventis U.S. Award will be presented to Thomas E. Wellems, M.D., Ph.D., Chief, Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, Maryland. Supported by an unrestricted grant from sanofi-aventis U.S., this award honors outstanding accomplishment in antimicrobial chemotherapy.

Dr. Wellems has had an outstanding career in infectious disease, most of which he has devoted to the study of malaria and its treatment. Resistance to chloroquine, a popular malaria vaccine that was very successful in the 1950s, has dramatically increased death rates from malaria in Africa and Asia. Dr. Wellems was able to identify the chloroquine transporter and develop a diagnostic test, which has made serious impacts on malaria treatment. Among other important findings, Wellems has published in more than 100 papers. He has received many honors, including the Bailey K. Ashford Medal for distinguished work in tropical medicine and the LePrince A. Medal for outstanding work in the field of malariology, both from the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene; the Lincei Golgi Medal, Academia Nazionale dei Lincei, Rome; and the Howard Taylor Rickets Awards Lecture, The University of Chicago. He is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.

Dr. Wellems received two B.S. degrees in Physics and Chemistry from New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, and an M.D. and Ph.D. in Biophysics in the University of Chicago's Medical Scientist Training Program. He completed his residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and his fellowship training at the Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

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The sanofi-aventis U.S. Award will be presented during ASM's 47th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, September 17 - September 20, 2007 in Chicago, Illinois. ASM is the world's oldest and largest life science organization and has more than 43,000 members worldwide. ASM's mission is to advance the microbiological sciences and promote the use of scientific knowledge for improved health and economic and environmental well-being.

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