The 2009 American Society for Microbiology (ASM) ICAAC Young Investigator Award will be presented to Anton Y. Peleg, Research Fellow, Division of Infectious Diseases, Massachusetts General Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. Sponsored by the ASM, this award recognizes early career scientists for research excellence in microbiology and infectious diseases.
Dr. Peleg is recognized as an expert on the clinical impact, epidemiology, and management of infections due to multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria, specifically Acinetobacter. He provided the first description of carbapenemase genes in Australia and designed phenotypic methods for their detection in Gram-negative organisms. He also provided the first reports of tigecycline resistance in Acinetobacter and identified the mechanism of resistance as over-expression of a multi-drug efflux pump.
Dr. Peleg's more recent research has been on prokaryote-eukaryote interactions identified using the Caenorhabditis elegans model. His work has shown the antagonistic interaction between Acinetobacter and Candida, pathogens that frequently coinhabit patients. Furthermore, Dr. Peleg also showed that Acinetobacter was capable of inhibiting C. albicans biofilm formation, another important virulence mechanism of this fungus. He developed a co-infection screen assay in C. elegans and an A. baumannii mutant library to assess within this assay the identification of the molecular mechanisms responsible for the interaction. These tools helped Dr. Peleg identify a gene, known as the gacS-like sensor kinase gene, in A. baumannii.
Dr. Peleg completed his medical degree at Monash University Medical School and his medical residency at the Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia . He completed his Infectious Diseases advanced training in Australia before moving to the U. S. where he completed a clinical research fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
The ICAAC Young Investigator Award will be presented during ASM's 49th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, September 12-15, 2009 in San Francisco, CA. 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, economic, and environmental well-being.