Stony Brook Professor Receives International Award for Lifetime Achievement in Infectious Diseases ResearchEckard Wimmer’s work on Poliovirus and Synthetic Biology makes him Robert Koch Gold Medal Awardee for 2012
STONY BROOK, N.Y., November 19, 2012 – Eckard Wimmer, Ph.D., a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology at Stony Brook University was selected to receive the 2012 Robert Koch Gold Medal, a prestigious international scientific award by the Robert Koch Foundation under the patronage of the German Minister of Health. The award recognizes Professor Wimmer’s lifetime achievements in infectious diseases, specifically his groundbreaking research on the poliovirus and as a pioneer in the new discipline of synthetic biology. He accepted the award on November 9, at the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften.
Dr. Eckard Wimmer
The Robert Koch Gold Medal is one of Germany’s most prestigious awards given to scientists. Since 1960, medal awardees have included accomplished international scientists in biology, microbiology, and other biomedical research disciplines. The award is named for Robert Koch, a German physician who discovered the cause of several infectious diseases, including the bacteria causing tuberculosis. He received the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1905. “For decades Dr. Wimmer has had a tremendous impact on the advancement of infectious diseases research, from his unraveling of the poliovirus to his more recent work in the emerging field of synthetic biology,” said Samuel L. Stanley Jr. M.D., President of Stony Brook University. “A long-time professor at Stony Brook University, Dr. Wimmer’s expertise and insight as a researcher remains invaluable to his Stony Brook colleagues and students.” According to the Robert Koch Foundation, Dr. Wimmer is “a pioneer in modern virology whose research on the poliovirus, the causative agent of infantile paralysis or poliomyelitis, is a milestone of infectiology.” The Foundation classifies Dr. Wimmer’s body of work as one that has “defined our understanding of the interaction between …