The ASTDA held its annual awards ceremony at the STI & AIDS World Congress in Vienna on July 17, 2013. We were pleased to honor 3 individuals for their contributions to our understanding and control of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
The ASTDA Distinguished Career Award (formerly the Thomas Parran Award), recognizing a member for long and distinguished contributions in the field of STD research and prevention, was presented to Jonathan Zenilman, MD (Fig. 1). He is the chief of the Infectious Diseases Division at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, with a joint appointment in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr Zenilman received his undergraduate degree at Cornell University and his medical degree at State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center College of Medicine. He was an Internal Medicine Resident and Infectious Diseases Fellow at Kings County Hospital Center in Brooklyn. He has 28 years of experience in STD academic research and service delivery. From 1985 to 1989, Dr Zenilman was an Infectious Diseases Fellow at Emory University and employed at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, first as an National Immunization Surve officer and then as a medical epidemiologist. While at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, he conceived, developed, and implemented the National Gonococcal Isolates Surveillance Program, which is still an important component of this surveillance activity. He also coordinated and wrote the 1989 STD Treatment Guidelines. In the 1990s, Dr Zenilman served as clinical director of the Baltimore City Health Department’s STD program. His team was the first to do HIV primary care in the STD clinic. Patients included those hard to treat, among them were prisoners. He also has worked to prevent STDs with patients in Africa, Thailand, and Israel. In 2010, Dr Zenilman was appointed by the White House to the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, where he served as a technical consultant for the investigation on Dr John C. Cutler’s STD Research in Guatemala from 1946 to 1948. His award lecture, based on this investigation, was given at the Awards Presentation, and it appears in this issue starting on page 901.
The ASTDA Achievement Award is given to an individual for a single recent major achievement in the field of STD research and prevention or to a midcareer professional to acknowledge an outstanding body of research in STDs. The 2013 Achievement Award was presented to Jane Schwebke, MD (Fig. 2). She is a Professor of Medicine in the Infectious Disease Division at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Medical Director for the Jefferson County Department of Health STD clinic. Dr Schwebke graduated from medical school and completed her residency at Northwestern University. Her career in the field of STDs began in 1987 during her fellowship in Infectious Disease at the University of Washington in Seattle. Thereafter, Dr Schwebke became the medical director of the Haborview STD Clinic in Seattle. She subsequently had a joint appointment at Northwestern University in Chicago and the Chicago Department of Health, where she became the Director for the City of Chicago’s STD/HIV Program. Dr Schwebke’s major areas of research include the pathogenesis of bacterial vaginosis and its relationship to the acquisition of STDs as well as epidemiology and control of trichomoniasis. She has done several high-impact randomized controlled trials for STD diagnosis and treatment and has numerous publications on bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis.
The ASTDA Young Investigator Award is given to an outstanding investigator in the field of STD research who is no more than 5 years beyond fellowship training. This award was presented to Jesse Clark, MD (Fig. 3). He is an Assistant Professor-in-Residence in the Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease and Program in Global Health at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He received his medical degree at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and completed Internal Medicine Residency at Montefiore Medical Center. Currently, Dr Clark is the Director of Latin America Programs and is based in Lima, Peru, where his research focuses on new strategies for the control of HIV and sexually transmitted infections in resource-limited settings in Latin America. He is the recipient of a K23 Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Mental Health. The major goal of this project is to assess behavioral, social, and biological factors influencing partner notification decisions after a sexually transmitted infection diagnosis, followed by an evaluation of the effectiveness of an Internet-based partner notification system for improving notification outcomes.