Dr. William A. Petri Jr., vice chair for research and former chair of the Division of Infectious Diseases and International Health in the Department of Medicine, received the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases’ 2021 Maxwell Finland Award for Scientific Achievement, in recognition of his discoveries of the mechanisms that gut microbes use to evade and exploit the microbiota and mucosal immune system, leading to innovative approaches to diagnose and treat diarrheal diseases and prevent their collateral damage on child growth and development.
Petri is an internationally renowned scientist and a pioneer in the study of enteric infections. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, he has discovered in humans an immune response that is associated with severe SARS-CoV-2 infection and has gone on to demonstrate the potential for immunotherapy in a mouse model.
In presenting the Finland Award, the foundation “recognizes his role as the world’s premier investigator on diarrhea as well as a consummate physician-scientist and leader,” according to the citation.
“Bill ideally personifies the lifelong dedication to outstanding research, patient care, and teaching that Dr. Finland so exemplified,” said Dr. Richard L. Guerrant, of UVA’s Center for Global Health.
(By Dan Heuchert. Originally published on UVA Today.)