William Petri, MD, PhD was awarded the 2022 Walter Reed Medal by the American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene (ASTMH) at their annual meeting in October. This prestigious award is given every year to recognize distinguished accomplishments in the field of tropical medicine. According to ASTMH’s website, “the story of how Walter Reed led the Yellow Fever Commission in Havana that discovered the mosquito vector of the disease is legendary.”
Since the first award was made in 1936 to Mrs. Walter Reed and the Rockefeller Foundation, many extraordinary recipients have received this honor including Albert Sabin, creator of the polio vaccine; Nobel Prize winner Thomas Weller; and Willy Burgdorfer, who discovered the pathogen that causes Lyme disease.
I am accepting this award on behalf of my research team and everyone in this Society who has supported my study of the parasite Entamoeba histolytica. The discoveries recognized by the Reed award are due to the students and fellows that I have the privilege to work with. Working with infants in the urban slums of Bangladesh, they discovered that ameba invade the intestine by eating it alive, piece by piece. The parasite protein that does this is the basis of a vaccine now completing pre-clinical testing. The students are the heroes, who through no motivation other than discovery, are advancing our ability to prevent, diagnose and treat amebiasis.” ~Dr. Petri during his acceptance speech
Read more about the Walter Reed Medal.