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04 Jun 2020

Prof Deborah Williamson wins ASID Frank Fenner Award

Professor Deborah Williamson has received the 2020 Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases (ASID) Frank Fenner Award for her research and leadership in clinical and public health microbiology.

The University of Melbourne Professor Williamson, who is Deputy Director of the Microbiological Unit Public Health Laboratory at the Doherty Institute and Director of Microbiology at The Royal Melbourne Hospital received the award at tonight’s virtual ASID AGM, held in place of the ASID Annual Scientific Meeting which was due to occur this week in Melbourne.

Named after Professor Frank Fenner, an Australian pioneer of viral research, the award is presented to an ASID member with a substantial portfolio of original research in infectious diseases.

Professor Williamson’s research group at the Doherty Institute focuses on the application of genomic technologies to public health, with a strong focus on antimicrobial-resistant and sexually transmitted pathogens.

This work has recently been published in leading journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Clinical Infectious Diseases and Nature Communications.

“It is an absolute privilege to receive this award, particularly in such a landmark year for infectious diseases.  I have always strived to ensure my research has clinical and public health relevance, and I feel extremely fortunate to work with some of Australia’s leading clinician-scientists in infectious diseases,” Professor Williamson said.

ASID President Professor Josh Davis applauded Professor Williamson's work.  

“Professor Williamson’s contributions in the delivery of specialist public health laboratory services, and the diagnosis and surveillance of communicable diseases are highly commended,” he said.

“Her research on the application of microbial genomics to infectious diseases and public health is truly world-class."