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Pioneer of Microbiome Science Dr. Jeff Gordon will deliver keynote at APC Autumn Symposium

Jeffrey I. Gordon, MD has been awarded the 2021 Charles Donovan Prize – APC Microbiome Ireland SFI Research Centre’s annual award bestowed on an individual who has contributed significantly to microbiome science. Professor Gordon will deliver the Distinguished International APC Lecture at the APC Autumn Symposium on Thursday 9th September. The title of this talk is ‘Microbiota-directed complementary foods for treating childhood undernutrition’.

Professor Gordon is being recognised for his pioneering work on human gut microbial communities and how this has shaped our understanding of the relationship between our gut microbiome, health and disease. In particular, this work has probed the complex interactions between diet, environment and the microbiome particularly in the context of two global health challenges – Childhood malnutrition and obesity.

Jeffrey Gordon is the Dr. Robert J. Glaser Distinguished University Professor at Washington University in St. Louis. He received his M.D. from the University of Chicago. After completing his clinical training in internal medicine and gastroenterology, and doing a post-doctoral fellowship at the NIH, he joined the faculty at Washington University where he has spent his entire career; first as a member of the Departments of Medicine and Biological Chemistry, then as Head of the Department of Molecular Biology and Pharmacology, and now as founding Director of the University’s interdepartmental, interdisciplinary Edison Family Center for Genome Sciences and Systems Biology. He is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, and the American Philosophical Society. The work of his lab on the gut microbiome has been recognized by a number of awards including the Keio Medical Science Prize, the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize, the Copley Medal from the Royal Society and the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Biology and Biomedicine.

The Charles Donovan Award was established in 2015 to acknowledge individuals who have made a significant contribution to microbiome science. Previous winners include Prof Marty Blaser in 2015, Prof Dusko Ehrlich in 2016, and Prof Graham Rook in 2018. The award winner delivers the Distinguished International APC Lecture which is the keynote at the annual APC Scientific Symposium.

Charles Donovan MD (19 September 1863 – 29 October 1951) was an Irish medical officer in the Indian Medical Service. Leishmania donovani is his best-known discovery, related to visceral leishmaniasis and donovanosis respectively. He was born in Calcutta in 1863, and went to live with his grandfather in Ireland in 1879. He went on to study at the Queen’s College, Cork which is now University College Cork. In 1891, he received a commission in the Indian Medical Service developing a particular interest in tropical diseases. In 1903 he described the causative agent of kala-azar, later known as the “Leishman-Donovan” body and, in 1905 he reported his findings on granuloma inguinale (“Donovanosis”).