Leading virologist Ron Fouchier awarded Academy’s M.W. Beijerinck Virology Prize. The €35,000 monetary award and a medal has been presented at the Dutch Annual Virology Symposium (DAVS) on 10 March 2023.
Ron Fouchier (born 1966) began his career researching HIV/AIDS but later switched to respiratory viruses such as influenza. Now he is one of the leading authorities on respiratory viruses and their impact on human and animal health. Fouchier set up a research group within the Department of Viroscience at the Erasmus University Medical Centre (Rotterdam) to study the molecular biology and evolution of influenza viruses. With his team, he discovered and characterised a number of newly emerging respiratory viruses, including several corona viruses and a new avian influenza (“bird flu”) virus.
As professor of molecular virology at the Erasmus Medical Centre, Fouchier studies how viruses evolve and can become pathogenic, switch hosts, become airborne, and escape the host’s immune system. He uses his findings to develop applications for human and animal health. As managing director of the national influenza centre, he improved the methodology for selecting the optimum flu vaccine each year. In 1998, he launched a Dutch avian flu monitoring network, one of the world’s most effective and longest-running programmes.
Fouchier has involved numerous young researchers in all his initiatives. He has supervised many PhD candidates and students; eight team members or former team members have started an independent research group and have become professors themselves.
Fouchier is also principal investigator of the research project Predicting, measuring and quantifying airborne virus transmission of the Pandemic & Disaster Preparedness Centre. In this project, new methods for predicting, measuring and quantifying the spread of airborne viruses will be developed.
Presentation ceremony and Beijerinck Lectures
The Academy’s Beijerinck Prizes have been presented on Friday 10 March 2023, during the Dutch Annual Virology Symposium (DAVS). Ron Fouchier will deliver the Beijerinck Lecture.
Photographer: Milette Raats
Date: March 20, 2023