Robert Austrian Lecture

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The ISPPD Board is pleased to announce Professor Marc Lipsitch as the Robert Austrian Lecturer for ISPPD-10. 

Prof. Lipsitch has made a number of fundamental intellectual contributions to the pneumococcal field through a combination of epidemiological modelling and experimental studies to back up his observations. 

Having completed a Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford University in England, Prof. Lipsitch went on the complete his PhD there and then did his post doc at Emory University with Bruce Levin in evolutionary biology of microbes, before going to Harvard where he rose to the position of full Professor in 2006. Since then he has set up and led the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at the Harvard School of Public Health where he has mentored a host of the most dynamic people in the pneumococcal field including Bill Hanage, Dan Weinberger, and Debbie Bogaert, among others. 

In terms of his contribution to scientific knowledge of the pneumococcus, he has provided through experimental work and modelling, the intellectual framework for our understanding of the immunological response to protection from pneumococcal disease, differentiating type specific immunity based on capsular serotype antibodies, from broader protection based on both humoral and cellular responses to pneumococcal proteins. In particular, Prof. Lipsitch has been able to translate epidemiological observations into fundamental insights into pneumococcal biology. His study on the competition between carriage of engineered pneumococci all with the same backbone, but with different capsules has shaped our understanding of the role of capsule in maintenance of carriage and the paper describing the molecular cost of capsule production as a function of duration of carriage is a classic in our field. His expertise has pushed forward our understanding of the evolution of antimicrobial resistance in the pneumococcus and he has published more papers on the pneumococcus in Nature, Nature Medicine, Proc Nat Acad Science and Science than any other candidate still eligible for this award. He has also made major contributions to the field of pneumococcal and respiratory pathogen transmission, the relationship between biological cost and seasonality of infection, the interaction between the pneumococcus and other respiratory pathogens, the relationship between capsular types and mortality, among others. 

Prof. Lipsitch has published broadly on infectious diseases, mostly on respiratory pathogens and the pneumococcus is the major organism to which he has devoted his attention among more than 200 published articles.
(Written by Prof. Keith Klugman)

The Robert Austrian Lecture will take place at ISPPD-10 on Tuesday, June 28, 2016 at 17:30.​


Previous ISPPD Lecturers include​​​: 
Helena Mäkelä, 2002 
Brian Greenwood, 2004 
Mathu Santosham, 2006 
Alexander Tomasz, 2008 
Ron Dagan, 2010 
Keith Klugman, 2012
Katherine O'Brien, 2014


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