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Burgdorfer Receives Scientist Emeritus Award
Photo by Anita Mora
Dr. Willy Burgdorfer (l) of NIAID's Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML) recently received a Scientist Emeritus Award from Dr. Marshall Bloom, RML associate director, "for seminal contributions to our understanding of tick-borne diseases." Born and educated in Basel, Switzerland, Burgdorfer retired in 1986 after heading rickettsial diseases research at RML and has remained active as scientist emeritus. He is an internationally acclaimed zoologist and a microbiologist who has long been acknowledged as a leading global expert in the relationship between animal and human disease agents and their transmission by blood-feeding arthropods, especially ticks. He is perhaps best known for his discovery that Lyme disease was actually a bacterial infection caused by a newly recognized bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, named in honor of his work. He also documented that this bacterium was transmitted by the deer tick Ixodes scapularis. He holds the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for Vector Ecology and was elected to the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences.
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