icddr,b scientific advisor awarded Albert Sabin Gold Medal for cholera research

icddr,b scientific advisory group (SAG) chair Professor Jan Holmgren received the 2017 Albert B Sabin Gold Medal Award in recognition of his pioneering work in mucosal immunology and leadership in the development of world’s first oral cholera vaccine (OCV).

Photo: Sabin Vaccine Institute

At the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. this April, icddr,b Executive Director Professor John D Clemens MD presented the award to Professor Holmgren, currently professor of medical microbiology at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden and also the founding director of the University of Gothenburg Vaccine Research Institute.

“Jan is the father of modern OCVs and a long term supporter of and collaborator with the icddr,b,” said Professor Clemens, recipient of the 2010 Sabin Gold Medal Award.

Photo: Sabin Vaccine Institute

During the 1980s and 90s, Professor Holmgren and colleagues at the University of Gothenburg developed the Dukoral™ OCV, which became the first internationally licensed and World Health Organization (WHO) prequalified OCV.

Photo: Sabin Vaccine Institute

“I had the privilege of working with Jan to test his OCV Dukoral in the 1985 field trial in Bangladesh conducted in Matlab, which ended up being a pivotal trail for this licensure of this vaccine,” says Professor Clemens.

Holmgren (L) and Clemens (R) have collaborated for over three decades. Photo: Sabin Vaccine Institute

He stated that Professor Holmgren’s collaborative studies with icddr,b were critical, not only to understanding the nature of natural immunity to cholera but also in understanding vaccine-induced immunity as well as evaluating the safety and protection of this vaccine.

Photo: Sabin Vaccine Institute

“We are currently working with Jan on the development of his new OCV called HillChol which promises to be even less expensive than the currently available vaccine Shanchol,” added Professor Clemens.

Read more about the award ceremony on the Sabin Vaccine Institute website and about Professor Holmgren in an exclusive interview, here.