Today, the winners of this year’s Eijkman Medal received their awards from jury chairman Prof. Dr Teun Bousema, himself a winner of the Eijkman Medal in 2017. The award ceremony took place during the ‘Power of Knowledge’ symposium at KIT.
Previously, only Dutch scientists were eligible for the Medal, but in recognition of the global nature of contemporary health research, the Eijkman Medal Fund awarded two medals this year: one to a Dutch scientist and one to a scientist of non-Dutch origin but with strong links to a research institute in the Netherlands. In the new set-up, the Eijkman Medal Fund wants to encourage health research that is done in institutes outside of the Netherlands.
About the Eijkman Medal
Since 1927, the Eijkman Medal has been awarded to scientists who have made a substantial contribution to global health. The Eijkman Foundation was established in the same year to honour the Dutch Nobel Prize winner, Prof. Dr Christiaan Eijkman, one of the founders of the study of modern nutrition. In 1929, Eijkman received the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his work.
Based at KIT in Amsterdam, The Eijkman Foundation has awarded the medal to 53 scientists, since its inception in 1927.
The two winners of the Eijkman Medals are medical researchers Prof. Dr Arjen Dondorp and Prof. Dr Rovina Ruslami, who were chosen for their pioneering research in the field of global health.
Prof. Dr Arjen Dondorp received the Eijkman Medal for his malaria research. The work of Dondorp and his team has led to better treatment of severe malaria, a disease that kills 600,000 people each year. He not only described the spread of resistant parasites but also developed a way to use combinations of existing malaria drugs to combat resistance while maintaining good treatment results. That is ground-breaking. The jury praised Dondorp’s broad research agenda and his influence on the field of international healthcare. Arjen Dondorp is affiliated with the University of Oxford, Amsterdam UMC and the Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand.
Prof. Rovina Ruslami was honoured for her ground-breaking tuberculosis (TB) research in Indonesia. Ruslami is leading the way with her clinical pharmacology research. The treatment of TB is complicated by increasing levels of drug resistance and the long duration of treatment. Her work showed, among other things, that a higher dose of the drug rifampicin (a key drug in the treatment of TB) leads to better survival rates in TB meningitis. Rovina Ruslami received her PhD from Radboud UMC and is now working at Padjadjaran University in Bandung, Indonesia.
We congratulate both winners and thank all those who nominated and were nominated for their pioneering work.