Southampton researcher wins national award for pneumonia vaccine research
Leading-edge research that has supported the introduction of a meningitis and pneumonia vaccine in the UK has won a national award.
Dr Stuart Clarke from the University of Southampton was given the Bupa Foundation Award for his research at a ceremony last night.
“I’m delighted I have been recognised for my work relating to the meningitis and pneumonia vaccine,” comments Dr Clarke, a clinical senior lecturer at the University’s School of Medicine.
Pneumococcol bacteria can change over time and become increasingly resistant to antibiotics, which has caused debate among medical professionals as to the effectiveness of the vaccines. Dr Clarke’s work provided clear evidence that supports their implementation.
Dr Andrew Vallance-Owen, from the Bupa Foundation, says: “Each year, over 800,000 children die of pneumonia. Resolving the uncertainty over the effectiveness of the pneumococcal vaccination has wide-reaching importance and Dr Stuart Clarke and his team have achieved exactly this. We now can be clear that immunising against pneumonia and meningitis can save thousands of lives – not just in the UK, but also globally.”
In addition to winning the Bupa Foundation’s 2009 Research Award, Dr Stuart Clarke received a £15,000 prize from the Foundation, which will allow him to continue his research and monitor the effectiveness of this vaccination in the future.