The Oswald Avery Award recognizes outstanding achievement in an area of infectious diseases by an individual member or fellow of IDSA who is 45 or younger.
Pablo C. Okhuysen, MD, FIDSA
Pablo C. Okhuysen, MD, FIDSA, a nationally and internationally recognized expert in experimental models and the clinical manifestations, immunopathogenesis, and therapy of enteric infectious diseases, is the recipient of IDSA’s 2007 Oswald Avery Award for Early Achievement. Previously known as the Squibb Award, this honor has been granted since 1968 in recognition of outstanding achievement in an area of infectious diseases by an individual member or fellow of IDSA who is 45 years of age or younger. Dr. Okhuysen is professor of medicine at the University of Texas Medical School and School of Public Health at Houston, as well as clinical professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.
Holding dual citizenship in the United States and Mexico, Dr. Okhuysen is a 1988 graduate of the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara Medical School. He completed his internship in internal medicine at the Cook County Hospital in Chicago and his internal medicine residency at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. He remained at the latter institution for a fellowship in infectious diseases and joined the faculty upon its completion. Over the next decade, he progressed at an accelerated pace to the level of full professor of medicine—and has become one of the most respected academicians in Houston.
Described as enormously productive and successful in his research, Dr. Okhuysen has quickly become a recognized authority in cryptosporidiosis, volunteer studies with parasitic and bacterial pathogens, and enteric bacterial and parasitic immunity and pathogenesis and host genetics. He directs the clinical and volunteer aspects of the University of Texas research program dealing with the infectivity of Cryptosporidium, through which he has established the low infectious dose of Cryptosporidium infections and provided entirely new information on strain differences in both infectious dose and immune responses. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency used data from these studies to develop nationwide safe drinking water regulations implemented in 2006. Dr. Okhuysen also is a leader in researching genetic polymorphisms that predispose to gastrointestinal infection, having created a large cohort (more than 1900 participants) of US travelers to Mexico from whom he has collected DNA and conducted groundbreaking investigations into the causes of travelers’ diarrhea.
A natural leader and mentor, Dr. Okhuysen serves as program director for the combined M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and University of Texas infectious diseases fellowship program. In addition, he is co-director of the University of Texas NIH Center for Translational Science Award (CTSA), one of 12 recently funded “roadmap” programs nationwide. At the CTSA, he leads studies of HIV, AIDS, and cryptosporidiosis, as well as mentored training programs in both the hospital facility and in Hispanic communities in the lower Rio Grande Valley in South Texas. His career to date has produced some 70 peer-reviewed publications, as well as numerous awards for excellence in teaching, research, and clinical care. IDSA is pleased to add the 2007 Oswald Avery Award to Dr. Okhuysen’s rapidly growing list of accomplishments.