In-line with its 15-year tradition of recognizing exemplary research, on May 6, 2008, Sabin Vaccine Institute recognized two extraordinary women for their leadership in vaccinology and public health.

Dr. Ruth S. Nussenzweig, a pioneer in research who paved the way for the development of vaccines against malaria, became the 16th recipient of the Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal for her dedication to the investigation and prevention of tropical and parasitic diseases. Receiving the Sabin Gold Medal, Dr. Nussenzweig joins an impressive group of recipients that have made extraordinary advancements in vaccine discoveries or employed vaccines to combat vaccine-preventable diseases in order to improve lives around the world. The medal commemorates the legacy of late Dr. Sabin, who discovered the oral polio vaccine and worked tirelessly during his lifetime to see it and other vaccines utilized globally.

Sabin also announced Dr. Katherine L. O’Brien as the first recipient of its Young Investigator Award, established to honor promising young scientists who are committed to fighting preventable diseases. Dr. O’Brien is a pediatric infectious disease physician and epidemiologist, and has played a critical role in the clinical trial of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine among American Indians. She currently leads the Johns Hopkins’ Center for American Indian Health’s Infectious Disease Group, conducting clinical trials of vaccines for diseases of importance to American Indian Tribes.