RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., April 19, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In recognition of her many significant contributions to the field of HIV prevention, FHI 360 Senior Scientist Lut Van Damme, M.D., Ph.D. received a Lifetime Achievement Award this week at the 2012 International Microbicides Conference in Sydney, Australia.
"FHI 360 congratulates Lut on this well-deserved achievement," said Dr. Albert Siemens, CEO of FHI 360. "She is a dedicated researcher whose contributions are continuing to shape the field of HIV prevention."
For nearly two decades, Dr. Van Damme has been investigating HIV-prevention methods for women. Currently, she is the principal investigator for FEM-PrEP, a multi-site phase III trial, which is testing the effectiveness and safety of oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) among women. She has also been involved with many other HIV prevention trials. In addition to her work on dextrin sulphate, PRO 2000 and polystyrene sulphonate trials, she served as principal investigator for the cellulose sulfate and COL-1492 microbicide trials. Dr. Van Damme earned her medical degree in 1988 and a Ph.D. in medical sciences in 2004, both from the University Ghent, Belgium. She earned an MSc degree in epidemiology in 1995 from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
A lifetime achievement award also was presented to Dr. Gita Ramjee, Director of the South African Medical Research Council's HIV Prevention Program.
Dr. Henry Gabelnick, Ph.D., executive director of CONRAD, said, "As a former recipient of the Lifetime Achievement award, it's a huge honor to present this year's award to Drs. Van Damme and Ramjee. I've had the pleasure of working closely with both of them over the past challenging decade. Their personal integrity and commitment to the HIV prevention field has been most valuable."
Dr. Van Damme said she was honored to receive the award and thanked the organizing committee. "It is special to receive the award from Henry and together with Gita, two colleagues with whom I have worked for many years. Through close collaboration and the efforts of many, together we have come a long way."
About FHI 360: FHI 360 is a nonprofit human development organization dedicated to improving lives in lasting ways by advancing integrated, locally driven solutions. Our staff includes experts in education, health, nutrition, economic development, civil society, environment, gender, youth, research and technology – creating a unique mix of capabilities to address today's interrelated development challenges. FHI 360 serves more than 60 countries, all 50 U.S. states and all U.S. territories. For more information, please visit www.fhi360.org.