Professor Yves Buisson, President of the Exotic Pathologies Society, presented the Robert Deschiens Prize to Dr. Moritoshi Iwagami at the 4th annual Institut Pasteur International Symposium. Iwagami was honored for his research on Plasmodium falciparum’s resistance to artemisinin in Laos.
A specialist in population genetics of Plasmodium and certain helminths, Dr. Iwagami took up his appointment as head of the Institut Pasteur in Laos’s parasitology laboratory in 2014 as part of a project funded by the Japanese government. His research showed that artemisinin-resistant malaria was spreading rapidly northwards and reaching the northernmost province of Laos. He also discovered the first case of human infection with the monkey malaria parasite (Plasmodium knowlesi) in Laos in 2018.
The Robert Deschiens Prize was awarded to Dr. Iwagami in recognition not only of the outstanding quality of his research but also of his commitment to training young Laotian researchers.
Founded in 2014, the prize is awarded each year by a jury of specialists chosen by members of the Bureau of the Exotic Pathologies Society to a young investigator or a team from the Institut Pasteur International Network. The prize is awarded for work on a fundamental or applied research topic concerning improving health in intertropical areas, and presented at the Institut Pasteur International Network Symposium.