‘Superbug’ researcher honoured in prestigious microbiology award

Professor Anton Peleg.

Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) researcher Professor Anton Peleg has won the Australian Society of Microbiology’s (ASM) top research award for his contribution to the field, including his work on antimicrobial resistance.

Professor Peleg was honoured with the 2018 Frank Fenner Award at the ASM Annual Scientific Meeting in Brisbane this month. One of the leading awards in microbiology in Australia, it recognises distinguished contributions in any area of Australian research in microbiology.

“The Frank Fenner Award is a highly respected award which recognises important contributions to microbiology research over a period of time, and I felt very honoured to receive it for 2018,” Professor Peleg said.

Professor Fenner was an esteemed Australian microbiologist and virologist whose achievements included directing the global eradication program for smallpox in the 1970s.

Professor Peleg is recognised internationally for his extensive work on hospital-acquired infections and 'superbugs', mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and microbial pathogenesis, particularly related to clinically-relevant pathogens.

The World Health Organization has named antimicrobial resistance as one of the top health threats globally.

“A lot of the microbiology research over the last 10 years that has contributed to this award being successful occurred through work performed within the Monash BDI and through my clinical integration with The Alfred Hospital and Central Clinical School, Monash University. The environment, the support and the collaboration through the BDI and Monash more broadly has been instrumental in achieving the outputs and productivity that have contributed to this award,” he said.

“Having my patients and their challenging infections direct my research questions has been a powerful pathway for impactful research and research with clinical relevance,” said Professor Peleg, who is also the Alfred Hospital’s Director of the Department of Infectious Diseases.