Awards - The Abbott Diagnostic Award

The Abbott Diagnostics Award of the European Society for Clinical Virology is awarded annually for original contributions in the area of viral diagnosis. Only ESCV members within less than 10 active years in virology after receiving a PhD or MD degree, are eligible for the Award. A member may receive the Award only once. Candidates for the Award must have been an author of one or more papers on viral diagnosis published in a refereed scientific journal during the two years prior to the nomination. When the nomination is assessed, the candida­te's previous scientific contribution in this field will also be taken into consideration. The rules are mentioned separately.

After having been sponsored by Wellcome and Murex Diagnostics in the past the Award is sponsored from 2003 onwards by Abbott Diagnostics and has therefore been renamed into the Abbott Diagnostics Award.

Holders of the Abbott Diagnostics Award:





Christelle Vauloup-Fellous



Kalle Kantola



Irene Görzer



Heli Harvala

United Kingdom


Oliver Schildgen



Kristal van Laethem



Rory Gunson

United Kingdom


Tobias Allander



Daniele Lillieri



Kate Templeton

United Kingdom


Christoph Steininger



Christian Drosten



Manfred William Weidmann



Rob Schuurman

The Netherlands


Florence Morfin



Giorgio Gallinella



Christian Mandl



Judy Fox

United Kingdom


Paola Cinque and Leen-Jan van Doorn

Italy and The Netherlands


Åke Lundkvist



Matti Sällberg



Lennart Svensson



Peter Muir

United Kingdom


Klaus Hedman



Elizabeth Puchhammer-Stockl



Wim van der Bij

The Netherlands


Grazia Revello and Hillar Kangro

Italy and United Kingdom


Paul Griffith

United Kingdom

Winner of the Abbott Diagnostics Award 2009:

Rory Gunson


Rory Gunson obtained a BSc (Hon) in Medical Microbiology from Edinburgh University in 1997 and went on to obtain a distinction in the MSc in Molecular Medical Microbiology from Nottingham University in 1999.  He obtained a PhD in Public Health from the University of Glasgow in 2007, while working as a Clinical Scientist Grade B at the West of Scotland Specialist Virology Centre (WOSSVC) with a thesis entitled “The Development, Implementation and Evaluation of A Real-Time PCR-Based Diagnostic Service for Viral Causes of Infectious Intestinal Disease”.


Rory is currently employed as a Clinical Scientist (Band 8B) at the WOSSVC in Glasgow, where he has played a crucial role in introducing and developing molecular diagnostic assays. He is in charge of the molecular research and development team as well as overseeing sequencing and virus typing within that laboratory.  Apart from developing a wide range of new real time PCR tests for a range of viral and bacterial targets, he has also focused on validating and comparing commercial extractors and master mixes.


There are a number of novel aspects to his work. First, he concentrated on developing systems-based multiplex assays for respiratory specimens, eye swabs, stools, CSF, etc.  Second, he has added in bacteria such as Neisseria gonorrhoeae (GC) to the Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) test, syphilis to the HSV genital swab screen, and Mycoplasma pneumoniae to the respiratory test. Third, he has focused on reducing the cost per sample by pooling positive controls instead of requiring individual extractions for each pathogen and by reducing volumes. He has also developed a unique CT/GC test that is both a screening test (done on a pool of 5 samples) followed by a confirmatory test (using different targets) for both pathogens done on individual samples. This has improved the diagnosis of GC, which was previously based on culture and/or microscopy.  The CT/GC assay performs exceptionally well on QCMD and other panels and costs substantially less than commercial tests. The utility of pooling has been studied both for CT/GC and for HCV. His ACE test quantifies adenovirus, CMV and EBV in a single tube using only 3 pooled standards (high, middle and low, each containing all 3 pathogens).  Although this may not now be seen as novel, it was spearheading development at the time and published in Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Journal of Clinical Virology.

Winner of the Abbott Diagnostics Award 2008:

Tobias Allander

Tobias Allander was born on February 25, 1965 in Stockholm, Sweden. After his MD (1991) and PhD (1997) at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm he completed his medical training receiving Board Certification to practice medicine in 2002.
After working as a Postdoctoral fellow/Research Associate at National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA 1999-2001, he returned to Sweden where he held various posts, culminating in his appointment as Attending physician in the Department of Clinical Microbiology, Karolinska University Hospital and Associate Professor of Virology, Karolinska Institute in 2007.
Winner of the Abbott Diagnostics Award 2006:

Kate Templeton

Katherine Elizabeth Templeton was born on October 25, 1968 in London, United Kingdom. She attended West Heath School, Sevenoaks, Kent from 1981 to 1986. In 1987 she started her undergraduate study at the University of Edinburgh in Biological Sciences and 1990-1991 she completed a final honours year in Microbiology and graduated in 1991. In the same year she started employment as a Clinical Scientist at St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London in the Virology Department. In 1992 she started postgraduate study in a Master of Science in Virology at NESCOT (University of Surrey) as a 2-year part-time course. She graduated from University of Surrey in 1994. In 1995-1996 she took time off work to be a member of the Great Britain Olympic Rowing Squad. Following this, she began training to become a Member of the Royal College of Pathologists, under the supervision of Professor Don Jeffries and Dr. Celia Aitken. She obtained membership by examination in October 2004. In March 2001 she started employment as a research assistant in the Department of Medical Microbiology at Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands, working on a European Union project for development and validation of real-time PCR for the diagnosis of respiratory infections. She gradually broadened her tasks in the field of molecular diagnostics in the laboratory in Leiden, became involved in several other clinical studies and supported the implementation of these tools into clinical practice. She received the Leiden University Doctor's degree for her thesis "Improved diagnosis of respiratory pathogens by real-time PCR" on 25 October 2005. Just before that occasion, in September 2005 she started new employment as a Consultant Clinical Scientist at the Royal Infirmary Hospital, Edinburgh, United Kingdom. She is married to Richard Philipps and mother of two daughters, Rachel and Alexandra.