Dr. Vanessa Harris receives award for outstanding PhD thesis of 2018

AIGHD’s Dr. Vanessa Harris has something to celebrate: her thesis was recognized as one of the top PhD theses of 2018 from the Amsterdam UMC. She received the honor at an annual awards session on Tuesday, June 18.

She successfully defended her rotavirus thesis titled The Role of the Intestinal Microbiome in Rotavirus Vaccine Immunogenicity. An Exploration from Correlation to Causation in April 2018. The project investigated whether gut microbiome impacted the effectiveness of the rotavirus vaccine in children living in low-income countries. Rotavirus is the leading cause of diarrhea-related death in children worldwide.

In total, 233 PhD defenses took place last year for AMC candidates and 14 were nominated as part of the 2018 awards.

A jury selected the top four abstracts to be presented based on the quality of the thesis, the originality and the impact of the research, as well as the PhD graduate’s own contribution to the research. Vanessa, along with three of her fellow PhD graduates, gave a brief presentation highlighting their research before the winner was announced. Vanessa’s work placed second.

“[Receiving this award was] an honor and a wonderful recognition of the work I have done with my collaborators, and validates the ambition I have to translate the microbiome to improve rotavirus vaccine performance in low-income settings” she said. “I’m honored to have been considered among such other outstanding candidates.”

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Vanessa Harris on this achievement!