Arjen Dondorp receives the Christiaan Eijkman medal for his contribution to global health research

AIGHD Senior Fellow, Arjen Dondorp, was awarded the Christiaan Eijkman medal in honor of his extensive research in global health, specifically in the management and eradication of falciparum malaria. Over the years, Arjen and his team have worked tirelessly to improve the care for critical illness in resource-limited settings, find better treatments for severe malaria, and eliminate malaria from the Greater Mekong region in Southeast Asia.

Though his work is currently divided between Thailand, The Netherlands, and the rest of the globe, Prof. Dondorp’s career began at the University of Amsterdam. Arjen trained as an infectious disease and intensive care physician at the Amsterdam University Medical Center where he studied under Professor or tropical diseases, Piet Kager. During this time, Arjen had the opportunity to present his research to world renowned expert in tropical medicine, Sir Nick White. Impressed by his work, White invited Arjen to continue his PhD work on severe malaria from his research unit in Thailand. Arjen now holds the title of Professor of Tropical Diseases at Oxford and is deputy director of the Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU), an Oxford University overseas research unit embedded within the Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand.

Upon receiving the news of the award, Arjen remembers the excitement that he felt. “It was a pleasant surprise and an honor, knowing that some of my highly regarded colleagues have received the same award in the past, including the late Prof. Joep Lange.” Dr. Lange received the award in 2007 for his research on HIV in low-resource settings.

Arjen is humbled by the recognition. With this honor, he hopes to have the opportunity to work more closely with global health experts in the Netherlands on future projects. The Christiaan Eijkman medal is simultaneously awarded to Arjen Dondorp and Rovina Ruslami, a professor of clinical pharmacology at Padjadjaran University in Indonesia.

The prestigious award given to Arjen is named after Christiaan Eijkman, a Dutch doctor and researcher who investigated tropical diseases during his work in the former Dutch East Indies. He pioneered research on the beriberi disease caused by poor diet and low levels of Vitamin B1, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1929. Each year, the medal is awarded to honor his work and stimulate research in global health. Since it was first awarded in 1927, 53 people have received the Eijkman medal. We congratulate Arjen Dondorp for joining the ranks of those who came before him and committing his life’s work to global health research.