Dr. George Martin Baer, one of the founding members of the Rabies in the Americas Conference, died on June 2, 2009, in Mexico City, Mexico. He was an eminent virologist, veterinarian, and public health scientist, with a strong affection for the developing world. Dr. Baer was born in London, England, but grew up in New Rochelle, New York, where he became an accomplished equestrian, and began a lifelong love of animals. He attended Cornell University, where he obtained an undergraduate degree in agricultural sciences in 1954, and a degree in veterinary medicine in 1959. He earned a Master´s degree in Public Health from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor during 1961. Thereafter, Dr. Baer started his career in public health at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention , and was assigned to the New York State Health Department in Albany, where he focused upon brucellosis, psittacosis, and rabies. In 1964, he worked at CDC’s Southwest Rabies Investigations Laboratory in Las Cruces New Mexico on bat rabies. During 1966 to 1969, he was a consultant to the Pan American Health Organization in Mexico. Based upon his efforts, he helped to lay the groundwork for Mexico’s public health programs against rabies, an effort he continued throughout the rest of his professional life. In 1969, he returned to Atlanta, and became head of the CDC Rabies Laboratory. With his team of researchers, he developed a method for the immunization of wildlife, for which he was credited as the “Father of Oral Rabies Vaccination”. His considerable expertise made him one of the foremost international experts in this arena. Of his more than 100 publications, his 1991 book, The Natural History of Rabies, remains a definitive reference in the field. After retirement from CDC, he founded a diagnostic laboratory in Mexico City, and remained a member of the Mexican International Steering Committee for the Rabies in the Americas Conference. For his multiple contributions, not the least of which focused upon relevant technology transfer to the developing world, the International Steering Committee of the Rabies in the Americas Conference voted unanimously to name the annual prize for the best submitted Abstract from a Central/South American scientist in his honor: the George M. Baer Latin American Investigator Award.
The applicant must be a citizen and permanent resident of a Latin American country and work in a government agency (national or local level), or be a professional working in a University or research institution or be a student ending the degree process (Bachelor, Masters or PhD).
The applicant must be the first author of the abstract.
The applicant must be a new investigator in the field, with 5 years or less of relevant experience in rabies and must declare if the research group has received technical and/or financial support from international institutions/agencies.
The topic of investigation should be novel for the rabies field or a novel application of research technology received from external agencies that collaborate in the study.
The Abstract is written in English in a style and length suitable for publication in a major international peer-reviewed journal and must not exceed a 300 word limit (if selected, the oral presentation can be made in Spanish, Portuguese, French or English).
The format of the Abstract is such that a reader can appreciate the basic background, objectives, methodology, and results, as well as how the study improves our understanding of rabies or the significance for national, regional or local programs concerning rabies surveillance, prevention and/or control within Latin America.
Deadline for submission of abstracts: July 31st.
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