Robert Austrian Lectureship

Robert Austrian Lectureship


Request for candidates

The International Symposium on Pneumococci and Pneumococcal Diseases (ISPPD) invites you to nominate candidates for The Robert Austrian Lectureship at the ISPPD 12 meeting to be held at, Toronto, Canada from 19 – 23 June 2022.


The Robert Austrian Lectureship was established in 2002 at ISPPD 3, which was held in Anchorage, Alaska to honor the contributions of Dr. Robert Austrian for over 5 decades.

Dr. Robert Austrian was born on April 12th, 1916. He obtained an MD degree from – Johns Hopkins University JHU in 1941 and obtained his Residency training in Internal Medicine at JHU from 1941 to 1943. He was on active duty, Medical Corps, A. US, as 1st Lieutenant and Captain from 1943 to 1945 and served as a member of Field Party, USA, Typhus Commission – China Burma-India Theater.  From 1962 to 1986 he was the John Herr Musser Professor and Chairman of The Department of Research Medicine at The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine where he continued as Emeritus Professor for the rest of his career.

Dr. Austrian devoted much of his medical career to the study of the microbiology, immunology and prevention of pneumococcal diseases. In the late 1940’s he described the M protein of the pneumococcus. Subsequently he described the morphologic variation of the pneumococcus, the phenomenon of binary capsulation of the organism and the biosynthesis of the pneumococcal capsule and its relation to virulence. His work culminated in the demonstration the efficacy of the 14 valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine.

Dr. Austrian is the recipient of numerous awards including the prestigious Albert Lasker Award for Clinical Research and the Maxwell Finland Award for outstanding contributions to the understanding of the pathogenesis of the pneumococcus and the demonstration of efficacy of the polysaccharide vaccine. Dr. Austrian received a personal letter of congratulations from President Jimmy Carter for the receipt of the Maxwell Finland Award. Dr. Austrian  also served on numerous national and international advisory boards and  trained and mentored countless numbers of physicians and researchers over a 50 year period.


The objective of the RA Lectureship is to recognize the contributions of individuals who have made outstanding and sustained contributions to the field of pneumococcal diseases.


The criteria for selection of the Robert Austrian Lecturer include the contributions of the individual to the scientific knowledge of the pneumococcus, the public health impact of the individual’s contributions and strong evidence of mentoring and training of junior colleagues.

Nomination requirements

1. A nomination letter which is no longer than 2 pages and includes the following information:

  • The contributions of the nominee to the pneumococcal field.  The letter should indicate the innovative nature of the work as well as the impact of the contributions of the nominee to advance the field.
  • The impact of the work on – one or more of the following:

o improving the diagnosis of pneumococcal disease particularly for pneumonia
o improvement of treatment modalities
o improvement and/or implementation of strategies to prevent pneumococcal disease

  • Documentation of nominee’s record of mentoring junior colleagues
  • General public health impact of nominee’s work

2. Two support letters – no longer than 2 pages each

3. A brief curriculum vitae of nominee – no longer than 5 pages

Past Robert Austrian Lecturers

The following individuals are the past recipients of the Robert Austrian Award:

  • Helena Makela          ISPPD 3 – 2002, Anchorage, Alaska
  • Brian Greenwood      ISPPD 4 – 2004, Helsinki, Finland
  • Mathu Santosham     ISPPD 5 – 2006, Alice Springs, Australia
  • Alexander Tomasz     ISPPD 6 – 2008, Reykjavik, Iceland
  • Ron Dagan                 ISPPD 7 – 2010, Tel Aviv, Israel
  • Keith Klugman           ISPPD 8 – 2012, Iguaçu Falls, Brazil
  • Katherine O’Brien      ISPPD 9 – 2014, Hyderabad, India
  • Marc Lipsitch              ISPPD 10 – 2016, Glasgow, UK
  • Kim Mulholland          ISPPD 11 – 2018, Melbourne, Australia


Please submit your nomination no later than December 31st  2019 to ISPPD office at