Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division


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VIDD highlights promotions, new hires, honors/awards and goings of its faculty and staff.

Dr. Steven Pergam, an infectious disease physician-researcher at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and medical director of infection prevention at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, has received the 2018 Dr. Ali Al-Johani Award, which recognizes exceptional medical care and compassion to transplant patients and families.

“This was the world’s easiest task for the selection committee,” said Hutch Clinical Research Division Director Dr. Nancy E. Davidson, who presented the award to Pergam on Tuesday. “We had a dozen nominations for you, all of them extolling your virtues as a physician.”

Awardees are nominated by their fellow caregivers and chosen by a committee that includes the clinical research division director and representatives from nursing, clinical faculty, and quality and patient services. Pergam is the 15th Fred Hutch physician-researcher to receive the award and the first infectious disease specialist to do so.

Back in the early days of bone marrow transplantations, Fred Hutch launched the first program in the country to study and treat the unique infections that plague transplant patients. At that time, infection was the most common cause of death in such patients and a scourge as well for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Today, the Hutch has the largest group of infectious disease researchers at any cancer center, with advances in infection prevention and treatment contributing significantly to cure rates.

“We can’t do anything we do without support from our infectious disease experts,” said Davidson, who is also a Hutch senior vice president and a breast medical oncologist. “They’re absolutely vital.”

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