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Dale N. Gerding, MD, receives VA’s highest research honor

MAYWOOD, Ill. - Dale N. Gerding, MD, a world-renowned researcher of C. difficile and other infectious diseases, has received the Veterans Health Administration’s highest research honor, the 2013 William S. Middleton Award.

Dr. Gerding is a research physician at Edward Hines, Jr., VA Hospital and a professor in the Department of Medicine of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

The William S. Middleton Award for outstanding achievement in biomedical or behavioral research is the highest honor for scientific achievement awarded by the VA’s Biomedical Laboratory Research and Development Service.

The award recognizes Gerding’s exemplary record of involvement in, and service to, the VA and the biomedical profession. It also recognizes Gerding’s seminal contributions to the epidemiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment of hospital infections, with a primary focus on C. difficile. His work has had a broad impact on the clinical care of veterans and the general population. Gerding will receive $50,000 per year for three years in research support.

Clostridium difficile (also known as C. difficile or C. diff.) is a bacterium that can cause symptoms ranging from diarrhea to life-threatening inflammation of the colon. It most often affects older hospital patients and nursing home residents and typically occurs after using antibiotics.

Dr. Gerding’s research interests include the epidemiology and prevention of C. difficile, antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial distribution. He is the author of more than 350 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters and reviews. He holds patents for the use of non-toxigenic C. difficile for the prevention and treatment of this disease. This was shown in 2013 to significantly reduce relapse of C. difficile infection in a phase II patient clinical trial.

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The medical center campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. The heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as the LUC Stritch School of Medicine, the LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

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