Ghent University in Belgium awarded Dr. John LiPuma, professor of pediatrics at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and professor of epidemiology in the School of Public Health, with an honorary degree for his internationally renowned research on cystic fibrosis.
Dr. LiPuma received the Dies Natalis 2015 honorary degree during a laudation ceremony on Friday, March 20 in Belgium.
Dr. LiPuma has collaborated with Ghent University for several years in studying the microbiology of airway infection in cystic fibrosis. In a video highlighting the honor, he was lauded for leading research that resulted in infection control measures to prevent the spreading of the bacteria that can cause life-threatening infections. He was also recognized for not only sharing his expertise with other researchers but with patients and families.
“I admired his incredible drive to make things move forward, his very strong critical scientific attitude and his aim to translate the results of fundamental scientific research to the patients as quickly as possible,” says colleague Dr. Tom Coenye, a professor in the Laboratory for Pharmaceutical Microbiology at Ghent University.
“I think such research will bring about the next significant breakthroughs and will lead to a new approach for the treatment of these infections,” Dr. Coenye adds.
Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening hereditary disorder that causes severe damage to the lungs and digestive system. The disease causes the body to produce abnormally thick mucus that creates blockages in the airways, intestines, liver, sweat glands and pancreas.
Dr. LiPuma is the director of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Burkholderia cepacia Research Laboratory and Repository at U-M. The lab’s research focuses on infectious diseases in people with cystic fibrosis, with an emphasis on the epidemiology, ecology, natural history, clinical microbiology, taxonomy and pathogenicity of bacteria in the Burkholderia cepacia complex.
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