Kevin Messacar, MD, a skilled clinician and researcher, has been selected as the recipient of the 2021 Young Investigator Award from the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS). Presented to a physician who has completed pediatric infectious diseases fellowship training in the past seven years, the award recognizes outstanding contributions to the field. The honor is presented this year following the virtual IDWeek (September 29 – October 3, 2021), the premier scientific meeting for infectious diseases professionals.
An associate professor of pediatrics in the Sections of Hospital Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora, Dr. Messacar has advanced the field’s understanding of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), a rare but serious neurologic condition mostly seen in children that causes muscles and reflexes in the body to become weak. His groundbreaking work has demonstrated a link between enterovirus D68 and the condition, which public health authorities began tracking in 2014. Recognized as one of the nation’s experts on AFM, Dr. Messacar is a resource for patients, clinicians, other researchers and public health professionals.
“In a short time, Dr. Messacar has established himself as a leader in his field and impacted the lives of children around the country,” said PIDS President Kristina Bryant, MD, FPIDS. “PIDS is proud to recognize his impressive achievements with this year’s Young Investigator Award.”
Dr. Messacar has also made significant contributions in the areas of rapid molecular diagnostic testing for infectious diseases and diagnostic stewardship. He has received several awards, including the Astute Clinician Award from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for his initial description of the association between acute flaccid myelitis and enterovirus D68.
Dr. Messacar earned his medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School. He completed his pediatric residency and pediatric infectious diseases fellowship training at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, where he joined the faculty in 2014.
PIDS membership encompasses leaders across the global scientific and public health spectrum, including clinical care, advocacy, academics, government, and the pharmaceutical industry. From fellowship training to continuing medical education, research, regulatory issues and guideline development, PIDS members are the core professionals advocating for the improved health of children with infectious diseases both nationally and around the world, participating in critical public health and medical professional advisory committees that determine the treatment and prevention of infectious diseases, immunization practices in children, and the education of pediatricians. For more information, visit http://www.pids.org.