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October 27, 2022

PIDS Distinguished Research Award Presented to Jeffrey Starke at IDWeek 2022

Award recognizes a Society member whose outstanding research efforts have significant impact on pediatric infectious diseases

Jeffrey R. Starke, MD, a renowned tuberculosis clinician and investigator, is the PIDS 2022 Distinguished Research Award winner. The research award recognizes the outstanding investigative efforts of a Society member who, throughout their career, has made outstanding contributions with significant impact on the field of pediatric infectious diseases. Dr. Starke’s major area of study has been tuberculosis in children, having cared for over 1,100 children with the disease.

The award was presented during this year’s in-person and virtual hybrid IDWeek (October 19-23), the premier scientific meeting for infectious diseases professionals, in Washington, D.C.

For 22 years, Dr. Starke served as the Infection Control Officer at Texas Children’s Hospital and published on the infection prevention aspects of childhood tuberculosis, demonstrating that most children with pulmonary tuberculosis are not contagious. His work underscored the importance of screening the parents of children with suspected tuberculosis who often have previously undiagnosed tuberculosis. He has authored more than 170 papers and 60 chapters on childhood tuberculosis and served as the editor of the multi-authored international book, Handbook of Child and Adolescent Tuberculosis. His published research covers a wide variety of mycobacterial-related topics including new diagnostic techniques, such as the interferon-ɣ release assays, pharmacokinetics of antituberculosis drugs, treatment trials for tuberculosis infection and disease, and reviews of various clinical aspects of childhood tuberculosis.

“Dr. Starke is a highly respected teacher, clinician, and investigator,” said C. Buddy Creech, MD, MPH, FPIDS, PIDS president. “It is fair to say that the ways we think about pediatric tuberculosis are the direct result of his work in the field for many decades. The wellbeing of children around the world is better because of his investigative, clinical, and educational accomplishments.”

In addition to his own published work, Dr. Starke has contributed expertise to guideline writing groups for the American Thoracic Society (ATS), Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and World Health Organization (WHO). He also served two terms and is a past chairman of the CDC Advisory Council for the Elimination of Tuberculosis.

Dr. Starke earned his medical degree from the University of Rochester. He went on to complete his residency and pediatric infectious diseases fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine. In 2021, he was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the North American Region of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease.

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About PIDS

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.

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