University of Vermont

College of Medicine

Vermont Medicine Magazine

Kirkpatrick Receives Bailey K. Ashford Medal from American Society of Tropical Medicine

Beth Kirkpatrick, M.D.
Beth Kirkpatrick, M.D., University of Vermont associate professor of medicine and microbiology and molecular genetics

Beth Kirkpatrick, M.D., University of Vermont associate professor of medicine and microbiology and molecular genetics, received theĀ 2012 Bailey K. Ashford Medal at an awards ceremony held November 11, 2012 during the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in Atlanta, Ga.

The medal, which is awarded annually to a recipient in his or her early or mid-career, recognizes distinguished work in tropical medicine. The medal honors the late Bailey K. Ashford, M.D., a Georgetown School of Medicine graduate who served in the Army Medical Corps and founded the Puerto Rico Anemia Commission in 1904. Ashford, who died in 1934, established the link between hookworm infection and widespread anemia in the population. He helped establish the Puerto Rico School of Tropical Medicine, which later became the School of Medicine. The medal was first awarded in 1941.

An infectious disease specialist and director of the Vaccine Testing Center (VTC) at UVM, Kirkpatrick joined UVM/Fletcher Allen in late 1999. She received medical degree from Albany (N.Y.) Medical School and completed an internal medicine residency at the University of Rochester (N.Y.). After serving as chief resident, she worked as an infectious disease fellow with Cynthia Sears, M.D., and David Sack, M.D., at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health, where she gained experience in human immunology and vaccine development and conducted a field study in Haiti. Over the past ten-plus years, Kirkpatrick has conducted trials on the development of vaccines against typhoid fever, anthrax, and dengue viral diseases. Since 2009, the VTC has been conducting a five-year project with Johns Hopkins University to study new vaccines against dengue fever. In 2011, she and colleagues from the University of Virginia received a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which supports working with an international team of investigators to understand the spectrum of biologic reasons for failure of the oral vaccines for polio and rotavirus in Bangladesh and India. Kirkpatrick has also collaborated with biotech companies, the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Defense.

Kirkpatrick is the recipient of several honors and awards, including a 2010 Professor in Residence at the Infectious Disease Institute at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, a 2006 UVM Frymoyer Scholarship, and two Pearl M. Stetler Fund Research Fellowships.