The Robert Koch Foundation has announced that Rafi Ahmed has won the 2017 Robert Koch Award, one of Germany's most prestigious scientific awards recognizing accomplishments in research of infectious diseases. He will share the €120,000 prize with Antonio Lanzavecchia. The award will be presented at an official ceremony on November 3 at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Berlin, Germany.
Ahmed's research examines how memory cells can store an immune response for a practically unlimited time, once learned, and his pioneering studies on this immunological memory and T cell exhaustion have proven highly fruitful for clinical research and treatment. His work has also defined long-lived plasma cells in the bone marrow that are responsible for maintaining antibody responses after infection or vaccination.