International research group recognizes UTMB experts for decades of work with filoviruses

University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) professors Frederick Murphy and Thomas Ksiazek were recently awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the sixth annual International Symposium on Filoviruses.

"This award represents the culmination of a lifetime of scientific discovery and leadership in addressing one of the most challenging emerging diseases of our time," James LeDuc, the director of the Galveston National Laboratory at UTMB, said.

Filoviruses include Ebola and Marburg, which cause death in 50 to 90 percent of people infected.

Murphy helped discover filoviruses and prepared the first electron micrograph that showed the virus particles. He came to UTMB in 2005 after working in prominent positions at the CDC and the National Center for Infectious Diseases. He is a member of the Institute for Human Infections and Immunity, the Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases, the Galveston National Laboratory and the McLaughlin Endowment for Infection and immunity.

Ksiazek led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's response to nearly every Ebola or Marburg outbreak in Africa since 1995. He is the Galveston National Laboratory director of high containment operations and direct the National Biodefense Training Center. Prior to arriving at UTMB in 2008, Ksiazek was chief of the CDC Special Pathogens Branch, where he developed and coordinated responses to deadly pathogen outbreaks.

Murphy and Ksiazek have provided insight critical to understanding filoviruses and controlling outbreaks of disease.