Dr Álvaro Acosta Serrano wins 2022 CA Wright medal

News article 2 Mar 2022

LSTM’s Dr Álvaro Acosta Serrano has been awarded highest honour of the British Society for Parasitology as he is named as the recipient of this year’s C A Wright Medal.

Given annual since 1985, the award is a memorial to Chris Wright, Director of the Experimental Taxonomy Unit at the Natural History Museum, London, UK and the Society’s President at the time of his untimely death in 1983. It recognises the recipient’s outstanding contribution to the discipline of parasitology and the fact that they are a future leader in their field.

A Reader across LSTM’s Departments of Vector Biology and Tropical Diseases Biology, Álvaro’s main areas of research are the molecular interactions between African trypanosomes and tsetse flies and the control and prevention of Old World cutaneous leishmaniasis. He joins previous medal recipients from LSTM including Emeritus Professor David Molyneux and Professors Mark Taylor and Russell Stothard.

On being named as this year’s recipient Álvaro said: “I’m incredibly honoured to be the recipient of the 2022 Wright Medal of the British Society for Parasitology. Given the fact that Dr Wright was known for his encouragement of younger parasitologists, I have to say that this wouldn’t have been possible without the passion and dedication of many postdocs and students that have been part of my group, especially over the last ten years at LSTM. I’m also very thankful to many colleagues at LSTM for their continuous encouragement and from whom I learned (and continue to learn) so much about vector biology and disease control in affected areas. I don’t think we couldn’t have done some of the work in recent years without the great facilities and expertise at LSTM. It is wonderful to be associated with Dr Chris Wright’s memory and I am keen to act as an ambassador for his legacy as this year’s recipient.”

He is originally from Venezuela and obtained his PhD in Molecular Parasitology from the Federal University of São Paulo, Brazil. Joining LSTM in 2008, Álvaro is prolific in terms of publications. He teaches on several programmes within LSTM and has supervised numerous PhD and MSc students as well as being actively involved in public and media engagement relating to his fields of research. He is actively engaged in the mentorship and teaching of parasitology and vector biology within the UK and several countries, including at the Woods Hole Biology of Parasitism course.