02 November 2011
Prof Janusz T Paweska (left), head of the NICD's Special Pathogens Unit, was awarded a prestigious statuette of Sapere Auso from the University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Wroclaw, Poland, which is conferred once a year upon an outstanding alumnus whose professional achievements and position contribute greatly to the promotion of the university at home and abroad.
The statuette was presented to Prof Paweska on 14 October 2011 by the Rector Prof Roman Kolacz during the celebration of the 60th anniversary of Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences under the honorary patronage of the President of the Republic of Poland, Mr Bronislaw Komorowski and the Honorary Committee comprising outstanding personalities representing the world of science, attended by all the Rectors of public universities, doctors honoris causa, and political leaders.
Prof Paweska is also the local director of the Global Viral Network and the deputy director of the Southern Center for Infectious Diseases Surveillance. He was a researcher and senior lecturer in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences (former Agricultural University) in Poland from 1982-1991, where he graduated as veterinarian in 1982 and subsequently obtained his Doctor of Veterinary Sciences (1989) and Doctor habilitatus (2006) degrees.From 1991-2001 he worked at the Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute, Onderstepoort, South Africa where from 1999 to 2001 he was the assistant director, head of the Department of Virology, and a designated expert of the World Organization for Animal Health for bluetongue and African horse sickness.
His special fields lie in viral diagnostics with focus on the development and validation of novel techniques for rapid pathogen detection and discovery, epidemiology and ecology of arboviruses and viral haemorrhagic fevers and virus-host interactions. He authored or co-authored 285 publications, including 94 articles published in peer reviewed journals and 7 book chapters. He significantly contributes to the development of young generation of African scientist by supervising a number of MSc, PhD and postdoc students. Prof Paweska has been a part of numerous international research expeditions and international outbreak response missions, including the investigations, controlling and diagnosis of the 2002 Ebola outbreaks in Gabon, the 2005 Marburg disease outbreak in Angola, the 2006 Rift Valley fever outbreak in Kenya, and the 2009 Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.