October 28, 2021

Zost honored for research on COVID-19, other life-threatening viral diseases

Vanderbilt’s Seth Zost, PhD, has been awarded a major international prize for his research on COVID-19 and other life-threatening viral diseases. 


by Bill Snyder

Seth Zost, PhD

Seth Zost, PhD, a research fellow in the laboratory of James E. Crowe Jr., MD, director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Center, has been awarded a major international prize for his research on COVID-19 and other life-threatening viral diseases.

The Claude Hannoun Prize for Best Body of Work is awarded by the European Working group on Influenza (ESWI), an international organization dedicated to enhancing public health protection against influenza and other respiratory illnesses.

Zost, the sixth recipient of the prize, was recognized “for his substantial and impressive accomplishments to date in the field of understanding influenza and other respiratory virus dynamics,” according to the ESWI announcement.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of research to understand how respiratory viruses cause disease, and to develop effective vaccines and therapeutics,” Zost said. “I am grateful to have helped to better understand these important pathogens, and honored to receive the Claude Hannoun Prize recognizing my contributions.”

Zost joined Crowe’s lab in 2018 after earning his doctorate in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Pennsylvania. He has contributed to 27 scientific publications on influenza and SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, nine as first author.

He also contributed to research leading to development of a long-acting antibody combination that could be the first to prevent symptoms and serious illness in people infected by SARS-CoV-2. Earlier this month, AstraZeneca applied for emergency use authorization for the investigational therapy from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“Dr. Zost is one of the most accomplished young scientists in the global community of researchers in the field of respiratory virus immunity, and we were gratified to see him recognized with this major international award,” said Crowe, the Ann Scott Carell Professor and professor of Pediatrics and Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology.

In addition to a cash prize of 10,000 euros (more than $11,600), Zost has been invited to speak at the eighth ESWI Conference, which will be held virtually in early December.