June 1, 2007

Schaffner honored by VZV Research Foundation

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William Schaffner, M.D.

Schaffner honored by VZV Research Foundation

Vanderbilt's William Schaffner, M.D., was recently named one of two physicians honored by the VZV Research Foundation for their contributions to the fight against varicella zoster virus (VZV), which causes chicken pox and, later in life, the painful disease shingles.

Schaffner, chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine, and the University of Toronto's C. Peter N. Watson, M.D., were honored with VZV Research Foundation Medals at the organization's awards luncheon in New York City.

The private foundation is dedicated to providing funds for the research, development and implementation of therapies to combat VZV and VZV infections such as chickenpox, shingles and post-herpetic neuralgia.

Schaffner, a global expert on infectious diseases and immunization practices, is a liaison member of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which has made key recommendations to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that resulted in its universal recommendation to the nation's physicians on adoption of the shingles vaccine.

“Dr. Schaffner has helped change the way health policy makers, academics, government officials and foundation leaders think about prevention and early diagnosis,” the VZV Research Foundation award letter said.