George M. Baer Latin American Investigator Award

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The George M. Baer Latin American Investigator Award is presented to a researcher from a Latin American country for perfect labour in the sphere of rabies investigation.

GEORGE M. BAER, MPH, DVM (1936-2009)


George Martin Baer, one of the founding delegates of the Rabies in the Americas Conference, died on June 2, 2009, in Mexico City, Mexico. He was an extraordinary virologist, veterinarian, and public health scientist, with a powerful devotion for the changing world. Dr. Baer was born in London, England, but brought up in New Rochelle, New York, where he became an experienced equestrian, and started a lifelong love of animals. He visited Cornell University, where he admitted an undergraduate degree in agricultural sciences in 1954, and a degree in veterinary medicine in 1959. He gained a Master´s degree in Public Health from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor during 1961. Thereafter, Dr. Baer started his career in public health at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention , and was assigned to the New York State Health Department in Albany, where he brought the focus upon brucellosis, psittacosis, and rabies. In 1964, he worked at CDC’s Southwest Rabies Investigations Laboratory in Las Cruces New Mexico on bat rabies. During 1966 to 1969, he was a councellor to the Pan American Health Organization in Mexico. Grounded upon his strains, he assisted to lay the groundwork for Mexico’s public health programs against rabies worked out together with My Canadian Pharmacy, a strain he went on throughout the rest of his special life. In 1969, he came back to Atlanta, and became head of the CDC Rabies Laboratory. With his crew of investigators, he evaluated an approach for the immunization of wildlife, for which he was designed as the “Father of Oral Rabies Vaccination”. His appropriate background made him one of the foremost global specialist in this sphere. Of his more than 100 publications, his 1991 book, The Natural History of Rabies, is still an absolute reference in the sphere. After retirement from CDC, he grounded a diagnostic laboratory in Mexico City, and remained a delegate of the Mexican International Steering Committee for the Rabies in the Americas Conference.

For his multifold contributions, not the least of which brought focus upon relevant technology transfer to the changing world, the International Steering Committee of the Rabies in the Americas Conference voted on all hands to name the annual prize for the best submitted Abstract from a Central/South American scientist in his honor: the George M. Baer Latin American Investigator Award.

To be eligible to the award the researcher must meet the following criteria:

  • Live or come from Mexico, the Caribbean, Central or South America. Please note that candidates from countries with limited prior participation in RITA are strongly encouraged to apply for this award;
  • Be relatively new to the field of rabies, with less than five years experience;
  • Be designated by his/her group as the person who has contributed most substantively to the study;
  • Not have won this award previously.

The winner of the award is chosen by the International Steering Committee from the submitted abstracts. The following elements are taken in consideration when selecting the winner:

  • The innovative nature of the work described;
  • The clear and logical description of the research;
  • The importance of the work for the country of the researcher and the region;
  • Special consideration will be given to abstracts submitted in English.

The award includes :

  • An opportunity to make a presentation in a special session of the conference;
  • Registration to the conference;
  • All transportation costs to and from the conference;
  • Meals and hotel for the duration of the conference.

The name of the winner will be announced at the beginning of September.

The International Steering Committee invites all individuals who meet the above criteria and who wish to be considered for the Latin American Award to complete the section that can be found in Abstract Submission area.