UNMC’s Susan Swindells, MBBS, honored at IDWeek 2023

Susan Swindells, MBBS

Susan Swindells, MBBS

Susan Swindells, MBBS, was awarded the Infectious Diseases Society of America’s 2023 Alexander Fleming Award for Lifetime Achievement during IDWeek 2023 earlier this month.

The award recognizes a career of major contributions to the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge about infectious diseases. It was one of 11 awards given to infectious diseases leaders at the event.

IDSA called Dr. Swindells “an exemplary leader as seen through her decades of clinical service, landmark clinical research and scholarly dissemination and contribution to national and international guidelines for HIV, tuberculosis and COVID-19 treatment.”

“Dr. Swindells’ tireless efforts and leadership have led to clinical research successes that truly make a difference in the lives of persons living with HIV globally,” said Carlos del Rio, MD, president of IDSA. “We applaud her decades of mentorship and contributions to the field and are pleased to award her with the 2023 Alexander Fleming Award for Lifetime Achievement.”

Dr. Swindells, professor of internal medicine in the UNMC Division of Infectious Diseases, has led numerous high-impact clinical trials, held leadership roles in the National Institutes of Health-funded AIDS Clinical Trials Group, serves on national HIV guidelines committees and, more recently, was appointed to the national COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel.

Mark Rupp, MD, chief of the UNMC Division of Infectious Diseases, called the award truly a singular and exceptionally well-deserved honor.

“Dr. Swindells is a skilled and compassionate clinician, a gifted scientist and a generous mentor and educator,” Dr. Rupp said. “Not only has Dr. Swindells been a local leader for HIV care, but she is also internationally recognized for her work in the treatment of tuberculosis and opportunistic infections associated with HIV/AIDS. Furthermore, Dr. Swindells served admirably during the COVID-19 pandemic and helped to craft the US national guidelines regarding evaluation and treatment of infection due to SARS CoV-2. The UNMC ID Division could not be more pleased or proud.”    

The IDSA pointed to “numerous landmark studies that defined optimal modern antiretroviral treatment strategies, treatment of opportunistic infections, prevention of HIV with antiretroviral therapy and treatment simplification,” also singling out Dr. Swindells more recent work on TB treatment in patients with HIV and tuberculosis, such as her leadership of the groundbreaking trial of “BRIEF TB” therapy, the findings of which have already been integrated into clinical treatment guidelines.

Dr. Swindells’ legacy also includes the significant impact she has had on the careers of many current and rising leaders in the field of HIV research through her investment in mentoring junior investigators and students both at UNMC and nationally. She was honored in 2020 as the 14th UNMC Scientist Laureate, the highest honor UNMC bestows upon its researchers.

Dr. Swindells’ influence on the field is evident through the 18,000-plus citations of her more than 215 peer-reviewed publications, numerous book chapters, reviews and abstracts, including multiple independent projects funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Health Resources and Services Administration and pharmaceutical company-funded clinical trials.

“This is an incredible honor to receive at the end of my career,” Dr. Swindells said. “I am enormously grateful to the IDSA, and to those who nominated me for this prestigious award. I am also very pleased to be the fourth women to receive this award in the 58 years it has been given. Let’s hope we see many more in the future.”

See full award descriptions, recipient biographies and information about other awards given to society members this year.

14 comments

  1. Jasmine Marcelin says:

    Congratulations Dr. Swindells, we are proud of you! Thank you for sharing your greatness with us.

  2. Bill O'Neill says:

    Congratulations, Dr. Swindells!

  3. Precious Davis says:

    Congratulations Dr. Swindells! Forever inspired.

  4. Peter Iwen says:

    Dr. Swindells, what a great honor and well deserved!

  5. Lisa Spellman says:

    Congratulations Dr. Swindells! I can think of no one more deserving!

  6. Angela Hewlett says:

    An amazing and truly well-deserved honor. Congratulations Dr. Swindells!

  7. Ally DeringAnderson says:

    Well deserved honor for an amazing lady. Thanks for always believing in me, even when I didn’t always believe in myself.

  8. Lynn Borstelmann says:

    Congratulations Dr. Swindells! What an honor and so well-deserved.

  9. Rachelle Carr says:

    So well deserved! Incredibly honored to work with you all these years. Congratulations!

  10. Mark Fleisher says:

    Congratulations!! Your impact on the lives of others internationally cannot be adequately expressed!

  11. Myrna Newland says:

    Congratulations on all of your hard work and didication!

  12. Kelly Duffy says:

    Congratulations Dr. Swindells!

  13. Anna Carroll (Walburn) says:

    Congratulations Dr. Swindells! You were inspiring when you were my mentor many years ago during my MPH capstone project, and continue to be today!

  14. Lisa Runco says:

    There is nobody better, what a gift you are to UNMC and to your patients.

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