Insel Riems, 25 May 2023. The President of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, (FLI), Prof. Thomas C. Mettenleiter, has been honoured with the Gold Medal of the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH, previously OIE). The award ceremony took place last Sunday during the organization’s 90th General Session in Paris. The award was bestowed by the President of the Council and the General Session of the WOAH, Dr. Hugo Federico Idoyaga Benitez (Paraguay), in the presence of Director General Dr. Monique Eloit.
In his laudatory speech, he pointed out that Prof. Mettenleiter has been instrumental in shaping and developing the cooperation between the FLI and the WOAH, including the designation of the FLI as Reference Centre for Zoonoses in Europe. He also acknowledged Prof. Mettenleiter’s efforts as co-chair of the international expert panel on pandemic prevention OHHLEP.
In his short acceptance speech Prof. Mettenleiter expressed his sincere thanks to the staff of the FLI as well as to the colleagues of OHHLEP for the successful cooperation. He especially emphasized the support of the former German Chief Veterinary Officer and former President of the WOAH, Dr. Karin Schwabenbauer, which laid the basis for the close cooperation between FLI and WOAH and thus also for this honorary award.
The WOAH Gold Medal is granted to one person annually in recognition of their outstanding service in the field of veterinary science and their contribution to the scientific and technological development of the WOAH’s activities. The Meritorious Service Award has been granted this year to Dr. David Swayne (USA) and Prof. Jakob Zinsstag (Switzerland).