2001 Sigi Ziering Award for Outstanding Contribution for a Publication in the Journal Clinical Chemistry
Michel G. Bergeron, MD, was born in Quebec City, Canada, where he completed his college studies and received his MD in 1968 from Laval University. He did his Specialty Training in Internal Medicine at McGill University in Montreal. Following this, Dr. Bergeron went to Boston to complete his training in infectious diseases and microbiology with Dr. Louis Weinstein at Tufts University, and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he worked with Dr. Salvador Luria, a Nobel Laureate. Dr. Bergeron returned to Quebec in 1974 and founded the Infectious Diseases Research Centre at the University Hospital of Laval University in Quebec City. Today, the Centre is composed of 225 researchers, making it one of the largest infectious disease research centers in North America.
Dr. Bergeron is the author or co-author of more than 300 scientific publications and has given more than 500 presentations of his work at different universities and international meetings. His research is focused on the development of rapid (<1 h) DNA-based tests to identify microorganisms responsible for infectious diseases. These tests, he hopes, will revolutionize the clinical management of infectious diseases and reduce antimicrobial resistance.
Dr. Bergeron has received many awards and honors during his career, including being named Fellow of the Infectious Disease Society of America in 1980 and Professeur des Universités de France in 1987–1988, a title designated by President Françoise Mitterand and INSERMS of France. Dr. Bergeron’s most recent awards are the Prix Louis Pasteur from the Association des Médecins Microbiologistes-infectiologues du Québec in 1998 and, in 2000, the Emeritas Physician’s Medal, which was given to the 20 Quebec-based physicians who have had the most significant impact on medicine in the last 20 years. He has also won the Canadian 2000 MEDEC Award for medical achievement. Dr. Bergeron has been President of three Canadian professional societies, the Canadian Infectious Disease Society (CIDS), the Canadian Association of Medical Microbiologists (CAMM), and the Canadian Society for Clinical Investigation (CSCI), as well as the Inter-American Society of Chemotherapy. He has chaired multiple international conferences, the most remarkable being the International Congress of Chemotherapy in 1995 in Montreal, which was attended by more than 8000 people from 97 countries. He is on the editorial board of seven international journals and Chairman of the Board of the Canadian Foundation Louis Pasteur. He continues to teach at Laval University to students, postgraduate, and fellows, and has trained more than 70 graduate and postgraduate students. Dr. Bergeron was actively involved in the establishment of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, which started its activities in 2000, in replacement of the Medical Research Council of Canada (MRC). He is also a member of the Science Advisory Board of Health Canada, established by Federal Health Minister Allan Rock, and of the Advisory Board of the Institute of Infection and Immunity.
Dr. Bergeron founded Infectio Diagnostic (IDI) Inc. in 1995 and currently is the company’s Chairman of the Board. The company intends to introduce in 2001 the first of a series of rapid innovative DNA-based diagnostic tests developed by Dr. Bergeron and his research team at Laval University. These tests, now manufactured by IDI in Quebec city, will provide the identification of microbes in less than 1 h compared with the current standard culture, which takes 2 to 3 days. This technology is a true revolution because it is the fastest DNA-based test in the world today.
Dr. Bergeron's award winningarticle is entitled:
“Development of Conventional and Real-Time PCR Assays for the Rapid Detection of Group B Streptococci,” written with co-authors D. Ke, C. Menard, F. J. Picard, M. Boisinot, M. Ouellette, and P. Roy.
Clin Chem. 2000 Mar;46(3):324-31.
Dr. Bergeron's award winning article can be read in its entirety at http://www.clinchem.org/cgi/content/full/46/3/324