Andy Kaplan Prize
A prize in tribute to Andy Kaplan was established in 2007, to be awarded annually, with the purpose of advancing the career and honoring the accomplishments of a distinguished postdoctoral scientist as he or she embarks on an independent career in retrovirology. Until his untimely death at 47 in 2006, Andy Kaplan was an Associate Professor in Medicine and in Microbiology and Immunology at UNC Chapel Hill (obituary) (article).
Like many people in the retrovirus field, Andy started attending the CSH Retrovirus Meeting as a postdoc. Many of us got to know Andy and his engaging personality through this meeting, and always enjoyed sharing his excitement about science and his interest in junior investigators. The format of the Cold Spring Harbor meeting—predominantly short talks describing the latest results, presented by the people who performed the work themselves—has long highlighted and supported scientists in training. With this prize, we honor Andy Kaplan’s legacy while celebrating the triumphs and challenges of newcomers to our field.
The inaugural Andy Kaplan Prize was awarded May 2007 at the Cold Spring Harbor Retroviruses meeting. The recipient was Dr. Sara Sawyer of the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Institute, who presented her work on the evolution of host antiviral factors in one of the meetings "Restriction Factors" sessions. The Second Andy Kaplan Prize winner, Dr. Chioma Okeoma from the University of Pennsylvania, was announced at the Cold Spring Harbor Retroviruses meeting in May 2008. Dr. Nolwenn Jouvenet of the Rockefeller University became the third Andy Kaplan Fellow in May 2009, followed Dr. Robert Gifford in 2010, Dr. Nicolas Manel in 2011, Dr. Nadine Laguette in 2012, Dr. Sharon Schlesinger in 2013, Dr. Caroline Goujon in 2014, Dr. Sebla Kutluay in 2015, Dr. Michael Metzger in 2016, Dr. Melissa Kane in 2017, and Dr. Ya-Chi Ho in 2018.