Winner of the FEMS-ESCMID Award, Camille Kolenda

Camille Kolenda from the University Hospital of Lyon, Bacteriology Laboratory, France has been awarded the 2019 FEMS-ESCMID Award for her research proposal: “Molecular diagnosis of bone and joint infections directly from synovial fluid or tissue samples by metagenomic sequencing’’, for which she will spend six months in the "Modernising Medical Microbiology" team in the University of Oxford which is developing metagenomics protocols to increase the microbiological yield for the diagnosis of BJI for the benefit of BJI patients.

Camille: “Bone and joint infections (BJI) can be very severe infections and unfortunately affect a growing number of people. The identification of pathogens in clinical samples of patients is of major importance in order to prescribe an adapted and efficient antimicrobial treatment. Conventional diagnosis relies on microbiological culture but which in some cases not sensitive enough.”

Camille’s favourite microbe also plays a role in bone and joint injuries: “I have been recently involved in other research projects about the use of bacteriophages to treat bone and joint infections. I find these viruses absolutely fascinating because they have so many roles in the environment to control bacterial populations and represent a very promising tool to improve the treatment of bacterial infections that cannot be treated with antibiotics because of antimicrobial resistance for example.”

How did you celebrate winning the FEMS-ESCMID Award?

“I was so glad I won this award and immediately let all my friends and colleagues know about this great news and celebrated it at work!”

What is your favourite quote?

"Chance favours only the prepared mind, by Louis Pasteur. Chance is an important factor of success for many research projects!”

Have you been in contact with FEMS before?

“I have recently received a grant from FEMS to attend to the International Conference on Clinical Metagenomics in Geneva in last October. It was a great opportunity for me to give me an overview on the projects going on in the metagenomics field.”

Could you tell us something about the microbiology society you a member of?

“I am a member of the French Microbial Society (SFM). I am involved in the "young scientists" network of this society which was created last year. We organize sessions in the annual SFM congress dedicated to presentations of young scientists from very different backgrounds (clinical and fundamental microbiology) and offer prices for good presentations or posters during the congress.”

The FEMS-ESCMID Award is a joint initiative with the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) to foster and recognize outstanding microbiology research carried out by young European researchers. This Award is given each year, with each organization selecting an outstanding candidate from their research grantees. The selected candidate receives an additional € 1,000 from the other organization to support their research.