Dr. Oriol Mitjà, a specialist in infectious diseases who works with ISGlobal's research centre, CRESIB, has received the 2013 Príncipe de Girona Award for Scientific Research. The jury chosen by the Fundación Príncipe de Girona called attention to Dr. Mitjà's "extraordinary dedication" and the "enormous international impact of his findings, which may make it possible to permanently eradicate yaws worldwide".
Yaws is a chronic neglected tropical disease with characteristics similar to those of syphilis. It primarily affects the skin and bones of children, and when left untreated the disease can produce severe bone deformities. The study led by Oriol Mitjà and published in the January 2011 edition of The Lancet, demonstrated the efficacy of a new treatment for yaws. The findings led the World Health Organization to launch a new campaign aimed at eradicating yaws by 2020.
Dr. Mitjà, who told the story of his involvement in the fight against yaws in a recent post in the Health is Global blog, expressed his satisfaction about the news: " My hope is that this award will help to make people more aware of neglected diseases and will draw attention and support to global health issues".