This is the highest award given by ISAC for outstanding contributions in the field of antimicrobial chemotherapy. It is generously sponsored by the Microbial Chemistry Research Foundation of Japan.

Professor Umezawa had a brilliant career and made many key discoveries in the fields of antibiotics, anticancer drugs and immunomodulators over many years. The discoveries of kanamycin (1957), josamycin (1967) and bleomycin (1965) were perhaps his most outstanding successes.

The first of his 12 antibiotic discoveries dates from 1949, the first of his 18 anticancer drugs from 1953 and the first of his enzymes inhibitors from 1969. Professor Umezawa received many accolades and honorary doctorates, and was even honoured by the Vatican. He was a great supporter of the ISC and a kind host to many foreign visitors to the Microbial Chemistry Research Foundation, of which he was the director.

Please click HERE for a list of previous awardees and their lecture titles.

HUMA Medal


The award is intended to honour individual researchers, scientists or clinicians who have made outstanding contributions in the field of antimicrobial chemotherapy. The award may be given for individual pieces of meritorious work or to honour an outstanding career in antimicrobial chemotherapy.


The award of 10,000 Swiss Francs, a certificate and a medal will be bestowed on the successful nominee at the ICC 2017 in Taiwan. The awardee will also receive a funded place at the Congress and will be expected to deliver a 40 minute lecture. The name of the recipient will be published in the Final Congress Programme, ISAC Newsletter and ISAC website.


2017 Awardee

Professor Karen Bush (USA)

The 2017 awardee was Professor Karen Bush who is currently an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington and consultant to various pharmaceutical companies and biotech companies.


Professor Bush graduated from Monmouth College, Monmouth, IL with a BA (chemistry major; math physics minor). And went on to gain a PhD from Indiana University, Bloomington, IN (Biochemistry major; Organic chemistry, physical chemistry and organ performance minors).

Professor Bush has been a drug discovery team leader or team member associated with entry of 9 investigational drugs into phase 1 clinical trials. In particular, she was a project team member when FDA approved the following drugs: Aztreonam (Squibb, 1984); Piperacillin-tazobactam (Lederle, 1993), Levofloxacin (Johnson & Johnson/Ortho McNeil, 1998-2005) and Doripenem (Johnson & Johnson/Ortho McNeil, 2007). She was also the Microbiology team leader when Canada and Switzerland approved Ceftobiprole (2008).

Professor Bush has many notable professional activities including a long-standing role with CLSI (NCCLS) where she has been on the Subcommittee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing as both a voting member and advisor. She chaired the Working Group on Extended Spectrum beta-Lactamases (2001), was Chair and/or Secretary, of the Working Group on [Fluoroquinolone] Breakpoints and a member of Working Group on Enterobacteriaceae.
Professor Bush has published 213 Peer-reviewed publications, 230 Meeting Abstracts, 24 Book chapters and 5 Patents.

During the ICC in Taiwan, Professor Bush gave a keynote lecture on a topic in which she is a world authority, that of β-Lactamases.