HUMAThis is the highest award given by the ISC. First established as the ISC Award in 1979, it became the Hamao Umezawa Award in 1983, then the Hamao Umezawa Memorial Award in 1989, in honour of the late Professor Umezawa. The Award is made possible by a donation from the Microbial Chemistry Research Foundation of Japan, which was founded by him.

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, ISC Newsletter and ISC website.

Nomination Procedure

Nominees may either work in the scientific arena or in the area of patient care. Nominations are invited from ISC Member Societies or individual members of ISC Member Societies. They should be made in the form of a letter stating the reasons for the nomination and accompanied by a curriculum vitae (CV), bibliography and electronic copies of key publications representing the candidate’s work. Resubmission of an application made in a previous year should be accompanied by an updated CV and bibliography.

The above requirements (letter of nominations, CV of candidate and key publications) should be sent electronically to Dr Fiona MacKenzie, ISC Chief Executive Officer ( Deadline for nominations is 31st March 2017.


2015 Awardee

Professor Alasdair Geddes

Alasdair Geddes is an Emeritus Professor of Infectious Diseases at the University of Birmingham, UK and is the was Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents (until September 2015). He is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh, is a Fellow of the Royal Colleges of Physicians and Pathologists as well as a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health and the Academy of Medical Sciences. He was made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for services to infectious diseases.

Alasdair Geddes first presented a paper on an antimicrobial agent at the joint ICAAC/ICC in Washington DC exactly 50 years ago in 1965 and has been involved in antimicrobial research for more than 50 years, both in hospital and in the laboratory. When Alasdair Geddes graduated there were relatively few antimicrobials available but in the 1960’s and 1970’s numerous new antibiotics were introduced and Alastair was involved in the early study of many of them in terms of microbiology, clinical trials and PK/PD studies. His group in Birmingham, UK was a pre-eminent centre both for training in infectious diseases, and also for the evaluation of these new antibiotics. Alasdair carried out many of original clinical studies on the semi-synthetic penicillins including amoxicillin, flucloxacillin and amoxicillin/clavulanic acid and also on new cephalosporins including cefuroxime, cefotaxime and ceftazidime. Cefoxitin and imipenem were also studied by his group.

As a long-term member of the Committee for Safety of Medicines (CSM), the equivalent of the FDA, he was an adviser to the UK government on the registration and safety of antimicrobial agents over a considerable number of years. He was also an early advocate of antibiotic policies and protocols for the appropriate use of antibiotics. He has been a leader in the investigation of new antimicrobial agents and a mentor to many clinical scientists who have progressed to form research groups of their own.

The HUMA was presented to Professor Alasdair Geddes during the ICAAC / ICC 2015 in San Diego.