21 November 2017
Eric Wilkinson, a Research Associate at USAMRIID, was nominated by USAMRIID Co- Investigator Kathleen Cashman. The award was presented at USAMRIID by Senior Grants and Contracts Manager Audra Earl.
An excerpt from his nomination states:
“Eric has been a valuable member of the laboratory technical staff in Virology Division, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) since 2008, and joined The Geneva Foundation in 2014. Since joining Geneva, Eric has been the primary laboratory technician supporting the development of a DNA-based vaccine against Lassa fever virus. His day-to-day responsibilities include everything from supply inventory management, to biological sample processing, to assisting with study design, to working with animals in the austere environment of a Biosafety Level 4 (BSL-4) maximum containment laboratory. Working every day in a BSL-4 laboratory is not the easiest job in the world, but Eric has always conducted himself with tireless dedication to the mission of USAMRIID, and to innovation in the development of the Lassa vaccine project. Often, the demands of these intensive studies require that research personnel work long hours, including weekends and holidays. Eric always, without fail, gives everything he must to ensure that each study runs smoothly and safely. Eric has an excellent safety record in the BSL-4 lab, which is a testament to the high quality of his work and his ability to focus on all aspects of our studies.
Conducting BSL-4 studies is, without a doubt, a team effort. Eric is a highly functioning team member, but also possesses a well-developed skillset that enables him to perform all tasks himself, if necessary. He assists other team members with their tasks without hesitation, and without ever asking for anything in return. To use the middle school gym class team-picking model, Eric would be both teams’ first choice.
In addition to his project responsibilities, Eric is known throughout USAMRIID as a person with high personal integrity who is always willing to help others when they need it. This quality also carries through to his life outside work, as he and his family work with local organizations that lend assistance to the homeless, treating them with respect and dignity while trying to help them change their lives.
Eric was well-published prior to joining USAMRIID in 2008, but has continued with his interest in innovative collaborations by contributing to numerous publications, both in print and currently in review. It’s safe to state that without Eric’s assistance and dedication, it wouldn’t have been possible to meet and exceed the project milestones. When I think of the core values of The Geneva Foundation: Integrity, Superior Customer Service, Quality, Teamwork, Innovation, and Respect for All, there is no doubt in my mind that Eric Wilkinson is a living embodiment of those values…every single day.”
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