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She is the winner of Recipharm’s International Environmental Award

Amy Pruden Photo Ray Meese Virginia Tech

CDMO Recipharm has announced that its 2020 International Environmental Award will be presented to Amy Pruden, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, US.

Amy Pruden is widely recognized for her work documenting antibiotic resistance genes as environmental contaminants, says Recipharm in a press release. Her most recent research focuses on advancing practical means of antibiotic resistance monitoring, mitigation and risk assessment in wastewater, recycled water and other water systems.

“Dr. Pruden’s research in this area is invaluable and will no doubt go a long way to identifying exactly how antibiotic use impacts risks in relation to antimicrobial resistance.”

“Her work concerning antibiotic resistance is particularly interesting since this is a known challenge for the pharmaceutical industry, healthcare and agriculture sectors. Dr. Pruden’s research in this area is invaluable and will no doubt go a long way to identifying exactly how antibiotic use impacts risks in relation to antimicrobial resistance,” says Lars Backsell, Chairman of the Board of Recipharm.

Read more: Pharma industry confronts growing problem of pharmaceutical waste 

Pharmaceuticals, such as antibiotics, may accumulate in our water resources with largely unknown impacts. In Pruden’s research team, she and her colleagues are focusing on antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) as the contaminant of interest, bringing in environmental engineering tools to understand their fate and transport in the environment as well as to assess water treatment options. Their research suggests that standard pathogen inactivation imposed by water and wastewater treatment may not be sufficient to protect public health, rather, technologies that remove or destroy drug-resistant DNA may be necessary.

“A team effort”

Dr. Pruden also serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Environmental Science & Technology and has published more than 175 peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters on bioremediation, pathogens and antibiotic resistance, states Recipharm in their press release. She is also well known for her work in advancing the study of environmental microbiomes and designing water systems to prevent the colonization of pathogens, such as Legionella.

“I am very honored to receive this award and thank Recipharm for this recognition. Our success has really been a team effort, as tackling environmental and public health challenges requires expertise from many disciplines and perspectives. I especially would like to thank my many students for all of their hard work and dedication and I hope that this award offers some inspiration for the future,” says Amy Pruden.

The prize ceremony will take place later during spring 2021 and will be set up in an appropriate format considering the development of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo of Amy Pruden: Ray Meese for Virginia Tech