Canadian Association for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

2020 John G. Fitzgeral Award Recipient – Dr. Michael Mulvey

It is a great honour for the CACMID board to present the 2020 John G. Fitzgerald Award to Dr. Michael Mulvey.  This award recognizes Canadian Microbiologists that have significantly advanced the field of medical microbiology through their contributions to clinical, academic, and/or educational pillars.

Dr. Mulvey is the Chief of the Antimicrobial Resistance and Nosocomial Infections section of the National Microbiology Laboratory, Public Health Agency of Canada.  He is a Professor of the Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Max Rady College of Medicine, University of Manitoba and an Adjunct Professor of the Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Calgary and the Department of Pathobiology, University of Guelph.

Dr. Mulvey is a driven and dedicated microbiologist, who is recognized nationally and internationally for his research in antimicrobial resistance, particularly as a “one health” approach.  He is a devoted “super bug fighter”, as per his twitter handle, disseminating accurate scientific information within the social media environment.

Dr. Mulvey’s research program is extensive. He has authored more than 260 peer-reviewed publications with particular focus on large antimicrobial resistance surveillance programs, novel resistance mechanism detection and application of cutting-edge methodologies. Dr. Mulvey recognized the critical “one health” concepts regarding antimicrobial resistance earlier than most researchers in his field. He has developed that area of research and awareness with his dedication as program coordinator to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) programs including CIPARS (Canadian Integrated Program for Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance) which monitors trends in antimicrobial use and antimicrobial resistance in selected bacterial organisms from human, animal and food sources across Canada. The impact of this research to animal and human health has been far reaching. The association between resistance in animal and human isolates of enteric pathogens led to changes in animal husbandry practices in Canada. Those practice changes have successfully reduced cephalosporin resistance rates in Salmonella spp. Dr. Mulvey’s “one health” vision translated into antimicrobial stewardship practices that have improved human health. He is a true visionary in his field.

Dr. Mulvey has identified and characterized many novel resistance mechanisms in Canada. Through CIPARS and his contributions to antimicrobial surveillance in Canadian hospital settings with CNISP (Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program), he has identified the initial spread of many resistance genes into Canada. The first isolation of the carbapenem resistance gene NDM-1 was one such case. As a leader in antimicrobial resistance, he described these findings in the scientific literature but was also sought out by the public news and was interviewed by CBC to detail the significance of this discovery.

Dr. Mulvey’s leadership in antimicrobial resistance was recently highlighted as he is the senior author of the Canadian guidelines for laboratory interpretation of drug resistant Gram-negative pathogens (Canadian recommendations for laboratory interpretation of multiple or extensive drug resistance in clinical isolates of Enterobacteriaceae, Acinetobacter species and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, CCDR 2018. 44: 29-34). He continues to strive to ensure that these guidelines will be consistently and easily applied by all clinical laboratories in Canada to facilitate the ultimate national reporting system for multidrug resistant Gram-negative organisms.

Dr. Mulvey is a committed and dedicated teacher. He is fully invested with every student with whom he supervises or participates as a committee member. He asks salient and challenging questions of the students to ensure they fulfill their academic pursuits in graduate studies.  He is Chief of a large unit of NML-PHAC and he is an enthusiastic mentor to staff and students alike.

We thank Dr. Mulvey for his tireless efforts to establish national and international partnerships to build complete and accurate antimicrobial resistance surveillance networks and his dedication to disseminate knowledge within the University setting and to the greater public.

We congratulate Dr. Mulvey on his impressive career of achievements, and thank him for all his contributions to the microbiology community.