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On Tuesday, 17 November, the Ministry of Education and Science held a ceremony online at which Rīga Stradiņš University Professor Ludmila Vīksna was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation from the Cabinet of Ministers.

Prof. Vīksna, who is the Head of the RSU Department of Infectology and a Corresponding Member of the Latvian Academy of Sciences, received this recognition for her contribution to research in the field of infectology and for studying topical public health issues.

Attending the ceremony were Ilga Šuplinska, the Minister for Education and Science, Prof. Aigars Pētersons, the RSU Rector, Prof. Guntis Bahs, the RSU Vice-Rector for Health Studies, Agrita Kiopa, the Vice-Rector for Science, and Dmitrijs Stepanovs, the Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Science and the Director of the Department of Higher Education, Science and Innovation. Prof. Vīksna’s husband Andris Vīksna also attended the online ceremony.

Representatives from the Ministry of Education and Science and RSU management thanked Prof. Vīksna for the work she has invested into training young specialists, research in the field of infectology as well as for her selfless contribution to practical health care in Latvia.

The Ilmārs Lazovskis Prize

The annual voting at the Latvian Medical Association has closed, and the Association reports that the prestigious Ilmārs Lazovksis Prize will this year be presented to Prof. Vīksna for her significant contribution to the development of medicine.

'Voting for the award nominees took place at four interdisciplinary conferences of the Latvian Medical Association. The board of the Association put four colleagues up for the vote who are all well-known and respected in society and in the medical community – Uga Dumpis, Jurijs Perevoščikovs, Ludmila Vīksna, and Dace Zavadska. The winner of this year’s prize is Professor Vīksna – a strong personality, an outstanding doctor, an enthusiastic scientist and a skilled and principled educator of students and doctors,' emphasises Ilze Aizsilniece, President of the Latvian Medical Association.

Prof. Vīksna is faithful to her profession and to her teachers’ ideals, including Prof. Ilmārs Lazovskis. Thanks to her knowledge and ability to explain complicated concepts in a comprehensible way, Latvian citizens have been able to learn the most important things about infections. The Professor possesses such personality traits as collegiality, tremendous performance ability, selflessness, lateral thinking and a great sense of humour. Books written by Vīksna can be found both on doctors’ tables in many Latvian homes.

The Latvian Medical Association established the Ilmārs Lazovskis Prize in 2011 in honour of the outstanding doctor of internal medicine, nephrologist, public health specialist, and medical philosopher. Until now, this award has been awarded to cardiologist Prof. Andrejs Kalvelis, gastroenterologist Prof. Anatolijs Danilāns, thoracic surgeon Jāzeps Baško, internist Assoc. Prof. Jānis Raibarts, ophthalmologist Prof. Guna Laganovska, cardiologist Prof. Gustavs Latkovskis, surgeon, oncologist-chemotherapist, and oncology surgeon Assoc. Prof. Jānis Eglītis, nephrologist Prof. Harijs Čerņevskis, and paediatric surgeon and healthcare management specialist Edvīns Platkājis.

Prof. Vīksna has been working at the university since 1977 and she is currently the Head of the RSU Department of Infectology and the Convent of Councillors. She is also the chief infectology specialist at the Riga East Clinical University Hospital.

Vīksna is one of the leading, most knowledgeable, and experienced infectologists in Latvia. In more than 40 years of working at RSU, the professor has trained several generations of infectologists, created and led 15 study courses, and has been the supervisor of 10 successfully defended doctoral theses. The professor is a member and head of many international professional organisations and an Honorary Member of the Latvian Medical Association. The professor is also the author of dozens of internationally cited publications.

Prof. Vīksna’s experience and knowledge have allowed Latvia to successfully control and limit the spread of COVID-19 in the country. The professor has given extensive interviews to the media and explained the epidemiological safety requirements to the public, helped develop epidemiological safety procedures at RSU, and provided active assistance in the practical healthcare system.

The professor has always been actively involved in research. Currently, she is also leading one of the National Research Programmes on COVID-19 Mitigation - Clinical, biochemical, immunogenetic paradigms of Covid-19 infection and their correlation with socio-demographic, etiological, pathogenetic, diagnostic, therapeutically and prognostically important factors to be included in guidelines.