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In recognition of her outstanding and long-standing contribution to the development of internal medicine, this year the award named after doctor, professor, and researcher Kristaps Rudzītis was awarded to Prof. Ludmila Vīksna, Head of the Department of Infectology at Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU). Prof. Vīksna received the highest award in Latvia in the specialty of internal medicine at a celebratory event in the presence of her colleagues in the RSU Great Hall on 15 November.


RSU Rector Prof. Aigars Pētersons presents Prof. Ludmila Vīksna with the award

Vīksna is a professor at RSU and a corresponding member of the Latvian Academy of Sciences, and has been working at RSU since 1977. She heads the RSU Department of Infectology and the RSU Convent of Councillors. The professor is also the chief infectologist at Riga East Clinical University Hospital.

Prof. Vīksna is one of the leading, most knowledgeable and experienced infectologists in Latvia. Her knowledge and experience enabled Latvia to successfully control and overcome the emergency caused by the Covid-19 pandemic in Latvia. During her more than 40 years at RSU, she has trained several generations of infectologists, developed and conducted 15 study courses, and supervised ten successfully defended doctoral theses. She is a member and head of many international professional organisations and an honorary member of the Latvian Medical Association. Prof. Vīksna has always been actively involved in research and has authored dozens of internationally cited publications. During her years of work, the professor has made an outstanding contribution to the development of internal medicine, including infectiology and haepatology, and the training of students, residents and young doctors in the specialty of infectiology.


The Kristaps Rudzītis Award was established in 1999 to honour outstanding Latvian medical personalities in the field of internal medicine. The award has been presented four times so far. In its first year it was awarded to the eminent Doctor of Medicine, Prof. Ilmārs Lazovskis, for his invaluable contribution to the development of medical terminology and the field of internal medicine. In 2001, the award was presented to Prof. Nikolajs Skuja, a gastroenterologist and the pioneer of endoscopy in Latvia. Later, in 2021, the award presentation was renewed and it was given to Prof. Ivars Siliņš, a legend of Latvian medicine among both medical practitioners and academics. Prof. Aivars Lejnieks, Head of the RSU Department of Internal Diseases, was last year’s recipient.

At the award ceremony, the former RSU Rector, Prof. Jānis Vētra, gave the laudatory speech. After receiving the award, Prof. Ludmila Viksna gave an academic speech (pictured), followed by a musical performance by her favourite musician, accordionist Pāvels Ignatjevs.


About Prof. Kristaps Rudzītis

Prof. Kristaps Rudzītis has earned recognition for his talent, his amazing mind, knowledge of medicine, and for his breadth of thought and intelligence. He has laid the foundations for medical theories that cannot be considered outdated even today. From 1950 to 1972, Prof. Rudzītis was the head of the Department of Therapy of the Faculty of Medicine at Rīga Medical Institute (now Rīga Stradiņš University). Prof. Rudzītis was chair of the Scientific Society of Latvian Therapists (1958-1973), senior research fellow and head of the sector at the Latvian Institute of Experimental and Clinical Medicine (1959-1962). His research interests included the physiology and pathology of connective tissue, the role of focal infection in the genesis of diseases, colloid chemistry reactions, the role of cholesterol in the development of atherosclerosis, changes in the body caused by meteorological and other factors, and medical terminology. Prof. Rudzītis passed away on 27 February 1978 in Riga and was buried in the Forest Cemetery (Meža kapi). An avenue in Ķemeri Park is named after him and is marked with a memorial stone.