NFID Announces Prestigious 2020 Award Recipients

Bethesda, MD (Embargoed for 10 AM ET, September 19, 2019)-The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) is recognizing three individuals for their significant and lasting contributions to public health: Penny M. Heaton, MD, will receive the 2020 Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Humanitarian Award, Claire V. Broome, MD, will receive the 2020 Maxwell Finland Award for Scientific Achievement, and Richard J. Whitley, MD, will receive the 2020 John P. Utz Leadership Award.

Penny M. Heaton, MD, is renowned for leading the development of vaccines that have saved millions of lives, including vaccines for rotavirus, influenza, and meningococcal disease. Her groundbreaking research and development contributions on group B Streptococcus have addressed important causes of prematurity, stillbirths, and neonatal sepsis. Dr. Heaton serves as CEO and executive director of the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute, a non-profit biotechnology organization that applies translational science to combat diseases that disproportionately impact the poor. “Dr. Heaton brings a relentless passion, outstanding leadership talent, and industrial-strength rigor to the development of new vaccines,” said David C. Kaslow, MD, of PATH Essential Medicines and the Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access. NFID selected Dr. Heaton to receive the 2020 Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Humanitarian Award for her influence in vaccine development and public health. Her distinguished career of developing and enhancing access to lifesaving vaccines to people in economically and socially disadvantaged settings makes her an ideal candidate to receive the award which honors individuals whose outstanding humanitarian achievements have contributed significantly to improving global public health.

Claire V. Broome, MD, has had a profound influence on global vaccine policy-making, including advising the World Health Organization and other organizations on vaccines, disease burden and surveillance, and outbreak detection and response. Her conceptualization and use of the “indirect cohort” approach to measuring the effectiveness of pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine has become a landmark in observational studies of vaccines. A former US assistant surgeon general and acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Broome is currently an adjunct professor of global health at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. “Dr. Broome’s scientific accomplishments, leadership, and mentorship have placed her at the forefront of infectious disease epidemiology and public health for the past 40 years,” said Arthur L. Reingold, MD, of the University of California, Berkeley. In presenting the 2020 Maxwell Finland Award for Scientific Achievement to Dr. Broome, NFID recognizes her work as an influential scientist who has made outstanding contributions to the understanding of infectious diseases and public health.

Richard Whitley, MDRichard J. Whitley, MD, will receive the 2020 John P. Utz Leadership Award in recognition of his long-standing leadership in the field of clinical virology and his expertise in how antiviral therapies fight infections in children and adults. Best known for his pioneering work in herpes antivirals, he also led the development of guidelines for the emergency use of influenza antiviral therapy in infants. Dr. Whitley is currently a distinguished professor of pediatrics, microbiology, medicine, and neurosurgery and the Loeb Eminent Scholar Chair in Pediatrics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “Dr. Whitley is simply an outstanding physician and researcher who has dedicated his life to the well-being of others,” said Peter Palese, PhD, of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The award was established in honor of the late John P. Utz, MD, one of the original founders of NFID.

The awards will be presented at the 2020 NFID Annual Awards Dinner on June 11, 2020 in Washington, DC.

About the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases
Founded in 1973, the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to educating the public and healthcare professionals about the burden, causes, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of infectious diseases across the lifespan. Visit www.nfid.org for more information.

Contact: Diana Olson, 301-656-0003 x140