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Mary Ellen Avery Neonatal Research Award

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The American Pediatric Society and the Society for Pediatric Research
are pleased to announce John A. Clements, MD
as the 2014 Mary Ellen Avery Neonatal Research Award Recipient
John A. Clements, MD

After graduating in 1947 from Cornell University Medical College, Dr. John A. Clements joined its Physiology Department as a research fellow and instructor. Two years later, when a shortage of military doctors became acute, he volunteered for service and was assigned to the United States Army Medical Research Laboratory at Edgewood, Maryland. As a part of his duties there he developed an interest in pulmonary function and began to elucidate the physical and chemical properties of a previously unknown material he named "lung surfactant" which was later found to be essential to normal breathing. This application of biochemical knowledge to respiratory mechanics was an unlikely, pioneering step, and for several years physiologists and physicians largely ignored it. Read full announcement

Award Information
Award Nomination & Instruction Form
Deadline: Passed

Donate to the Dr. Mary Ellen Avery Award Endowment Fund

Mary Ellen AveryThis award, established in 2013, honors the contributions of Dr. Mary Ellen Avery to neonatal health research, the American Pediatric Society and the Society for Pediatric Research. The award shall recognize the lifetime achievement of a pediatric investigator who has made important contributions to neonatal health through basic or translational research.

Dr. Avery was an outstanding leader in the history of academic pediatrics. She is perhaps best known for her seminal translational research on the cause of neonatal respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), a discovery that has saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of newborn babies. In addition to her research, Dr. Avery made many other important contributions to academic pediatrics, including editing major textbooks of both neonatology and pediatrics. She became the first woman Physician-in-Chief of Pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital and served as the first woman president of the SPR. A former president of the APS, she received that society’s prestigious Howland Award.

The Award shall recognize the lifetime achievement of a pediatric investigator who has made important contributions to neonatal health through basic or translational research.

Nomination Criteria

  • To be eligible, nominees must be a pediatric investigator and they must have displayed a sustained record of excellence as a neonatal health investigator.

Nomination Procedures

  • A single award will be made annually. The award provides a $1,000 honorarium, a plaque, economy travel, two nights’ hotel accommodations and complimentary registration to attend the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) meeting. The Awardee will receive the award at a relevant scientific session at the PAS meeting, followed by a 15 minute lecture given by the Awardee.
  • Awards will be made only when there are worthy candidates.
  • The Committee for the Mary Ellen Avery Award will be solely responsible for the selection of the award recipients.
  • Members of the Selection Committee cannot nominate or support any nominations.
  • Each Awardee will be invited to serve on the Selection Committee providing one mechanism for turnover of committee membership by individuals suited to adjudicate the terms of this particular award.

Nomination Directions

  • Nominations deadline has passed.
    The committee will select the Awardee prior to February 2015.
  • The nomination must be supported by the following documents (single-sided, without staples):
    • Completed nomination form.
    • Curriculum Vitae of the nominee which includes a bibliography of published works by the nominee with an asterisk next to five papers that the nominee believes to reflect his/her most significant contributions. In addition, research productivity by mentees should be indicated by highlighting the names of these individuals in each publication.
    • A detailed letter of nomination plus three letters of support from individuals other than the nominator. The letters of nomination and support should provide ample evidence of the substantive neonatal health research contributions of the nominee. The letters should address the impact of the nominee’s work on the field and his/her national and international recognition.
  • Mail to:
    APS/SPR Central Office
    Mary Ellen Avery Neonatal Research Award Committee
    3400 Research Forest Dr., Ste B-7
    The Woodlands, TX  77381

This award, endowed in 2013, is supported by generous contributions from:

  • Family, Friends and Colleagues of the late Dr. Mary Ellen Avery
  • Abbott Nutrition
  • Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Medical Group
  • Cornerstone Therapeutics Inc.
  • Elsevier
  • Faculty Physicians and Surgeons of LLUSM
  • Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians
  • Ikaria
  • Pediatrix Medical Group, Inc.