March 21, 2002
Renowned Vaccinologist To Be Honored at May Ceremony
NEW CANAAN, CT— The Sabin Vaccine Institute announced today that Stanley A. Plotkin, MD, medical and scientific advisor for Aventis Pasteur, has been chosen as the 2002 Sabin Gold Medal winner. The medal is awarded annually and recognizes exemplary leadership in the field of vaccinology. The Sabin Gold Medal will be presented to Dr. Plotkin at a ceremony at 7:30 pm on May 7 at the Wyndham Baltimore Inner Harbor Hotel. The event will be held in conjunction with the 5th Annual Conference on Vaccine Research, a meeting of several hundred of Dr. Plotkin’s fellow scientists that is co-organized by the Institute.
Dr. Plotkin developed the rubella vaccine now in use, and has worked extensively on a range of other vaccines, including polio, rabies, varicella and cytomegalovirus. He is a renowned expert in virology. “Stanley Plotkin is an extraordinary figure in the field of vaccinology and truly epitomizes the dedication that reflects Albert Sabin’s goal to conquer disease with vaccines and immunization,” said H.R. Shepherd, chairman of the Sabin Vaccine Institute. “The Institute is proud to extend this honor to a scientist and humanitarian of Dr. Plotkin’s stature.”
Dr. Plotkin joined Aventis Pasteur in 1990, one of the world’s largest vaccine companies, when the company was known as Pasteur Merieux Connaught. He attained the title of emeritus professor from his prior faculty membership at the University of Pennsylvania. There, he was professor of pediatrics and microbiology and professor at the Wistar Institute, a medical research institute honored for the discovery of vaccines, genetic, and molecular therapies. He served concurrently as director of infectious disease and senior physician at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. For two years, he was associate chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Plotkin’s career included internship at Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital, residency in pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Hospital for Sick Children in London and three years in the Epidemic Intelligence Service of the Centers for Disease Control of the U.S. Public Health Service. In 1957, he investigated the last known outbreak of inhalation anthrax in the United States prior to the events of 2001, and helped demonstrate the efficacy of the current anthrax vaccine.
More than 500 of Dr. Plotkin’s articles have been published and he has edited several books including Vaccines, now the standard textbook in the field. He was chairman of the Infectious Diseases Committee and the AIDS Task Force of the American Academy of Pediatrics, liaison member of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and chairman of the Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Research Committee of the National Institutes of Health.
His contributions have been recognized with the Bruce Medal in Preventive Medicine of the American College of Physicians, the Distinguished Physician Award of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society and the Clinical Virology Award of the Pan American Society for Clinical Virology. In June 1998, he received the French Legion of Honor Medal, and in June 2001, the Distinguished Alumnus Award of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Background on the Sabin Gold Medal
The Sabin Gold Medal is awarded by the Albert B. Sabin Vaccine Institute to recognize individuals who personify exemplary contributions to disease prevention. The selection process originates with canvassing 300 members of the scientific community, particularly those whose specialization is in vaccinology and immunology, who submit their nominations to the Sabin Gold Medal Advisory Committee. The Sabin Gold Medal Advisory Committee is composed of previous winners and is chaired by Maj. Gen. Philip K. Russell, M.D., (USA Ret.), who is the seventh recipient of the honor.
Previous Winners of the Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal
1994: Donald A. Henderson, M.D., M.P.H., Johns Hopkins University
1995: Robert M. Chanock, M.D., National Institutes of Health
1996: Joseph L. Melnick, Ph.D. (d. 2001), Baylor University
1997: Maurice R. Hilleman, Ph.D., D.Sc., Merck & Company
1998: Myron M. Levine, M.D., D.T.P.H., University of Maryland
1998: Allen C. Steere, M.D., Tufts University
1999: Major General Philip K. Russell, M.D., (USA Ret.)
2000: Ciro A. de Quadros, M.D., M.P.H., Pan American Health Organization
2001: John B. Robbins, M.D., National Institutes of Health
For more information on the Sabin Gold Medal presentation, call 203-972-7907. For information on the Vaccine Research Conference, visit the website of the National Foundation for Infectious Deseases, www.nfid.org.
The Albert B. Sabin Vaccine Institute’s mission is to prevent disease by stimulating development of new vaccines and increasing immunization rates. Founded in 1993, the Institute is headquartered in New Canaan, Connecticut. The Institute pursues Albert Sabin’s vision of a world protected from disease by vaccines. Sabin Institute colloquia bring together leaders of academia, industry, government and philanthropy in a shared quest to accelerate the development of vaccines to prevent infectious diseases and to prevent and treat cancer. As an immunization advocate, it helps policy makers shape sound public health policies and informs the public about the importance of vaccinations. The Sabin Institute’s Hookworm Vaccine Initiative is working to develop a vaccine to prevent an infection that afflicts more than twenty percent of the world’s population, a leading cause of malnutrition and stunted development.
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