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Dr. Kathryn M. Edwards to Receive 2020 APS John Howland Award

Tuesday, November 19, 2019 - 12:15

Dr. Kathryn EdwardsThe American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) congratulates Kathryn M. Edwards, MD, on being chosen to receive the American Pediatric Society’s (APS) 2020 John Howland Award.

The John Howland Award is the highest honor bestowed by the APS and signifies the society’s recognition of Dr. Edwards’ significant contributions to advancing child health and the profession of pediatrics.

Dr. Edwards holds the Sarah H. Sell and Cornelius Vanderbilt Endowed Chair in Pediatrics and is a Professor of Pediatrics at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. The APS reports that her work focuses on the evaluation of vaccines for the prevention of infectious diseases in adults and children. She has led many of the pivotal clinical trials of vaccines licensed in the past several decades and has played a major role in their implementation.

She has extensive experience in leading National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded multicenter initiatives; in designing, conducting and analyzing pivotal Phase I, II, and III clinical studies on vaccines and therapeutics; in facilitating networking with basic and clinical investigators with a wide range of interests and expertise; and in mentoring many of the investigators who currently lead vaccine research programs globally.

Dr. Edwards, who is certified by the ABP in General Pediatrics, volunteered at the ABP from 2007 to 2014 as a member of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Subboard and the Conflict of Interest Committee.

"We are delighted to honor Dr. Edwards with the 2020 APS John Howland Award for her significant contributions to pediatrics and vaccinology," said APS President Robin Steinhorn, MD, who also is a member of the ABP Board of Directors. "Her work in evaluating the safety and effectiveness of vaccines has made a significant impact on the prevention and management of infectious diseases in children."

For the past decade, Dr. Edwards has led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded Center for Immunization Safety Assessment (CISA) site at Vanderbilt where she and her colleagues assess adverse events associated with vaccines in subjects of all ages. Dr. Edwards was also awarded a CDC contract in 2011 to conduct comprehensive pneumonia surveillance studies in over 2,000 adults and children with community acquired pneumonia. These studies established the burden and etiology of pneumonia in children and adults. Her research has resulted in over 500 publications. Dr. Edwards was the principal investigator for the NIH-funded Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Units (VTEU) contract and has been continuously funded by the NIH and CDC for decades.

As the recipient of the 2020 APS John Howland Award, Dr. Edwards will serve as the 2020–2021 APS Howland Visiting Professor. The APS Howland Visiting Professor Program was created to extend the reach of awardees' wisdom and knowledge. Through the program, APS members can nominate their academic institutions to host Dr. Edwards to share knowledge, exchange ideas, and discuss important issues affecting pediatrics.

The Howland Award is given annually by the APS in honor of Dr. John Howland (1873–1926) to recognize individuals for their distinguished service to pediatrics as a whole and for making significant contributions to advancing pediatrics through clinical care, scientific discovery, mentorship, and service.