June 16, 2011

Pediatric Infectious Disease Society lauds VUMC’s Edwards

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Kathryn Edwards, M.D., has been honored by the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society. (photo by Susan Urmy)

Pediatric Infectious Disease Society lauds VUMC’s Edwards

Kathryn Edwards, M.D., director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program, has been named to receive the 2011 Distinguished Physician Award from the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society (PIDS).

This announcement was made during a recent Pediatric Academic Societies Conference in Denver. For Edwards, the award is another on a long list of honors and recognitions for her work.

The PIDS award is the highest honor given by the society, presented annually to a pediatrician who has an extensive and distinguished career in pediatric infectious diseases.

The honored physician also has made significant contributions nationally and internationally to advance the knowledge of pediatric infectious diseases and its application to the care of children.

“Kathy has led studies that identified key biological and epidemiologic features of influenza and pertussis and brought safer, more effective vaccines into clinical care,” said John Williams, M.D., assistant professor of Pediatric Infectious Diseases.

“Her research has improved children’s health and saved countless lives. Kathy is also a terrific collaborator and colleague, generous with trainees, quick to share credit, and sets a model for good academic citizenship. She is richly deserving of this award.”

Edwards focuses on the evaluation of vaccines and their safety and efficacy in the prevention of infectious disease in adults and children. She has studied vaccines for a myriad of infectious diseases, including influenza, meningitis, small pox, pneumonia, malaria and more.

“I am deeply honored to be chosen by my peers for this award,” said Edwards, the Sarah H. Sell and Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair in Pediatrics.

She has been named to the America’s Top Doctors and Best Doctors in America lists, two popular annual surveys which recognize top physician performance and high levels of patient satisfaction.

In 2010, Edwards was elected to serve as secretary of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors for the Infectious Diseases Society of America, which works to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of infectious diseases in children and adults.

Previously, Edwards delivered the 2007 Stanley A. Plotkin Lecture in Vaccinology for PIDS, given by individuals who have made an impact in the field of “vaccinology” or related areas that affect children’s lives. She was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2008.