May 22, 2009

Polack recognized by city officials in Buenos Aires

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The city of Buenos Aires, Argentina, recently honored Fernando Polack, M.D. (photo by Anne Rayner)

Polack recognized by city officials in Buenos Aires

Fernando Polack, M.D., associate professor of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, has been honored by the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina, for his efforts to protect newborn babies from potentially dangerous viral infections.

Polack was recently named “Peronsalidad Distinguida de las Ciencias de Buenos Aires,” an honorary title that means “Distinguished Citizen in the Field of Sciences.” The city legislature in Buenos Aires selected Polack for the recognition, and the official ceremony was hosted by Mayor Mauricio Macri at the city hall.

Polack, director of the INFANT Foundation for Children’s Infectious Disease Research in Buenos Aires, splits his time between Vanderbilt and Argentina, producing translational work with high-risk children from impoverished areas. His area of special interest is lung infection in infants.

In Buenos Aires, Polack and his colleagues are being recognized for their work to identify interventions to reduce the risk of severe respiratory disease and their research surrounding Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) bronchiolitis. Studies Polack published last year yielded evidence that breastfeeding is a strong protector of newborn girls, but not boys, from common infections like RSV.