November 30, 2022
Chandy John, MD, FPIDS is Ryan White Professor of Pediatrics, Professor of Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology, and Chief of the Ryan White Center for Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Global Health at Indiana University School of Medicine and Riley Hospital for Children. He obtained his MD and did his Internal Medicine and Pediatrics residencies at University of Michigan, and his Pediatric Infectious Diseases Fellowship at Case Western Reserve University and Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital.
Dr. John has been a consistent, longtime contributor to the PIDS Foundation because, in his words, “it is our Society, it grows and advances the field of pediatric infectious diseases, and it ensures kids get the best care.” In particular for Dr. John, it is the support provided by the Foundation to those just entering into peds ID and in increasing interest in the field so that it remains vibrant and filled with the best people that is of utmost importance.
“All of us in peds ID went into the field because we know that infectious diseases are a huge problem in children and the best people to solve that problem are people who dedicate their lives to finding out why these happen and how we can best treat them. There is no other group that is going to advance that cause better than PIDS. It is a small group, but a vital one.” – Chandy John
Dr. John won the Young Investigator Award (presented to a physician who has completed pediatric infectious diseases fellowship training seven years or less from the award date and whose independent and productive research during and after fellowship represents outstanding contributions in pediatric infectious diseases) in 2004. It was a meaningful affirmation from PIDS that his work was important and had a future, even though it focused on malaria overseas, and different from that of many peds ID. Receiving such validation has led Dr. John to encourage fellows to apply for grants and awards offered by the Foundation. In fact, one of his current fellows applied and won an award this year.
He also feels applying for PIDS awards are good exercise. The awards are competitive and putting together a proposal has benefits beyond winning the award. The resulting experience of writing an application can be put toward future grant applications or other opportunities. There’s a great deal of good that comes from having the awards available. Dr. John would like to see PIDS expand its efforts in global health and in providing more awards for those doing different types of research or are underrepresented in medicine (URiM) fellows. More and more PIDS members are working in global health. Supporting and highlighting the work done worldwide would truly help global health work, especially in low- and middle-income countries where ID is a larger problem than in the U.S. Meanwhile, early career research awards help fellows to conduct pilot research studies and obtain data that allows them to pursue larger research questions. Such awards can be particularly helpful for early career researchers who are URiM or who work in overlooked research areas.