October 17, 2023
Award recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to the field or related science that have impacted children and pediatric infectious diseases
Penny Heaton, MD, a globally renowned vaccinologist, researcher, and humanitarian, has been recognized with the 2023 Stanley A. Plotkin Lecture in Vaccinology Award at IDWeek. The lecture is named for Stanley A. Plotkin, MD, FPIDS, a founding member of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society and accomplished vaccinologist. This annual award celebrates an individual who has made significant contributions to vaccinology or areas of related science that have impacted the lives of children.
Her lecture, ‘Igniting Innovation and Collaboration to Unleash the Full Potential of Vaccines: The Time is Now’, will be presented during IDWeek (October 11-15), the premier scientific meeting for infectious diseases professionals. The meeting occurs in Boston and virtually.
Dr. Heaton is Global Therapeutic Area Head, Infectious Diseases & Vaccines at Janssen Research & Development. Her career accomplishments span the public and private sectors, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Novavax, and Merck. Her tireless work has saved lives from infectious diseases such as HIV, pneumonia, polio, and notably, rotavirus. The rotavirus research she led at Merck produced a vaccine that is licensed in more than 100 countries and is universally recommended by the World Health Organization.
“Dr. Heaton has made an undeniable, profound impact on the health of children worldwide,” said PIDS President C. Buddy Creech, MD, MPH, FPIDS. “Her contributions in rotavirus vaccines – an area Dr. Plotkin also pioneered – alone prevents tens of thousands infant deaths each year. We are delighted to honor her work and the continuation of Dr. Plotkin’s legacy by granting her this lecture award.”
She is a member of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society and a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Heaton has been honored by numerous organizations. Her awards and recognitions include The Lancet 2006 Paper of the Year, the Humanitarian Award from Kosair Charities in 2010, and both the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Humanitarian Award from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases and the PIDS Distinguished Research Award in 2020.
Dr. Heaton earned her undergraduate and MD from the University of Louisville. She also completed her pediatric residency in internal medicine and pediatric infectious diseases fellowship at Louisville.
PIDS membership encompasses leaders across the global scientific and public health spectrum, including clinical care, advocacy, academics, government, and the pharmaceutical industry. From fellowship training to continuing medical education, research, regulatory issues and guideline development, PIDS members are the core professionals advocating for the improved health of children with infectious diseases both nationally and around the world, participating in critical public health and medical professional advisory committees that determine the treatment and prevention of infectious diseases, immunization practices in children, and the education of pediatricians. For more information, visit http://www.pids.org.