Paul A. Offit, MD - 2015 honoree

   Paul A. Offit, MD, is the director of the Vaccine Education Center and a professor of pediatrics in the Division of Infectious Diseases at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He is the Maurice R. Hilleman Professor of Vaccinology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

  Dr. Offit is an internationally recognized expert in the fields of virology and immunology, and was a member of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He is a founding advisory board member of the Autism Science Foundation and the Foundation for Vaccine Research, a member of the Institute of Medicine and co-editor of the foremost vaccine text, Vaccines.

 He is a recipient of many awards including the J. Edmund Bradley Prize for Excellence in Pediatrics from the University of Maryland Medical School, the Young Investigator Award in Vaccine Development from the Infectious Disease Society of America, and a Research Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health

Dr. Offit has published more than 150 papers in medical and scientific journals in the areas of rotavirus-specific immune responses and vaccine safety. He is also the co-inventor of the rotavirus vaccine, RotaTeq®, recommended for universal use in infants by the CDC. For this achievement, Dr. Offit received the Luigi Mastroianni and William Osler Awards from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, the Charles Mérieux Award from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, and was honored by Bill and Melinda Gates during the launch of their Foundation’s Living Proof Project for global health.

In 2009, Dr. Offit received the President’s Certificate for Outstanding Service from the American Academy of Pediatrics. In 2011, he received the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Biologics Industry Organization (BIO), the David E. Rogers Award from the American Association of Medical Colleges, the Odyssey Award from the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, and was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. In 2012, Dr. Offit received the Distinguished Medical Achievement Award from the College of Physicians of Philadelphia and the Drexel Medicine Prize in Translational Medicine from the Drexel University College of Medicine. In 2013, he received the Maxwell Finland award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, the Distinguished Alumnus award from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and the Innovators in Health Award from the Group Health Foundation.

·                    Dr. Offit is the author of six medical narratives: 

  • The Cutter Incident: How America’s First Polio Vaccine Led to Today’s Growing Vaccine Crisis (Yale University Press, 2005)
  • Vaccinated: One Man’s Quest to Defeat the World’s Deadliest Diseases (HarperCollins, 2007), for which he won an award from the American Medical Writers Association
  • Autism’s False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure (Columbia University Press, 2008)
  • Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All (Basic Books, 2011), which was selected by Kirkus Reviews and Booklist as one of the best non-fiction books of the year
  • Do You Believe in Magic?: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine (HarperCollins, 2013), which won the Robert P. Balles Prize in Critical Thinking from the Center for Skeptical Inquiry and was selected by National Public Radio as one of the best books of 2013

Bad Faith: When Religious Belief Clashes with Modern Medicine (Basic Books, 2015)   

   Dr. Offit will give a presentation and receive the Franklin Founders Award at the Luncheon 12:00-1:45  

Morning Speakers   - Dr. Franklin and Public Health                                                                                            

Dr. Penny Heaton

Penny Heaton is director of Vaccine Development within the Global Health Program at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, supporting vaccine development activities from clinical development through manufacturing and registration. She has extensive experience in vaccine clinical research and development.

Dr. Heaton joined the foundation in 2013 after three years as Global Head of Clinical Research and Development Clusters for Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, during which time regulatory approval was received for Flucelvax (cell-culture derived influenza vaccine), Bexsero (meningococcal B vaccine), and an expanded indication for Menveo (meningococcal A, C, W, Y vaccine) in children. Previously, she was the Chief Medical Officer and VP of Development at Novavax, a biotechnology company developing virus-like particle vaccines. There she was responsible for all medical and regulatory affairs including the development programs for the company's pandemic and seasonal influenza and respiratory syncytial virus vaccine candidates. Dr. Heaton also worked at Merck & Co., Inc., where she chaired the development team for the company’s vaccine against rotavirus (RotaTeq®), which has been licensed in several countries and universally recommended by the US Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the World Health Organization for all infants worldwide.

A graduate of the University of Louisville School of Medicine in Kentucky, Dr. Heaton is board-certified in Pediatrics and Pediatric Infectious Diseases. She began her career at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a medical officer in the epidemic intelligence service where she was responsible for investigating outbreaks of foodborne and diarrheal diseases as well as conducting surveillance and epidemiologic studies. She is a member of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society and a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She is the recipient of several awards and author of several publications.    

Stanley A. Plotkin, MD

Dr. Stanley A. Plotkin is Emeritus Professor of the University of Pennsylvania. Until 1991, he was Professor of Pediatrics and Microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania, Professor of Virology at the Wistar Institute and at the same time, Director of Infectious Diseases and Senior Physician at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  For seven years he was Medical and Scientific Director of Sanofi Pasteur, based at Marnes-la-Coquette, outside Paris.  He is now consultant to vaccine manufacturers and non-profit research organizations.

He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and the French Academy of Medicine.  His bibliography includes over 700 articles and he has edited several books including a textbook on vaccines.  He developed the rubella vaccine now in standard use throughout the world, is codeveloper of the newly licensed pentavalent rotavirus vaccine, and has worked extensively on the development and application of other vaccines including anthrax, oral polio, rabies, varicella, and cytomegalovirus.

Walter Tsou, MD, MPH

Doctor Walter Tsou is a nationally known consultant on public health and health care reform. Currently, he is on the adjunct faculty in the Center for Public Health Initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania. He was President of the American Public Health Association in 2005. He served as Health Commissioner of Philadelphia from April 2000 to February 2002. Prior to his appointment, he was the founding Deputy Director for Personal Health Services and Medical Director of the Montgomery County (PA) Health Department from 1991-2000. Before 1991, he was the Clinical Director in the Division of Ambulatory Health Services for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. He has extensive experience in public health and has lectured widely on public health and health disparities. He is a founding member of the National Board of Public Health Examiners and the National Board of Physicians for a National Health Program. Locally he is on the boards of Philadelphia Physicians for Social Responsibility, Health Care for All Pennsylvania, the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, Asian American Health Care Network, Smokefree Philadelphia, the Edna Kynett Foundation and the Green Tree Community Health Foundation. In 2007, he received the Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition’s Award. In 2006, he received the Public Health Recognition Award from the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. His medical degree is from the University of Pennsylvania; his MPH is from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, and he has an honorary Doctorate in Medical Sciences from Drexel University. 


2016 Celebration