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AAP members honored at Pediatric Academic Societies meeting

June 1, 2021

Editor’s note:The following AAP members received awards during the virtual 2021 Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) meeting. For coverage of the AAP Silverman lecture at PAS, see

Sherin U. Devaskar, M.D., FAAP, of Los Angeles, received the Academic Pediatric Society (APS) John Howland Award, the highest honor bestowed by the APS, which recognizes contributions to advancing child health and the profession of pediatrics.

The Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics and Mattel Executive Endowed Chair of Pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), she is physician-in-chief, UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital and assistant vice chancellor of Children’s Health, UCLA Health. She also is executive director, UCLA Children’s Discovery and Innovation Institute.

Her research focuses on the impact of prenatal and postnatal dietary modifications on epigenetic mechanisms affecting macromolecular nutrient transport and metabolism across the placenta and on fetal/neonatal brain development.


Ruth Etzel, M.D., Ph.D., FAAP, of Washington, D.C., received the Academic Pediatric Association Public Policy and Advocacy Award. The award recognizes a health care professional whose public policy advocacy efforts at the state, regional, national or international level have improved the health and well-being of infants, children and/or adolescents.

Dr. Etzel is senior adviser in the Office of Water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. She is founding editor of Pediatric Environmental Health and editor in chief of Protecting Your Child's Health: Expert Answers to Urgent Environmental Questions.




Nicolle Dyess, M.D., post-residency training member, of Denver, Angelica M. Garcia, M.D., candidate member, of New Haven, Conn., Monica Hoff, M.D., resident member, of Columbus, Ohio, and Eric Ortigoza, M.D., M.S.C.R., FAAP, of Dallas, received Society for Pediatric Research Awards to Enhance Diversity in the Research Workforce.

Dr. Dyess is a second-year neonatology fellow at the University of Colorado. The focus of her fellowship scholarly work is the effects of parental leave policies on pediatric subspecialty trainees.






Dr. Garcia is co-chair of the Yale Resident and Fellow Quality Improvement Council. During pediatric emergency medicine fellowship training, she created and implemented quality improvement initiatives in the pediatric emergency department that have improved the quality of care of all populations, but targeted underserved patients including those with sickle cell disease.






Dr. Hoff is a third-year pediatric resident focused on basic science research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. She established a residency diversity and inclusion coalition and pediatric equity and advocacy resident learning series curriculum for the residency program. She will be chief resident next year.






Dr. Ortigoza is an assistant professor of pediatrics in the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine. His research is focused on understanding the relationship between the microbiome and gastrointestinal motility in preterm infants at risk of feeding intolerance.






Anna Penn, M.D., Ph.D., FAAP, of New York, received the Society for Pediatric Research Thomas A. Hazinski Distinguished Service Award.

Director of neonatology and associate professor of pediatrics at Columbia University, Dr. Penn conducts translational work on preterm brain injury and the role of placental function in fetal brain development and damage. Current research focuses on investigating placental hormones that impact neurodevelopment using novel models of perinatal brain injury.

Dr. Penn is a member of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology Task Force on Neonatal Encephalopathy and Cerebral Palsy, the Cerebral Palsy Foundation Scientific Advisory Committee and the Society for Pediatric Research.



Sallie R. Permar, M.D., Ph.D., chapter affiliate member, of New York, received the 2020/2021 Society for Pediatric Research Award in Honor of E. Mead Johnson.

Dr. Permar is chair of the Weill Cornell Medicine Department of Pediatrics and pediatrician-in-chief at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian Komansky Children’s Hospital. As a physician-scientist, Dr. Permar studies the treatment and prevention of viral infections in newborns, including the development of vaccines to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, Zika and cytomegalovirus.

She is director of the Pediatric Scientist Development Program, supported by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs.


Elizabeth Tucker, M.D., FAAP, of Baltimore, received the Society for Pediatric Research New Member Outstanding Science Award.

An assistant professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine at Johns Hopkins, her research focuses on understanding the pathogenesis of brain injury during tuberculous meningitis in children and the design of antimicrobial and adjunctive therapy and therapeutic monitoring to improve treatment and prognosis for children with this infection.

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