The John Howland Medal of the American Pediatric Society will be presented on Sunday, May 2, to Abraham M. Rudolph, MD, emeritus chairman of pediatrics at the University of California San Francisco and senior staff member of the Cardiovascular Research Institute at UCSF. The award will be presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies' annual meeting in San Francisco.
"The Howland Medal is the highest honor in American pediatrics," said Larry Shapiro, MD, chairman of pediatrics at UCSF, who will deliver the presentation speech at the awards ceremony. "This award honors those whose contributions to pediatrics have aided its advancement. Abe Rudolph is eminently deserving of that honor. He has been a leader in improving our knowledge of the fetal and newborn heart; he has made national and international contributions to many aspects of pediatrics, and he has trained generations of clinicians and investigators in pediatric cardiology."
Rudolph's great intellectual contribution has been the application of physiology to congenital heart disease, according to UCSF pediatrics professor Michael Heymann, MD. "He realized that it was not enough to identify a malformation, for example a hole in the heart - you had to understand the effect that it would have on the circulation and on the development of the heart," Heymann said.
By studying lambs in utero and after birth, Rudolph and his colleagues advanced physicians' understanding of normal and abnormal heart development in newborn humans. They pioneered the use of radionuclide microspheres to find how blood flow is directed in the fetal heart and circulatory system, and how that circulation changes at birth. The knowledge and techniques developed during this research now help physicians diagnose and treat congenital heart defects.
Among the most well-known accomplishments was the discovery by Heymann and
Rudolph that an aspirin-like drug could be used instead of surgery to close the
ductus arteriosus, a
Contact: Janet Basu
University of California - San Francisco