NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Will Administer Major New Pediatrics Prize Created by Mr. and Mrs. Abe Pollin

Feb 14, 2002


Dr. Herbert Pardes, President and Chief Executive Officer of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, announced today the establishment of the Pollin Prize in Pediatric Research, a major new international award that will recognize outstanding lifetime achievement in biomedical or public health research related to the health of children.

The award is created by Irene and Abe Pollin and their family of Chevy Chase, Maryland, and funded by the Linda and Kenneth Pollin Foundation. It will consist of a $100,000 cash prize and a medal or certificate to be awarded annually to a senior investigator who has done work of international significance in the field of pediatrics.

The award will also include a $100,000 fellowship stipend to be assigned by the Pollin Prize recipient to a young investigator at his or her institution working in a research area related to that of the recipient. The stipend will support a substantial portion of two years of salary and laboratory expenses.

With no other equivalent honor in pediatric research, the Pollin Prize promises to become one of the leading awards in medicine nationally and internationally.

The Pollin Prize in Pediatric Research will be administered by NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and will be coordinated by Dr. Rudolph Leibel of the Department of Pediatrics at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons. The awarding of the Pollin Prize will be celebrated each year with a Public Lecture, accessible to both a general and a scientific audience, and a Luncheon held under the auspices of the Hospital and the University.

"With their magnificent generosity, Irene and Abe Pollin and their family are making a major contribution to the health and well-being of children everywhere," said Dr. Pardes. "The Pollin Prize in Pediatric Research fills an important need in an area of medicine that is basic to the lives of all people. This prize will stimulate valuable research and provide richly deserved recognition to the investigators who are advancing the field of pediatrics."

The Pollin family are prominent philanthropists, perhaps best-known to the public as the co-owners of the Washington Wizards basketball team. Irene Pollin, a psychiatric social worker and Lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard University, created Medical Crisis Counseling and has written several notable books and articles in crisis counseling and in the emotional management of long-term illness. President and Founder of the Linda and Kenneth Pollin Foundation, she serves on a number of national advisory boards and commissions in the fields of mental health and women's health and is a co-founder and chairperson of the Sister to Sister—Everyone Has a Heart Foundation to increase women's awareness of heart disease and provide free screenings.

"Our family is very pleased to be establishing this award," said Mr. and Mrs. Pollin. "By recognizing outstanding achievement in pediatric biomedical and public health research, and at the same time fostering the work of young investigators, we hope to encourage as many of our best scientific minds as possible to address themselves to the problems of children's health and illness worldwide."

The Prize recipient will be selected by a distinguished panel chaired by Dr. Leibel. Four outstanding individuals in pediatric research have been appointed to the first selection panel for the Pollin Prize. They are:

  • Benjamin Caballero, M.D., Ph.D., Professor and Director for the Center for Human Nutrition, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Caballero is an expert in childhood obesity and amino acid and protein metabolism.
  • Leslie L. Davidson, M.D., Director, National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, Oxford University. Dr. Davidson is an expert in the epidemiology of physical injury and urban violence related to children.
  • Vincent T. DeVita, Jr., M.D., Director of the Yale Cancer Center. Prior to becoming Director in 1993, Dr. DeVita was at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where he held the Benno C. Schmidt Chair in Clinical Oncology. From 1980 to 1988, he was Director of the National Cancer Institute. He is an expert in the treatment of Hodgkins and large-cell lymphomas.
  • James M. Perrin, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Perrin is an expert in asthma, middle ear disease, and childhood chronic illnesses and disabilities.
  • Dr. Pardes, Dr. Gerald D. Fischbach, Dean of Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, and Dr. John M. Driscoll, Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics, will be ex-officio members of the panel.

The first Pollin Prize recipient will be announced in April 2002, and the first Pollin Prize Award Lecture and Luncheon will be held in October 2002.