One of the most exciting aspects of our Society is our mutual commitment to discovery, education, patient care, and advocacy. This month, we highlight two ways in which advocacy and discovery intersect: the Stanley and Susan Plotkin/Sanofi Pasteur Fellowship Award and the Pichichero Family Foundation Research Development/Vaccines for Children Award.

In 2008, Dr. and Mrs. Plotkin helped PIDS Foundation establish this critically important fellowship award. The award is intended to offset salary and research costs during pediatric ID fellowship. Dr. Plotkin is considered the Founding Father of PIDS and has consistently been a fierce supporter of the society, the PIDS Foundation, and fellowship training.  He embodies the words of Tennyson’s “Ulysses,” which he presciently quoted in his Yale yearbook: “To follow knowledge like a sinking star, beyond the utmost bounds of human thought.”

In 2016, through the generous support of Dr. Michael Pichichero and his family, PIDS Foundation created a research award specifically designed to foster the development of new vaccines and immunotherapeutics for children. The program awards two-year grants to applicants at any stage in their career, and all members of PIDS are encouraged to apply. The award provides $50,000 in total costs per year (including 8% allocation for indirect costs).

“The research awards are a way of giving back to provide much needed support to an area of pediatric ID research activity—new vaccine development—that has been personally rewarding”, Dr. Pichichero said. It is also an area that is a key, foundational element of pediatrics in general. “The idea of preventing disease seems to me, and to our family, to be the best, most cost effective, and most beneficial strategy for children,” he said.

The Plotkins and the Pichichero Family Foundation exemplify the spirit of the PIDS Foundation, improving the health of children worldwide through the philanthropic support of scientific and educational programs. Research programs focused on herpes simplex virus, enterovirus, RSV, and many other pathogens been awarded thus far.

If you are a fellow in Pediatric ID, we invite you to talk with your mentor about applying for a PIDS fellowship. If you are working in vaccine science, we encourage you to take advantage of the Pichichero Family Foundation funding opportunity; if you have any questions regarding suitability of a potential research project, please contact me (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). More information about the award, as well as the request for application (RFA) is available here. Applications for all Fellowship and Research Awards are due on Monday, May 20, 2019.

We look forward to seeing many of you in Memphis in a few weeks!


Buddy Creech, MD, MPH, FPIDS
Foundation Secretary/Treasurer