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WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. and PHILADELPHIA The University of Pennsylvania (Penn) School of Medicine's Department of Pediatrics and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), in collaboration with The Merck Company Foundation, today announced the creation of The Maurice R. Hilleman Chair in Vaccinology.
The Hilleman Chair will be awarded to a physician/scientist making significant contributions to vaccinology on the standing faculty of Penn. The Hilleman Chair holder will be selected by an interdisciplinary search committee appointed by the president and CEO of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the Dean, School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
"Dr. Maurice Hilleman is one of the true scientific leaders of our time. His work has helped to protect millions from diseases ranging from pandemic flu to chicken pox, and has revolutionized public health, without question," said Adel A.F. Mahmoud, MD, PhD, president of Merck Vaccines. "It is only fitting that a chair be established at CHOP and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, two institutions that continue to make such progress in improving pediatric healthcare."
Maurice R. Hilleman, PhD, DSc, who retired from Merck in 1984 as senior vice president, pioneered the development of numerous vaccines for diseases including measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, Marek's Disease, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, adenoviruses and the evolution of vaccines against meningitis and pneumonia. He has been credited with developing more vaccines than any person and is recognized for having changed the face of the world in providing the means to prevent and control a number of its most important diseases.
"CHOP and Dr. Hilleman have long been partners in the development of vaccines for children," said Steven M. Altschuler, MD, president and CEO of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "We are honored to continue this tradition by supporting an endowed Chair in Dr. Hilleman's name."
"Dr. Hilleman's contributions to society through his vaccine research have saved and continue to save millions of lives throughout the world," said Arthur H. Rubenstein, MBBCh, dean of Penn's School of Medicine and executive vice president of the University of Pennsylvania for the Health System. "We are confident that the Hilleman Chair will bring greater visibility to the field of vaccinology, attracting scientists and encouraging increased support of this important research."
The Hilleman Chair will accelerate the pace of vaccine research at the University of Pennsylvania. The Merck Company Foundation will provide a $1.5 million endowment, which will be held jointly by University of Pennsylvania and CHOP. CHOP will contribute $500,000 in matching funds, bringing the total endowment to $2 million.
Hilleman is director of the Merck Institute for Vaccinology and adjunct professor of pediatrics at the School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. From 1948 to 1958, he was chief of the Department of Respiratory Diseases atWalter Reed Army Institute of Research in Washington, D.C. In 1951, he was a visiting investigator at the Hospital of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research. He has published over 500 original articles in the fields of virology, immunology, epidemiology and infectious diseases. He serves on numerous national and international advisory boards and committees, academic, governmental and private. These include the National Institutes of Health's Office of AIDS Research Program Evaluation and the National Vaccine Advisory Committee of the National Vaccine Program. He has been a member of the Expert Advisory Panel of the World Health Organization, Geneva, since 1952.
Hilleman is an elected member of the U.S. National Academy of Science; the Institute of Medicine; the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and the American Philosophical Society. Hilleman has received the National Medal of Science from President Ronald Reagan and the Prince Mahidol Award from the King of Thailand for the advancement of public health. He has also received a special lifetime achievement award from the World Health Organization, the Lasker Medical Research Award and the Sabin Gold Medal and Lifetime Achievement Awards.
Source: The Merck Company Foundation