Dr. Jon Tyson receives the AAP's APGAR Award.
Dr. Jon Tyson receives the AAP’s APGAR Award.

Dr. Jon Tyson, the Michelle Bain Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Public Health, has won the 2014 APGAR Award for his lifelong contributions to perinatal medicine and education.

The award, named after the physician who designed the first standardized method for evaluating a newborn’s transition to life outside the womb, is considered the highest honor bestowed by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) for perinatal care.

Tyson, vice dean for Clinical Research & Healthcare Quality, received the award at a recent ceremony in San Diego during the AAP National Conference and Exhibition.

“Dr. Tyson is an ideal academic mentor who places major emphasis on comparative effectiveness and has the highest standards of patient care,” said Dr. Giuseppe Colasurdo, president of UTHealth and dean of McGovern Medical School.

Tyson has been a leading investigator of the Neonatal Research Network for the National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD) since 1986. He is also the lead researcher for a study that has shown a 50 percent reduction in emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and ICU admissions and a $10,000 yearly savings per child in health care costs among chronically ill children. A three-year, $3.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services supports the study.

Tyson is recognized for his efforts to develop improved methods to minimize bias and imprecision and maximize the efficiency and generalizability of clinical research.

He may be best known for promoting evidence-based ethics and more informed and better justified parental counseling and treatment decisions for extremely premature infants. He led the development of a web-based tool for infants at 22 to 25 weeks gestation using multiple risk factors to estimate the likelihood of survival, survival without impairment, and survival without profound impairment with intensive care. This widely used tool was based on network data, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine and placed on the NICHD Neonatal Research Network website.

In working with fellows and junior faculty, Tyson is known as an extremely dedicated mentor. In the past 11 years, 34 of his mentees have received career development awards, 38 have received federal funding, and 14 have directed multicenter studies. Ten have gone on to become academic leaders, including one dean.

Tyson has been an author on 300 publications and has received the UTHealth President’s Scholar Award for Teaching; the President’s Award for Mentoring Women; the Distinguished Educator Award from the Association of Clinical Research Training Program Directors; the Maureen Andrew Award Mentorship from the Society for Pediatric Research; and the Douglas K. Richardson Award for Perinatal and Pediatric Healthcare Research from the Society for Pediatric Research.

-Deborah Mann Lake, Office of Advancement, Media Relations