Dean Barbara J. Stoll

Barbara J. Stoll, M.D., dean of McGovern Medical School, has received the John Howland Award, the highest honor bestowed by the American Pediatric Society (APS).

The award, with its accompanying medal, is presented annually by the APS for “distinguished service to pediatrics as a whole.”

“Dr. Stoll takes her place among the finest in pediatric medical science,” said Giuseppe N. Colasurdo, M.D., UTHealth president and Alkek-Williams Distinguished Chair. “On behalf of the UTHealth family, we congratulate her on this tremendous and well-deserved honor.”

Stoll, holder of the H. Wayne Hightower Distinguished Professor, joins the ranks of such venerable leaders in pediatrics as the late Dr. Ralph Feigin, physician-in-chief at Texas Children’s Hospital, and the late Dr. Mary Ellen Avery of Harvard Medical School who is considered one of the founders of neonatal intensive care.

The Society says of its own award:  “The recipients of the Howland Award and Medal represent a pantheon of modern American pediatrics. These individuals have collectively brought more honor to the Society and to Pediatrics than the Society could ever return.”

Stoll described receiving the Howland Award as an extraordinary honor and a special moment for her to savor and to treasure.

John Howland was a remarkable man who made important contributions to the pediatrics of his time, and it is especially meaningful to me to be among only 10 women to have received the Howland Award since it first began in 1952,” Stoll said.  “I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given but also mindful of the importance of seizing and embracing opportunities—for all of us, but especially for women.”

Stoll has spent her career in neonatology studying the causes of morbidity and mortality among preterm and low-birth weight infants – particularly the impact, epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment of neonatal infectious diseases.

Following her clinical training at Columbia Presbyterian and Emory University School of Medicine, Stoll served as associate scientist at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh for four years where she first developed an appreciation of the causes of child mortality in developing nations and interventions to reduce mortality. The hospital-based diarrheal disease surveillance system she developed in Bangladesh continues today.

In 1995, she spent a year at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland raising awareness of the importance of neonatal morbidity and mortality in developing countries and setting guidelines for the care of newborns in resource-poor settings.

Stoll, who joined UTHealth Oct. 1, 2015, previously served more than a decade as chair of pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine and is a past president of the APS. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and has been elected to scientific societies, including the Society for Pediatric Research, the Infectious Disease Society of America, and the National Academy of Medicine/Institute of Medicine. In addition, Stoll is the author of approximately 300 publications and has been a consultant to the World Health Organization, CARE, Save the Children, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.