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UC San Diego Physician-Scientist Wins National Honor for Pediatric Research


May 08, 2008  |  

Victor Nizet, M.D., a professor of pediatrics and pharmacy at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and physician at the Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego, has been selected as the 2008 recipient of the most prestigious award in pediatric research by the Pediatric Academic Societies. 

Victor Nizet

Victor Nizet, M.D., recipient of the E. Mead Johnson Award

Nizet was presented the E. Mead Johnson Award for Research in Pediatrics at the Societies’ annual meeting in Honolulu for his work deciphering the disease-producing mechanisms of common childhood bacterial pathogens, and for increasing understanding of immune system function. Established in 1939, the award recognizes outstanding laboratory or clinical research achievements benefiting children.  During his career at UC San Diego, Nizet's laboratory has explored the complex processes by which bacteria such as Streptococcus ("strep") and Staphylococcus ("staph") can survive and spread in the human host to produce serious infections such as sepsis and meningitis.  

“For the past decade, Victor Nizet has embarked on an effort to shed light on the interactions between the host and the pathogens, such as bacteria that commonly infect children,” said Gabriel G. Haddad, M.D., professor of pediatrics and neurosciences, chair of UCSD’s department of pediatrics and physician-in-chief at Rady’s Children’s Hospital.  “His work has resulted in  major progress in our understanding of how innate immunity functions and how to improve it to fight invading bacteria, perhaps allowing us to devise more or better therapeutic agents to kill invading pathogens in children.”

"I am deeply honored to be chosen as a recipient of the E. Mead Johnson Award which, in fact, directly recognizes the ingenuity of several talented graduate and postdoctoral trainees who have spearheaded the projects, as well as the outstanding commitment of UC San Diego to supporting leading edge medical research and collaboration,” said Nizet.

Nizet was recently appointed Chief of a new Division of Pharmacology and Drug Discovery, jointly sponsored by the Department of Pediatrics and the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.  This new program seeks to establish a pathway for drug development, from initial discovery of novel compounds and targets to early stage clinical trials, with a major focus on development of new anti-infective strategies.

Nizet's previous honors include the Sidney Farber Award, the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society Young Investigator Award, the Edward Mallinckrodt, Jr. Foundation Scholar Award, the American Heart Association Established Investigator Award, the American Lung Association Career Investigator Award, and election to the Society for Pediatric Research, the American Pediatric Society, and the American Society for Clinical Investigation.

For more information on his research, go to:

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Media Contact: Debra Kain, 619-543-6163,

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