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Dr. Stanley A. Plotkin to Receive the Hamdan Award for Medical Research Excellence in the Field of Vaccines

PHILADELPHIA(Nov. 14, 2014)–Renowned vaccine researcher Stanley A. Plotkin, M.D., emeritus professor at The Wistar Institute, will receive the Hamdan Award for Medical Research Excellence in the field of Vaccines on Dec. 16 at the Dubai International Conference for Medical Sciences. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, deputy ruler of Dubai and Finance and Industry minister of the United Arab Emirates, will present the award to Plotkin, who will speak about the future of vaccine development and conduct a workshop on vaccines. Established in 1999 to honor the work of researchers across the globe, the Hamdan Award is part of an Emirati initiative that calls upon health institutes worldwide to promote plans for specific research and scientific study to improve lives.

Plotkin has spent a lifetime developing and improving vaccines to fight a host of preventable diseases and save countless lives in the U.S. and around the world. The majority of his more than 50-year career was spent as a professor of virology at Wistar, from 1960-1991, where his groundbreaking research led to the creation of the rubella vaccine against German measles–the lone standard used worldwide to this day–as well as vaccines used to prevent cytomegalovirus, polio, and varicella. His active study spanned decades, from the 1960s when he worked on a rabies vaccine, to 2006, when he collaborated on a rotavirus vaccine, which is now part of the standard schedule of pediatric immunizations recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.

“Stanley’s life work has been to develop some of the most powerful and effective vaccines to help the most vulnerable populations around the world,” said Russel E. Kaufman, M.D., President and C.E.O. of The Wistar Institute. “Many scientists hope to discover one great vaccine or drug in their lifetime that will better the world. You can count on both hands how many Stanley has created or helped to create. He’s a heavyweight in vaccinology, and it’s because of his scientific principles and perseverance.”

A distinguished member of the public health community, advocating on behalf of children and adults worldwide, Plotkin remains an emeritus professor at both Wistar and in the department of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also an advisor to major vaccine companies and biotechs.

Over the course of his career, he has served as senior assistant surgeon with Epidemic Intelligence Service; director of the Division of Infectious Disease at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; associate chairman of the Department of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania; and medical and scientific director at Aventis Pasteur.

The author of more than 700 scientific publications, Plotkin is a former editor of Vaccines, the standard textbook in the field. His numerous professional awards include election to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 2005; the Fleming (Bristol) Award of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (2004); the Sabin Foundation Medal (2002); the French Legion Medal of Honor (1998); the Clinical Virology Award, Pan American Group for Rapid Viral Diagnosis (1995); the Distinguished Physician Award, Pediatric Infectious Disease Society (1993); and the Bruce Medal of the American College of Physicians (1987). 

The Wistar Institute is an international leader in biomedical research with special expertise in cancer research and vaccine development. Founded in 1892 as the first independent nonprofit biomedical research institute in the country, Wistar has long held the prestigious Cancer Center designation from the National Cancer Institute. The Institute works actively to ensure that research advances move from the laboratory to the clinic as quickly as possible. The Wistar Institute: Today’s Discoveries – Tomorrow’s Cures. On the Web at


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