Paul A. Offit, MD is Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and Director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He is also the Maurice R. Hilleman Professor of Vaccinology and Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Dr. Offit is a co-author of Vaccines, 6th Edition, widely regarded as the gold standard in the field.
At five years of age, Dr. Offit was sent to a polio ward to recover from clubfoot surgery; this experience caused him to see children as vulnerable and helpless, and motivated him through the 25 years of the development of the rotavirus vaccine. By 2008, Offit had become one of the U.S.’s leading advocates of childhood immunizations.
Dr. Offit earned his medical degree from the University of Maryland, Baltimore. During his internship, residency, and fellowship at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, one of his mentors was the highly esteemed vaccine-maker, Maurice R. Hilleman.
Dr. Offit is the recipient of many awards, including the J. Edmund Bradley Prize for Excellence in Pediatrics from the University of Maryland Medical School, the Young Investigator Award in Vaccine Development from the Infectious Disease Society of America, and a Research Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health.
Dr. Offit has authored more than 130 papers in medical and scientific journals in the areas of rotavirus-specific immune responses and vaccine safety. He is also the co-inventor of the rotavirus vaccine, RotaTeq, recommended for universal use in infants by the CDC; for this achievement Dr. Offit received the Jonas Salk Medal from the Association for Infection Control and Epidemiology, the Luigi Mastroianni Clinical Innovator and the William Osler Awards from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, the Charles Mérieux Award from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases; and was honored by Bill and Melinda Gates during the launch of their Foundation’s Living Proof Project for global health. In 2009, Dr. Offit received the President’s Certificate for Outstanding Service from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Offit was a member of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and is a founding advisory board member of the Autism Science Foundation.
In 2011, Dr. Offit was honored by the Biotechnology Industry Organization with the 2011 Biotech Humanitarian Award, and was also elected to the Institute of Medicine. He also serves on the board of the American Council on Science and Health.