IDF Announces Rebecca Buckley, MD Receives John Howland Medal

BuckleyTowson, MD, March 21, 2014 – The Immune Deficiency Foundation (IDF) is proud to announce that Rebecca H. Buckley, MD, the J. Buren Sidbury Professor of Pediatrics and Professor of Immunology at Duke University Medical Center and Chair of the IDF Medical Advisory Committee, was selected by the American Pediatric Society (APS) to be the John Howland Medal Award Recipient for 2014. The Howland Medal is the highest honor given by the society and considered the most coveted award in pediatric academic medicine.

Dr. Buckley has devoted most of her career to addressing genetic disorders of the immune system and has been a strong proponent of newborn screening for these types of diseases. She has been a pioneer in the use of non-ablative bone marrow transplantation to provide immune reconstitution to infants with Severe Combined Immune Deficiency (SCID) and has been able to provide this treatment to 174 infants with SCID, despite the fact that only 18 or 10% had a matched family donor. The remaining 90% were given rigorously T cell-depleted half-matched parental bone marrow stem cells. Currently, 132 (76%) of the 174 SCID infants and children she has transplanted survive for up to 31.5 years post-transplantation.

“Dr. Buckley’s remarkable contributions to pediatrics, particularly related to SCID and newborn screening, make her a deserving recipient of the Howland Medal. Her observation that fifty (94%) of the 53 SCID infants she transplanted in the first 3.5 months of life survive for up to 31.5 years post-transplantation was a major factor in securing approval of SCID by the Secretary of HHS’s Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders of Newborns and Children for addition to the recommended uniform newborn screening panel. Once this screening is adopted by all states, this should obviously continue to save the lives of many more SCID babies yet to be born,” said IDF President & Founder Marcia Boyle, “We are tremendously grateful for her leadership as Chair of our Medical Advisory Committee. It is an honor to have such an accomplished, dedicated physician as a member of the IDF community.”

In 2011, Dr. Buckley was elected as a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) for her life-saving research in pediatric immunological diseases. Over 30 national committees and councils have been fortunate to have Dr. Buckley as a member.

Dr. Buckley will receive the John Howland Medal Award at the APS Presidential Plenary Session in Vancouver BC, Canada on May 4, 2014.