Solbiate Olona—The 2015 recipient of the International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (IF) Annual Award is Pierpaolo Mastroiacovo, Professor of Pediatrics; Director of the Alessandra Lisi International Centre on Birth Defects and Prematurity (ICBD), and the Centre of the International Clearinghouse for Birth Defects Surveillance and Research (ICBDSR).
The IF board has decided to award Prof. Mastroiacovo in recognition of his outstanding career and his significant contribution to the prevention of birth defects. IF President Margo Whiteford presented him with the award during the 26th International Conference on Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus, Equality, that is taking place in Italy.
Prof. Mastroiacovo said: “I am very pleased and really honoured to receive this Award. It brings me to the beginning of my career when I was deeply involved in caring for children with congenital disabilities, including spina bifida and hydrocephalus. I am glad to receive this award for my currentmain interest: prevention of birth defects.. Last, but not least, I see this Award as an Award to the International Clearinghouse for Birth Defects Surveillance and Research, which was very active to organize and support training courses on surveillance of birth defects, particularly for developing countries”.
Lieven Bauwens, IF Secretary General
"As advocates, we need data. And Pierpaolo understood this very well. Without data, there is no incentive to invest in care programmes or in prevention of birth defects. He was a pioneer in that."
Dr Carol Bower, Head of Western Australian Register of Developmental Anomalies, King Edward Memorial Hospital
“The very best advocate for surveillance of NTD isPierpaolo. Through his leadership of the International Clearinghouse for Birth Defects Surveillance and Research: he has guided, encouraged and supported people around the world to establish and use high quality surveillance programs for birth defects”.
Mark Canfield, Texas Center for Birth Defects Research and Prevention
"Pierpaolohas made outstanding contributions to the worldwide surveillance and prevention of birth defects, and as member of the Scientific Committee of ASBI."
Diana Valencia, Health Scientist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
"Pierpaolohas been a great mentor and is an inspiration to many working on birth defects. He is a passionate professor. He is also a genuine, caring individual and is a pleasure to work with."
"He has nearly single-handedly spearheaded surveillance and prevention of spina bifida (and other conditions) in Italy. The passion he puts into each and every encounter, and the focus he has in others to make them succeed in their countries is remarkable."
Salimah R. Walani,Director , Global Health Programs, March of Dimes Foundation
“I first saw him at a conference and wondered why this man is always surrounded by people. After seeing him in action a few times, I concluded that people surround him for his wisdom that he shares so generously. If you didn’t know Pierpaolo, you would never believe that ICBDSR’s achievements and impact on birth defects surveillance globally could come from a tiny office of two staff in Rome. “
Marcia Feldkamp, Research Associate Professor, Pediatrics, University of Utah
“Dr. Mastroiacovo is one of the most passionate individuals promoting birth defects awareness and preconception care throughout the world. He has trained many students to understand the importance of birth defects."