March of Dimes Richard B. Johnston, Jr., MD Prize

Recognizing an outstanding scientist who has profoundly advanced the science around prenatal development, pregnancy and birth
Richard B. Johnston Jr., MD Prize

Celebrating scientists who have dedicated their lives to translational research

The March of Dimes Richard B. Johnston, Jr., MD Prize honors outstanding scientists who profoundly advance the science that underlies our understanding of pregnancy, parturition and prenatal development. Created as a tribute to Dr. Jonas Salk shortly before his death in 1995, the Prize has been awarded annually since 1996. It’s now named in recognition of Dr. Johnston, former Medical Director of March of Dimes and Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado.

To date, six recipients have gone on to win Nobel Prizes. MOD awarded the 2022-3 prize to Dr. Patricia Hunt, Regents Professor in the School of Molecular Bioscience at Washington State University. Dr. Hunt made instrumental discoveries in how prenatal development is impacted by aging, mistakes in cell division, and environmental exposures. View list of previous recipients.

The Prize carries a cash award and a physical commemorative award presented to the awardee at the Society for Reproductive Investigation (SRI) Annual Meeting where the awardee will also give a lecture.

Award Amount: cash prize, commemorative award, and a President’s Talk at the Society for Reproductive Investigation annual meeting

Areas of Research: prenatal development and pregnancy and parturition  
 

Open to: Nominees are scientific leaders who have pioneered research to advance our understanding of prenatal development and pregnancy and parturition. March of Dimes looks for candidates whose work involves translational and impactful scientific discoveries that may lead to interventions or preventions that improve the health of moms and babies.

Note: current cycle now closed


Nomination window opens: May 13, 2024          
Nomination window closes: September 13, 2024         
Selection Committee meets: November 2024         
Awardee is announced: December 2024

          
How to nominate:       
Nominators should submit the information listed in the how to nominate section below via email attachment to Courtney Dower ([email protected]) by September 13, 2024.

 

Nominations are welcome for late career, outstanding scientists who have profoundly advanced the science around prenatal development, pregnancy and birth, and who do not hold current or active MoD grants or contracts.

Nominations may come from any scientists in the field who can provide a compelling nomination package for scientific leaders who have pioneered research to advance our understanding of prenatal development and pregnancy No self-nominations are accepted.

Nominators should submit the below information via email attachment to [email protected] by September 13, 2024.

The nomination must include the following information in this order:

NOMINATOR'S INFORMATION

  1. Name
  2. Professional Title and Affiliation
  3. Address
  4. Telephone number
  5. E-mail Address
  6. Signature

CANDIDATE'S PERSONAL INFORMATION

  1. Name
  2. Professional Title and Affiliation
  3. Address
  4. Telephone number
  5. E-mail Address

CANDIDATE NOMINATION INFORMATION

  1. Curriculum Vitae
  2. A narrative biographic sketch (250 words)
  3. Statement of the nomination describing the impact of work in our understanding of prenatal development and pregnancy (150 words)
  4. Summary of scientific contributions on which nomination is based

Of note: Self nominations are not accepted, and Nominees must be available to give a lecture during the 2025 SRI meeting, March 25-29, 2025 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

March of Dimes works with a variety of researchers from around the world. It is our hope that our awardees view their time as scholars, grantees, or center partners as mutually beneficial, and with value beyond the monetary consideration. 


We expect our awardees to attend key meetings that pertain to their award program, or assign an appropriate delegate if not possible. We expect members of our research centers to collaborate scientifically and collegially with other centers or non-profit organizations that are identified during the course of the award period. We expect that our awardees will attend scientific meetings that may be established by MOD and use good faith efforts to help MOD raise funds for future awards through attendance at some events, interviews, or other public-facing opportunities. 


We expect our awardees to make an impact on the thematic areas outlined in our strategic plan as the relate to their awards. To that end, we expect awardees to notify us of publications, posters, and presentations so that we may help to amplify their good work to the public. 


All these things we do so that our awardees can be successful now and in the future…  
 

Questions:  
Please direct any questions to [email protected]

2021 Prize in Developmental Biology Winner

For more than three decades, Dr. Flake has advanced fetal surgical techniques and therapies to help babies with life-threatening or devastating fetal conditions and those experiencing preterm birth.

Making an Impact with Research


March of Dimes research is focused on making an impact NOW to end preventable preterm birth; we do this by approaching research in several key ways. At both the bench and bedside– through descriptive research that aims to characterize and understand the factors that lead to preterm birth and other adverse outcomes; and through work that leads to mitigation and prevention of preterm birth- through therapeutics, diagnostics, and/or policy changes. 


We know that pregnancy is complex. March of Dimes research approach takes a whole-system view and brings the best talent and minds to bear, so we can make a difference in our lifetime. 


Recent examples

  • How are we making a difference: March of Dimes research programs have made discoveries that lead to direct impact on the health of moms, babies, and their families.
  • PRC microbiome studies leading to bedside testing; rapid, low cost predictive testing.
  • Early detection of preeclampsia and other adverse pregnancy outcomes through several approaches, including cell-free RNA, data analytics, and other diagnostic markers.
  • Understanding maternal-infant nutrition, to wit, NEC and how breastfeeding can improve outcomes  
     

Your Support Helps us Fund Research

There are a number of ways to support research at March of Dimes. Your time – through volunteering at events, raising awareness in your community, and recruiting new and impactful researcher to our network; your attention – by focused attention on how research can impact your community, your country, and the global family; and your resources – by way of funding, access to your network, and getting involved in research directly.

We need your help to continue developing diagnostics, therapeutics, and understanding of the complex factors that lead to preterm birth, maternal and infant morbidity and mortality, and overall adverse outcomes in pregnancy. Moms, Babies, and their Families can’t wait for you to step up and get involved. 

Join our amazing volunteer community and make a difference in maternal and infant health across the country.

Advocate for healthy moms and strong babies with March of Dimes. Join our network and make a difference in maternal and infant health.

March of Dimes donations go towards lifesaving research and advocating policies that prioritize the health of moms and babies. Your donation to our nonprofit can help improve the lives of moms and babies everywhere. Donate to March of Dimes today.