Prize in Developmental Biology

The March of Dimes and Richard B. Johnston, Jr., MD Prize in Developmental Biology honors an outstanding scientist(s) who has profoundly advanced 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 is now named in recognition of Dr. Johnston, Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado and a former Medical Director of the March of Dimes. 

In 2020, the March of Dimes awarded the Prize to Susan Fisher, Ph.D., for her research on the human placenta and its role in preeclampsia and other events that lead to preterm labor. A full list of previous awardees is available.  To date, five recipients of the Prize have gone on to win the Nobel Prize® in Physiology or Medicine. 

The Prize carries a cash award of $150,000 and a silver medal in the design of a Roosevelt dime, to commemorate our founder, President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Nominees are scientific leaders who have pioneered research to advance our understanding of prenatal development and pregnancy. March of Dimes looks for proposals that involve translational and actionable science that will lead to interventions or preventions that improve the health of moms and babies. 

The nomination format must include the following information in this order:

  1. NOMINATOR’S INFORMATION
    1. Name
    2. Professional Title and Affiliation
    3. Address
    4. Telephone number
    5. E-mail Address
    6. Signature
       
  2. CANDIDATE’S INFORMATION
    1. Name
    2. Professional Title and Affiliation
    3. Address
    4. Telephone number
    5. E-mail Address
    6. Curriculum Vitae
    7. A narrative biographic sketch (250 words)
    8. Statement of the nomination describing the impact of work in our understanding of prenatal development and pregnancy (150 words)
    9. Summary of scientific contributions on which nomination is based

See also: A list of previous awardees (PDF, 195KB)