2018 Distinguished Physician Alumni Award Recipient

Charles Lockwood, MD, Senior Vice President of USF Health and Dean of the Morsani College of Medicine (right); and Aman Bhullar, MD '07, Chair, Awards & Recognition Committee of the MCOM Alumni Society (left) presented the 2018 Distinguished Physician Alumnus Award to Pedro A. Piedra, MD, ’81, Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine and the Director of the Respiratory Viral Diagnostic Laboratory at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas and a physician at Texas Children's Hospital.

The USF Health Morsani College of Medicine Alumni Society and the Awards & Recognition Committee proudly recognized Pedro A. Piedra MD ’81 as the recipient of the 2018 Distinguished Physician Alumnus Award at the Medicine Commencement Dinner on May 10. The award is the highest honor the Alumni Society bestows upon alumni to recognize exemplary dedication to the profession of medicine, insightful contributions to the medical profession, tireless efforts to the community, and continued professional and personal growth.


Dr. Pedro Piedra is a professor of pediatrics and medicine and the director of the Respiratory Viral Diagnostic Laboratory at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas and a physician at Texas Children’s Hospital. He completed his pediatric residency training at the Medical University of South Carolina in 1987 and fulfilled a fellowship in infectious diseases at Children’s Hospital of Buffalo in New York. Dr. Piedra has been at Baylor College of Medicine since 1987.


Dr. Piedra served on several NIH grant review committees and as a reviewer for many journals, including Pediatrics, The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, The Journal of Infectious Diseases, Clinical Infectious Diseases, Journal of Virology, The Journal of Immunology, and Vaccine. The overall goal of his research program is to reduce respiratory virus illness burden in infants, children, and the community through successful vaccination and antiviral programs. The viruses of interest are influenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus, rhinovirus, adenovirus viruses and human metapneumovirus. Dr. Piedra has acted as principal investigator on numerous clinical trials studying viral infection and pathogenesis, immunology, vaccine safety and efficacy, and herd protection. He has been involved in phase I, II, III and IV clinical vaccine trials. 
His current research areas are molecular epidemiology of RSV, immune correlates of RSV disease, viral surveillance data on moderate to severe acute respiratory illness in children, the role of respiratory viruses in febrile infants less than 90 days old, clinical significance of respiratory viral infections in pregnant women, bronchiolitis and its relation to asthma, biomarkers of acute respiratory viral disease, and prevention of RSV disease through vaccine and drug development. He has also authored/co-authored more than 190 articles, book chapters, and invited articles.


Dr. Piedra visited from Houston, Texas, with his wife, Claudia, to accept the award. He shared that it had been nearly 40 years since he’d been back at USF and expressed his gratitude to USF and the Alumni Society for the recognition. 
During his week-long visit, he was also inducted into the Robert A. Good Honor Society, met with faculty and residents in the Allergy and Immunology and Pediatrics departments, toured the medical school, and attended the commencement ceremony as a member of the platform party.


Many thanks to the Awards & Recognition Committee for their participation in the selection process for this award.

 

Nominations are being accepted for the 2019 Distinguished Physician Alumnus. 
To submit a nomination for this award and see a list of previous recipients - click here