Dr. Sherin Devaskar, physician-in-chief at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital and assistant vice chancellor of Children’s Health, was awarded the 2021 American Pediatric Society APS John Howland Award. The honor, one of the highest bestowed by society, was given to Devaskar for her contributions to advancing child health and pediatrics.

“We are incredibly proud that Dr. Devaskar has been honored with this award,” said Dr. Kelsey Martin, dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “As a physician-scientist, Dr. Devaskar has been on the forefront of innovative research, training and clinical practices. Her pioneering work has not only had a transformative impact on patient care but has also inspired pediatrician-scientists throughout the nation and world.”

The American Pediatric Society has annually presented the Howland award since 1952 to honor individuals for their contributions to the field of pediatrics.

Devaskar, a distinguished professor of pediatrics and the Mattel Executive Endowed Chair of the department of pediatrics at the medical school, has focused her research on the mechanisms responsible for fetal and neonatal origins of chronic childhood disorders such as obesity, diabetes and neuropsychiatric conditions.

Devaskar, who is also a member of the National Academy of Medicine, has dedicated her career to academic development, mentorship and support for trainees and faculty with an interest in becoming physician-scientists, clinicians and educators. She has brought to fruition many programs that have shaped and improved UCLA, including the establishment of the diversity and inclusion committee in the pediatrics department, one of the first such committees at the institution.

“It is truly humbling for me to receive this prestigious recognition,” Devaskar said. “This is a testament to the work of so many individuals at UCLA, the department of pediatrics and beyond, at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital and the UCLA Children’s Discovery & Innovation Institute, who I have been privileged to work with in bringing many programs to fruition with the ultimate goal of doing our collective best for child health in the present and future.”

The award will be presented on May 3, 2021, during the APS Presidential Plenary at the Pediatric Academic Societies Virtual Meeting.