Research Horizons


Alan Jobe Receives American Pediatric Society’s Highest Honor

Alan Jobe, MD, PhD

Alan Jobe, MD, PhD, has been named the 2024 recipient of the American Pediatric Society’s (APS) John Howland Award, which is the highest honor awarded by the association and recognizes Jobe for his substantial contributions to advancing child health and the profession of pediatrics. He will receive the award in May at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting in Toronto. 

Created in 1952 to honor its namesake, clinician-scientist John Howland, MD, the annual award recognizes individuals for their distinguished service to pediatrics. 

Jobe is an emeritus professor of pediatrics and a neonatologist who already had established a prolific career at other prestigious institutions like the UCLA School of Medicine by the time he joined Cincinnati Children’s in 1997. He has built a legacy of pioneering scientific, clinical, and epidemiologic research in neonatal lung diseases and neonatal-perinatal medicine, obstetrics and physiology. One of his most groundbreaking discoveries is defining the pharmacology of pulmonary surfactant, which can help babies with underdeveloped lungs breathe better. 

“It’s deeply satisfying to know that, through my work on surfactant, antenatal steroids and other projects, I’ve played a role in helping more kids enjoy a longer and better quality of life,” Jobe said. 

Beyond his role as an international thought leader in the scientific community, Jobe has served as a mentor and educator. His influence in these roles is evidenced in the extraordinary list of his mentees, who now lead academic medical institutions as successful scientists, section heads, and department chairs throughout the U.S., Australia, Europe, and Asia. As he continues his fight with brain cancer, he says he looks forward to receiving the award in person and following in the footsteps of several of his own mentors who have received the award, such as Dell Fisher, MD, from Harbor-UCLA. 

“How fortunate we are that Dr. Jobe chose Cincinnati Children’s 26 years ago,” said Tina Cheng, MD, MPH, chair of the Department of Pediatrics, director of the Cincinnati Children’s Research Foundation, and chief medical officer of the health system. “For decades his discoveries have changed the outcome for generations of patients. Our reputation as a leader in neonatology and maternal-fetal medicine is directly tied to his influence.” 

Jobe’s work has been widely recognized. He received the Daniel Drake Medal in 2020, the highest honor given by the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. Other honors include the Virginia Apgar Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP); the Mary Ellen Avery National Research Award from the APS and the Society for Pediatric Research; the E. Mead Johnson Award for Research in Pediatrics from the AAP; and the Arvo Yippo Medal from the Pediatric Academic Societies of Finland. He is also an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) and has been a consultant to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, researching antenatal steroids and their use in treating women at risk of preterm labor. 

This past summer, he made a generous gift from his estate to establish the Alan H. Jobe, MD, PhD, Endowed Chair of Neonatology. The endowed fund will support a junior MD and/or PhD faculty member within the Perinatal Institute at Cincinnati Children’s to pursue research to improve neonatal health outcomes.

Read more about Alan Jobe: