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Announcing the 2018 CoAS Commencement Speaker


May 1, 2018

Paul Offit

Paul A. Offit, MD, director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, will deliver the College of Arts and Sciences Commencement address on June 15, 2018 at the Mann Center.

In addition to his appointment at CHOP, Offit is the Maurice R. Hilleman Professor of Vaccinology and professor of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. He has published more than 160 papers in medical and scientific journals in the areas of rotavirus-specific immune responses and vaccine safety. Offit is the co-inventor of the rotavirus vaccine, RotaTeq, recommended for universal use in infants by the CDC. For this achievement, he received the Luigi Mastroianni and William Osler Awards from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, the Charles Mérieux Award from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, and was honored by Bill and Melinda Gates during the launch of their Foundation’s Living Proof Project for global health.

Offit has received countless awards, including the President’s Certificate for Outstanding Service from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Biologics Industry Organization, the David E. Rogers Award from the American Association of Medical Colleges, the Maxwell Finland award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching from the University of Pennsylvania, the Franklin Founder Award from the City of Philadelphia, and the Jonathan E. Rhoads Medal for Distinguished Service to Medicine from the American Philosophical Society. He was a member of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is a founding advisory board member of the Autism Science Foundation and the Foundation for Vaccine Research. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

Offit is also the author of eight medical narratives, including “Vaccinated: One Man’s Quest to Defeat the World’s Deadliest Diseases” (HarperCollins, 2007), for which he won an award from the American Medical Writers Association; “Do You Believe in Magic?: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine” (HarperCollins, 2013), which won the Robert P. Balles Prize in Critical Thinking from the Center for Skeptical Inquiry and was selected by National Public Radio as one of the best books of 2013; “Bad Faith: When Religious Belief Undermines Modern Medicine” (Basic Books, 2015); which was selected by the New York Times Book Review as an “Editor’s Choice” book in April 2015; “Pandora’s Lab: Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong” (National Geographic Press/Random House, April 2017); and “Bad Advice: Or Why Celebrities, Politicians, and Activists Aren’t Your Best Source of Health Information” (Columbia University Press, June 2018).