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Three World-Renowned Philadelphia Scientists Are Named As Recipients Of The 2013 John Scott Award

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Three distinguished Philadelphia scientists whose groundbreaking research and innovative surgical and medical practices have benefited thousands of lives throughout the world will be honored this month with the prestigious John Scott Award, one of the top prizes in the world of science and medicine, awarded at Philadelphia's American Philosophical Society on November 22nd.

The honorees include Dr. P. Leslie Dutton, a biochemist and biophysicist at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine whose lifetime of research into the mechanism of electron transport holds the key to fundamental explanations about the energy of all living cells and how to create them.  In addition to Dr. Dutton, two celebrated physicians will share a second Scott Award for 2013: Dr. N. Scott Adzick, Surgeon-in-Chief at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, for his pioneering contributions to fetal surgery – performing highly complex procedures on babies while still in the womb to correct debilitating or life-threatening birth defects; and Dr. Robert L. Brent, the former Chairman of Pediatrics at Thomas Jefferson University, whose research has led to significant advancements in understanding the genetic and environmental causes of birth defects and cancer.

The winners, who will receive a cash prize and the copper Scott medal, will be honored at the American Philosophical Society – founded by Benjamin Franklin – at an evening ceremony on November 22nd.  Drs. Dutton, Adzick and Brent are the latest in a long line of past winners of the highly-coveted Scott Award, endowed by Scottish chemist and pharmacist John Scott as a lasting legacy to the scientific achievements of Benjamin Franklin and awarded in Philadelphia each year since 1822 to "ingenious men and women who make useful inventions" to benefit society as a whole.  Past recipients include 15 winners of the Nobel Prize, among them Marie Curie, Guglielmo Marconi, R. Buckminster Fuller, Baruch Blumberg, Kary Mullis, K. Barry Sharpless and most recently physicist Saul Perlmutter, who won the Scott Award in 2005 and went on to win the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2011.

"Each of the 2013 winners bring honor to the legacy of Benjamin Franklin," said Ronald Donatucci, President of the Board of City Trusts, which administers the award for the City of Philadelphia.  "That was John Scott's purpose in establishing the award upon his death in 1815, and it is clear from the groundbreaking achievements of Drs. Dutton, Adzick and Brent that Dr. Franklin's advice remains as true today as it did during his lifetime: 'An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.'"

"The John Scott Award is one of the top prizes in the world of science and medicine, and it is truly a testament to the remarkable research and innovation that is occurring here that all three of the 2013 awardees conduct their research in the Philadelphia region," said Dr. Harvey Rubin, a Professor of Medicine, Microbiology and Computer Science at Penn and the Secretary of the John Scott Award Advisory Committee, which recommends candidates for the award to the Board of Directors of City Trusts.

"To win this award, and to win it in Philadelphia for electron transfer is a total treat for me," said Dutton.  "My work is essentially bioelectricity – electron transfer through proteins that provide the energy by which cells exist – can trace its roots back through the centuries to Philadelphia and the work of Benjamin Franklin and his work in the discovery of electricity here in Philadelphia."

"To be recognized with the past winners of the John Scott Medal is extremely humbling," said Dr. Adzick.  "The Wright brothers won the Scott Medal, Dr. Jonas Salk, Thomas Edison – for men and women of science, that's extraordinary company and extremely gratifying."

"For me, the Scott Award is especially gratifying," said Dr. Brent.  "I have had the opportunity to practice and conduct my research at Jefferson and the Nemours/A.I. duPont Hospital for Children for 55 years, and during that time I have had the chance to conduct consultations with more than 25,000 patients from around the world.

"One of my first jobs was working on the Manhattan Project during World War II," said Dr. Brent.  "To see how far we have come and how much we have learned, and are still learning, about the causes of birth defects, has been the privilege of a lifetime."

Dr. Dutton is the Eldridge Reeves Johnson Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine. A Fellow of the Royal Society, he also serves as Director of the Johnson Foundation for Molecular Biophysics. Dr. Dutton received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Wales.

Dr. Adzick is the Surgeon-in-Chief at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). He also serves as CHOP's C. Everett Koop Endowed Chair of Pediatric Surgery and Professor of Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine. An innovator in the field of fetal medicine, Dr. Adzick is the founder and director of CHOP's Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment. He earned his bachelor's degree from Harvard College, his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and also holds a Master's in Medical Management from Carnegie Mellon University.

Dr. Brent serves as the Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics, Radiology and Pathology and the Louis and Bess Stein Professor of Pediatrics at The Jefferson Medical College and the Nemours/Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children. He received his B.S., M.D. with honors, Ph.D. in radiation biology, radiation physics and embryology and a D.Sc. (Hon.) from the University of Rochester. Dr. Brent is a past president of the Birth Defects Society and was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

SOURCE Board of City Trusts
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