Richard Johnston Jr., professor of pediatrics and associate dean for research development in the School of Medicine, is being honored with the Godfrey Oakley Award at the annual meeting of the National Birth Defects Prevention Network (NBDPN). The award is given to an individual who has made significant contributions to the field of birth defects. Since 2001, NBDPN has presented this prestigious award in honor of Godfrey Oakley, M.D.
The award recognizes Johnston for his efforts when he was medical director of the March of Dimes between 1992 and 1998. Johnston pushed for federally-mandated folic acid fortification of the nation’s grain supply and led a public education campaign on the benefits of the B vitamin in preventing serious birth defects of the brain and spine.