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White honored with major award in pediatric endocrinology

Perrin White - Thumb
Photo by Juan Pulido, Children's Health

Dr. Perrin White, Chief of Pediatric Endocrinology and an international authority on disorders of steroid synthesis in the adrenal gland, has been recognized with the Pediatric Endocrine Society’s 2019 Judson J. Van Wyk Prize.

The Van Wyk Prize is the Society’s most prestigious award for outstanding career achievement by a member in the field of pediatric endocrinology. The award honors Dr. Van Wyk, the late pediatric endocrinologist known for scientific excellence, leadership, and dedication to children’s health.

These characteristics also define Dr. White’s long and distinguished trajectory at UT Southwestern, said Dr. Julio Pérez Fontán, Chair of Pediatrics. “Dr. White has continued his work on congenital adrenal hyperplasia and, more recently, on the mechanisms and treatment of juvenile diabetes.”

Dr. White, Professor of Pediatrics and a faculty member since 1994, studies the molecular basis of genetic diseases of steroid hormone synthesis and metabolism. Some of these diseases affect growth, sexual differentiation, or the ability to conserve salt in the blood, whereas others cause high blood pressure. He is currently Principal Investigator of a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded multicenter trial of an androgen biosynthesis blocker, abiraterone acetate, in children with a relatively common disorder of cortisol synthesis, congenital adrenal hyperplasia due to 21-hydroxylase deficiency. Additionally, he has studied gene expression in the white blood cells of children with diabetes and other medical and behavioral issues in diabetes and diabetic ketoacidosis.

I am grateful to my colleagues and the institutions where I’ve worked for their support of the work recognized in this career award, Dr. White said.

Dr. White’s earlier honors include a Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT) Award from the NIH, the Society for Pediatric Research Award in honor of E. Mead Johnson from the Society, and the Ernst Oppenheimer Award from the Endocrine Society. He was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 1990 and has served on advisory committees for the NIH and on several editorial boards.

The Division that Dr. White leads – one of the largest and busiest in the country – provides services to Children’s Health. It offers one of only four pediatric programs in Texas certified by the American Diabetes Association and oversees the Center for Obesity and its Consequences in Health (COACH) clinic, which provides the only comprehensive program for childhood obesity in North Texas, and the GENder Education and Care Interdisciplinary Support (GENECIS) Program, the first and largest program in the Southwest that provides multidisciplinary care to transgender children and adolescents.

Dr. Pérez Fontán holds the Robert L. Moore Chair in Pediatrics.

Dr. White holds the Audre Newman Rapoport Distinguished Chair in Pediatric Endocrinology.

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