ISPD Pioneer Award

The ISPD Pioneer in Prenatal Diagnosis and Therapy Award was initiated in 2018 to recognize annually those who have been leaders and made major breakthroughs in the science and care of prenatal diagnosis and therapy. Recipients have made significant contributions to the field during their careers. A call for nominations is made once each year and a recipient is selected from the nominees by ISPD leaders. The award is presented at the International Conference on Prenatal Diagnosis and Therapy.

2023 Pioneer Award

The 2023 ISPD Pioneer in Prenatal Diagnosis and Therapy Award was awarded to Mark I Evans, MD (USA). He is President of the Fetal Medicine Foundation of America, Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai, President of the International Fetal Medicine and Surgery Society Foundation (IFMSS), and President of Comprehensive Genetics, PLLC. Dr. Evans is considered one of the major key opinion leaders in the fields of prenatal diagnosis, screening, and fetal therapy world-wide. He routinely lectures every year all over the world and is regularly invited as visiting professor to national and international obstetrics and genetics meetings. Read More about Mark Evans.

Dr. Evans delivered the 2023 Pioneer Award Lecture titled "The Rubric of the 3 Moore’s" on Tuesday, 20 June 2023, at the 27th International Conference on Prenatal Diagnosis and Therapy in Edinburgh, UK.

2022 Pioneer Award

The 2022 ISPD Pioneer Award recipient is Dennis Lo, MD, PhD (Hong Kong). Professor Dennis Lo is the Director of the Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences, the Li Ka Shing Professor of Medicine and Professor of Chemical Pathology of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). He is also the Associate Dean (Research) of the Faculty of Medicine of CUHK. Dennis Lo received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Cambridge and the Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from the University of Oxford. Read more about Dennis Lo.

Professor Lo delivered his award lecture virtually at 26th ISPD International Conference on Prenatal Diagnosis and Therapy. The title of his lecture was, "Non-invasive prenatal testing: From dream to reality."

2020 Pioneer Award

The 2020 ISPD Pioneer Award was given to Ronald Wapner, MD (USA). Because the 2020 conference was canceled due to the COVID pandemic, Dr. Wapner delivered his award lecture on 7 June 2021 during the 25th International Conference on Prenatal Diagnosis and Therapy which was held virtually. The title of his lecture was, "The Unexpected: Our Best Teacher."

2019 Pioneer Award

Dr. Diana Bianchi (USA) was named the 2019 recipient of the ISPD Pioneer Award. Dr. Bianchi gave her award lecture entitled, “The Many Joys of Being a Connector,” on Sunday, 8 September 2019, at the 23rd International Conference on Prenatal Diagnosis and Therapy in Singapore.

In Singapore: Diana Bianchi (center) with ISPD President, Louise Wilkins-Haug (left) and ISPD Director, Neeta Lakshmi Vora (right)


2018 Pioneer Award

The inaugural ISPD Pioneer Award was given to Charles Rodeck (UK) at the 22nd International Conference on Prenatal Diagnosis and Therapy in Antwerp, Belgium, as pictured on the left. President Igna Van den Veyver (USA, left) and Treasurer Antoni Borrell (Spain, right) presented the award to Dr. Rodeck (center).

After receiving the award, Dr. Rodeck gave an address entitled, "The rise and fall of invasive procedures: An intrauterine odyssey."


Criteria for the ISPD Pioneer Award

Eligibility criteria
  • 15 or more years of practice
  • History of significant contributions the profession and science of prenatal diagnosis
  • History of engagement with ISPD
Nomination and selection

A call for nominations will be sent to ISPD members in the last quarter of the year. No self-nominations will be accepted. Current ISPD Board Members are not eligible. The ISPD Board of Directors will select 2-4 candidates from the nominations received for final consideration and will vote to select one award winner.

Nominations require
  • Recent curriculum vitae of the nominee
  • Letter of support from nominating member (Additional support letters are optional)

Examples of contributions to the field of Prenatal Diagnosis and Therapy
  • Collaborating with interdisciplinary teams to shape institutional, local, national, or international practice
  • Providing leadership by articulating and influencing standards of care or development of new transformational science and technologies
  • Supporting evidence-based practices and expanding the body of literature through research and publication
  • Mentoring or preparing future professionals
  • Providing leadership and contributions to ISPD and/or other like-minded organizations
Responsibilities of recipient
  • Present an award lecture at ISPD's annual conference following notification of award
Benefits of award
  • Complimentary conference registration and appropriate speaker travel reimbursement
  • Acknowledgement of award in a Global Updates eNewsletter article and through ISPD social media
  • $1,000 prize
  • Award plaque suitable for display