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.

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.

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


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. 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