Congratulate your colleagues!

October 29, 2018

The College is proud to honor the following individuals for their contributions to the College and the specialty of allergy/immunology. These awards will be presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting, Nov. 15-19 in Seattle, during the College’s Annual Business Meeting at 5:15 pm on Sunday.


Distinguished Fellow Awards will be presented to Mark Corbett, MD, FACAAI and Dana Wallace, MD, FACAAI. The award is given in recognition of outstanding contributions and commitment in the United States or Canada on behalf of the specialty.

Dr. Corbett is in private practice at Advanced ENT and Allergy in Louisville, Kentucky. He is also a clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Louisville. A College Fellow since 1991, he has helped to develop workshops and programming for the College’s Annual Meeting, as well as serving on a variety of committees over the years.

Dr. Wallace is an associate professor at Nova Southeastern Allopathic Medical School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. A College Fellow since 1978, she has played a major role in shaping the College. She served on the Board of Regents and was College President in 2010-11. Dr. Wallace has contributed to many committees, most notably previously leading the Website Committee. She currently serves on the Member Website Committee, the Rhinitis/Sinusitis and Anaphylaxis Subcommittee and chairs the Past Presidents’ Committee.   


Mubeccel Akdis, MD, of Davos, Switzerland, will receive the International Distinguished Fellow Award. It’s given in recognition of outstanding contributions and commitment on behalf of allergy in the recipient’s country. Dr. Akdis is head of immunology at the Swiss Institute of Allergy and Asthma Research. There, she has established and led her own research group since 2003 focused on strategies for efficient prevention and curative treatment of allergic diseases. She has a reputation as an outstanding clinician and teacher and is known for her strong leadership qualities. Dr. Akdis is a current member of the World Allergy Organization’s Board of Directors and has been an avid supporter of the World Allergy Training Schools under the Emerging Societies Program – a global initiative co-funded by the College and WAO. She has also published more than 200 scientific articles.


Sami Bahna, MD, DrPH, FACAAI, will be presented with the Gold Headed Cane Award, which is given for demonstrating the highest standards of scientific excellence and integrity. The Gold Headed Cane is a concept used by many medical schools and specialty societies to recognize a physician who symbolizes the pursuit of the highest standards of scientific excellence and integrity.

Dr. Bahna is a professor of pediatrics and medicine, chief of allergy/immunology section, director of allergy/immunology training program and Y.K. Reddy professor of allergy/immunology at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. He was College President from 2009-2010 and has been a College Fellow for 36 years. Dr. Bahna currently serves on the Past President, Dermatology, International and Training Program Directors Committees and the Food Allergy/GI Disorders subcommittee of the Annual Meeting Program Committee. He has chaired and been a member of many more committees over the years.


Distinguished Service Awards will be presented to Alnoor Malick, MD, FACAAI, John Oppenheimer, MD, FACAAI, Gina Seegers and Tonya Winders, MBA. This award is given in recognition of tireless efforts, dedication and enthusiasm on behalf of the College.

Dr. Malick is an allergist at Memorial Hermann Southeast and Pearland Hospitals as well as the delegate representing the College to the American Medical Association. A College Fellow since 1994, he served on the College’s Board of Regents from 1994 to 1996 and again from 2010 to 2013. Dr. Malick has served on many committees and currently serves on the Practice Management Committee. He was a reviewer for the original Practice Parameters for immunotherapy.

Dr. Oppenheimer is a clinical professor of medicine at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and is in private practice at Pulmonary and Allergy Associates in New Jersey. A College Fellow since 1989, he has worked on a variety of committees and serves on the AllergyWatch and Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology editorial boards. Dr. Oppenheimer is also a College representative on the Joint Task Force for Practice Parameters.

Gina Seegers has served as the College’s Director of Meetings and Conventions for the last 20 years and has served the College in a number of staff roles since joining the organization in 1991. She is highly respected within the organization and throughout the meetings industry for her professionalism, dedication, strong attention to detail and commitment to the field.

Tonya is the President and CEO of the Allergy & Asthma Network, as well as President of the Global Allergy & Asthma Patient Platform. The Network is the leading health organization providing allergy & asthma education, advocacy & community outreach and is helping America breathe easier. Her advocacy for patients with asthma and allergies is invaluable.


The Woman in Allergy Award will be presented to Myngoc Nguyen, MD, FACAAI. The annual award honors an individual who has advanced the role of women in medicine or made a significant contribution to the specialty. Dr. Nguyen is the chief of allergy at Kaiser Oakland in California, and the chair of allergy chiefs at Kaiser Permanente in Northern California. A College Fellow since 1985, she has served on the College’s Women in Allergy, International and Membership Recruitment Committees. She has also served on the College’s Board of Regents.


The Young Faculty Support Awards will be presented to two researchers. The Foundation of the College will provide $50,000 awards to Sergio Chiarella, MD, Northwestern University Medical Center, Chicago, for his research on Sex-Specific Effects of Puberty on Airway Epithelial Differentiation in Asthma and Alexei Gonzalex-Estrada, MD, Mayo Clinic Florida, Jacksonville, Florida, for his research on The Negative Predictive Value and Non-irritant Skin Testing Concentrations of Neuromuscular Blocking Agents Utilized during Perioperative Hypersensitivity Evaluation.


Dr. Chiarella


Dr. Gonzalez-Estrada


Clemons von Pirquet Awards will be presented by the Alliance to three Fellows-in-Training for their outstanding meeting abstracts. First place, the Alliance Memorial Award, will go to Stephanie Mawhirt, DO, NYU-Winthrop Hospital, Mineola, New York, for “Educational Outcomes of an Anaphylaxis Simulation Activity Among Medical Students and Residents.” She will present her abstract on Sunday, Nov. 18 at 1:15 pm in convention center room 611-614. The second-place award will go to Deepti Deshpande, MD, MPH, Allergy Immunology at Columbia University, New York, for “Caregiver Knowledge as A Predictor of Length of Stay in Children Hospitalized with Asthma Exacerbations.” She will present her abstract on Sunday, Nov. 18 at 3:30 pm in convention center room 618-620. The third-place award will be given to Sun-Mi Choi, MD, PhD, UC San Diego School of Medicine, La Jolla, California, for “Staphylococcus Aureus Induces Antimicrobial Reg3g and TSLP Production by Nasal Epithelium.” She will present her abstract on Monday, Nov. 19 at 10:45 am in convention center room 615-617.


Dr. Mawhirt


Dr. Deshpande


Dr. Choi

Help us congratulate all our award winners by joining us for the College’s Annual Business Meeting! And if you haven’t registered for the Annual Meeting – there’s still time! We’ll see you in Seattle in a few short weeks.