Jeffrey Whitsett, MD, co-director of the Perinatal Institute at Cincinnati Children’s, has been selected to receive a prestigious international award that recognizes his distinguished career in neonatal research.

Whitsett will receive the International Arvo Ylppö Medal, which is given once every five years by the Finnish Foundation for Pediatric Research and a committee of other organizations. The award was created in 1957 to recognize special contributions to medicine for newborn and premature infants. Ylppö, who died in 1992 at the age of 104, was an early pioneer in the study of preterm infants.

Whitsett played a leading role in the development of artificial surfactant, a substance that has helped a generation of infants survive premature birth. He has published more than 400 peer-reviewed papers, including work that helped identify critical genes involved in lung formation and function.

The award will be presented in October in Helsinki.