Enid Gilbert Barness Prize


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About the Prize

The Enid Gilbert Barness Prize, established by an anonymous donor in 2008, honors the achievements and contributions of Dr. Enid Gilbert Barness, the past president and life member of Society for Pediatric Pathology, to children’s healthcare and to our specialty. The prize recognizes the impact of an outstanding pediatric pathology paper on anatomic pathology, clinical practice, research, or public health, and encourages excellence and relevance in pediatric pathology practice. The paper should be accepted or published in a peer reviewed journal during the past three calendar years by a member of the Society for Pediatric Pathology who is the first or last author and the primary contributor to the work to be eligible for the prize. Members may nominate a colleague’s paper or submit their own work for consideration to the SPP Awards Committee by the deadline that is announced each year. A panel of nationally known clinicians makes the final selection, and the winner is announced at the Annual Meeting.

The winner receives a plaque and $1000 cash award, and recognition in the Society Newsletter.

Please submit the required documents by Friday, January 5, 2024, at 23:59 (PST) to:

Selene Koo, MD, PhD
Chair, Awards Subcommittee
[email protected]

Previous Winners:

2010: Douglas Radford Shanklin, MD, FRSM. University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, Tennessee. Cerebropulmonary dysgenetic syndrome. Exp Mol Pathol 85:112-116, 2008

2011: Monique E. De Paepe, MD, MSc. Women & Infants Hospital, Providence, RI. Alveolar Epithelial Cell Therapy with Human Cord Blood-Derived Hematopoietic Progenitor Cells. Am. J. Pathol 2011;178(3):1329-39.

2012: D. Ashley Hill, MD. Washington University, St. Louis, MO. DICER 1 mutations in pleuroplumonary blastoma. Science 2009;325:965.

2013: Sharon M. Geaghan, MD. Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, CA. Fetal laboratory medicine: On the frontier of maternal-fetal medicine. Clin Chem 2012;58:337-352.

2014: Raj Kapur, MD, PhD. Seattle Children’s Hospital, Seattle WA. Histologic delineation of the transition zone in short segment Hirschsprung disease. Ped and Dev Path 2013:16:252-266.

2015: Mai He, MD, PhD. Women & Infants Hospital, Providence, RI. Comparison of placental findings in type 1 and type 2 diabetic pregnancies. Placenta 2014;35(12):1001-1006.

2016: Angshumoy Roy, MD, PhD. Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston, TX. Recurrent internal tandem duplications of BCOR in clear cell sarcoma of the kidney. Nature Communications DOI: 10.1038/ncomms9891. Published 17 November 2015.

2017: Csaba Galambos, MD, PhD. Children's Hospital Colorado, Colorado, CO. Prominent intrapulmonary bronchopulmonary anastomoses and abnormal lung development in infants and children with Down syndrome. J Pediatr 2017;180:156-162

2018: Hiroyuki Shimada, MD, PhD. Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, CA. MYC-family protein overexpression and prominent nucleolar formation represent prognostic indicators and potential therapeutic targets for aggressive high-MKI neuroblastomas: a report from the children’s oncology group. Oncotarget 2017;9(5): 6416-6432.

2019: Dolores López-Terrada, MD, PhD. Texas Children’s Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX. Genomic analysis of hepatoblastoma identifies distinct molecular and prognostic subgroups. Hepatology. 2017 Jan;65(1):104-121.

2020: Csaba Galambos, MD, PhD. Children’s Hospital Colorado, Aurora, CO. Phenotype characterisation of TBX4 mutation and deletion carriers with neonatal and paediatric pulmonary hypertension. Eur Respir J. 2019 Aug 22;54(2): pii: 1801965

2021: Shengmei Zhou, MD. Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA. Clinicopathologic Characteristics of Late Acute Antibody-Mediated Rejection in Pediatric Liver Transplantation.

2022: Vinodh Pillai, MD, PhD, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA. Kikuchi-Fujimoto disease is mediated by an aberrant type 1 interferon response. 

2023: Alanna J. Church, MD, Boston Children's Hospital. Molecular profiling identifies targeted therapy opportunities in pediatric solid cancer. 

2024: Jennifer Pogoriler, MD, PhD, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Defining the spatial landscape of KRAS mutated congenital pulmonary airway malformations: a distinct entity with a spectrum of histopathologic features.

Enid Gilbert Barness Memorial

Noted and admired pediatric pathologist, Enid Gilbert Barness (nee Fischer) died peacefully on April 28, 2022 in the Minneapolis home of her daughter, Dr. Mary Lawrence. 

Enid was born in Sydney, Australia on May 31, 1927, the second daughter of a dressmaker- homemaker mother and chemist-entrepreneur father. Early years in Sydney shaped her whole life. She attended St. George’s Girls School where she graduated with honors at sixteen years of age. The graduates were asked to list, in order of favor, three careers the girls wished to enter. Thus they could choose proper college majors. Enid listed her choices: 1- MEDICINE, 2- MEDICINE, 3-MEDICINE. On to University of Sydney and its medical school. She was one of four women in her class and graduated in 1950 with an M.B.B.S. degree.

Enid’s training in pediatrics started at West Middlesex Hospital in London, England. In 1951 she crossed the Atlantic to a pediatrics residency at Boston Children’s Hospital. Two years later, she moved to CHOP (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia) and completed the requirements for pediatric boards in 1954.  During these years she also found her first husband, Jim Gilbert, also a physician.

In 1955-56 Enid worked in the tumor clinic at Children’s Hospital, Washington, D.C. She and Jim then moved to Austin, Texas and Enid became a pathology resident at Brackenridge Hospital. The pathology department was affiliated with University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. Becoming board certified in pathology, she joined Brackenridge as an associate pathologist, serving until 1963.  She had the rare distinction of board certification in both pediatrics and pathology.

During these times, Enid and Jim celebrated the births of four daughters and one son.

In 1963, the Gilberts moved to West Virginia. Enid became an assistant professor at UWV Medical School, concentrating on pediatric pathology. She sealed her interest in studying diseases and anomalies in fetuses and children. The Gilberts stayed in West Virginia until 1967.

On to Madison and the University of Wisconsin. Here she remained until 1992, expanding her studies and research while receiving worldwide acclaim. Enid is credited with several hundred peer-reviewed publications in these years.  Congenital malformations, especially cardiac anomalies, but all other parts of the human body were studied. Notably, several dozens of these publications were coauthored with John Opitz, MD, the noted geneticist, who was on Wisconsin’s faculty for much of Enid’s tenure in Madison.

 Enid also published studies of tumors, metabolic disorders, and infections in fetuses, infants and children. Sudden infant death syndrome was yet another condition that Enid studied. Her efforts to understand the most fundamental aspects of perinatal and pediatric disease were unending.

Throughout her career, Enid was an advocate for students, residents, and fellows. She was nominated by Wisconsin medical students fourteen times to be best teacher in pathology. Similarly, she was considered the best pathology residency teacher the majority of her time in Madison.  Accolades of the same sort came Enid’s way in her 1992-2015 career at University of South Florida, Health Morsani College of Medicine.

Enid had many roles with her membership in the Society for Pediatric Pathology (SPP) and became president in 1986. She and the late Daria Haust and late Maria Valdes Dapena, were considered the “Three Graces” of the SPP.  On an international scale, Enid belonged to several professional organizations and societies. She served as a member and then president of the International Pediatric Pathology Association (IPPA). 

Her activity in clinical pediatric societies was almost as deep. She belonged to the American Pediatric Society and served on the editorial board of the American Journal of Diseases of Children from1990 to 2001.

 Ellen Wald, M.D., Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at U. Wisconsin, had the following comments about Enid.

“I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Enid Gilbert-Barness shortly after my arrival in Madison as Chair of the Department of Pediatrics in 2006.  She and her husband Lewis Barness would usually return to Madison on the occasion of the Gilbert-Barness lectureship in Pediatrics and Pathology. Hosted in alternate years by each respective department, the lectureship was always a joyous and really festive occasion for the reunion of pediatricians, pathologists and geneticists. Enid was lovely, warm, and incredibly gracious. As I review her many, many accomplishments and recognitions, I understand the breadth and depth of her knowledge, insights, talents and contributions. I feel a bit saddened by a missed opportunity to be her “student” or at least have the chance to be in the audience on the occasion of her teaching or lecturing.  I surely appreciate all that Dr. Gilbert-Barness did for our University of Wisconsin, the University of South Florida and most importantly, for all children everywhere.  I wish I had had a chance to know her better."

Norman Fost, MD MPH, Professor of Pediatrics at UW also spent years collaborating with Enid.

Well before I moved to Madison to join the Department of Pediatrics, if you asked me to do a word association with “pediatric pathologist” I would have said “Enid Gilbert.” When I learned she was a member of the Department, it felt like learning that Mickey Mantle was going to be on my baseball team.When I finally met her, and discovered that she was not only an academic star, but such a charming, warm, gracious person and gifted teacher, it multiplied my sense of good fortune that I had landed in the right spot.Whenever I learned that Enid was going to be part of a teaching conference, or a consultant on a case, I knew it would be a good day and that I would learn something new. She not only brought her prodigious knowledge and experience in pediatric pathology to the event – she would always dazzle us (in her soft spoken way) with her superior knowledge of clinical pediatrics. Later on, Enid added to our intellectual and personal fortune by attracting another giant to Madison – Lew Barness. They were a golden couple. Every minute with either was time well spent.

Andreas Friedl, MD, recent Chair of the Department of Pathology at the University of Wisconsin remembered Enid as both a mentor and a colleague. He completed his pathology residency at UW while Enid was on the faculty. He joined his fellow residents in praising her knowledge and her ability to transfer such knowledge to them. He also mentioned that she was strict with students and residents, insisting that they bear down and study hard, thereby remembering everything she was teaching them.

Another pathologist at UW, Dan Kurtycz, MD shared more than a decade of activity with Enid.  He described her method of assuring that students and residents had received her message. “She would teach students first. Then she would tell them what she taught them. Then she would tell them what she told them. Then she would quiz them and follow up with telling them what she taught them.” This method of study is worth spreading. A “Teach and Tell” section often appears in the journal, Fetal and Pediatric Pathology

Enid’s life was characterized by adventure, hard work and discipline, but with kindness to all. She produced major technological advances in both pediatrics and pathology. Working for and with infants and children was her passion. She was also passionate in helping students, residents and fellows. Core values were matched with attention to detail, enabling her to provide quality services and treatment to patients. Enid also mentored many young physicians into careers in combined pediatrics and pathology.

Her spoken order was simple. “Just Do It”. 

Enid was always proud of being born an Australian and carried dual citizenship with the USA and Australia. In 2020, she received the Order of Australia with high honor. The medal was ordered for her by Queen Elizabeth II.  Florida students called Enid “Queen Britannica”. Every January 26 (Australia day), they rolled a piano into the lecture hall and sang “Waltzing Matilda”, Australia’s unofficial “national anthem”.

Enid lived a truly remarkable life. She is preceded in death by her parents, husband Lewis Barness., sister Norma Fischer, son James C. Gilbert, and grandson Thomas K. Lawrence.  She is survived by her four daughters and their spouses; Mary Gilbert Lawrence, MD (James); Elizabeth Ann Gilbert-Bono (Mark); Jennifer Gilbert Voss (Daniel); Rebecca Dierdre Gilbert-Hills, MD (James); ten grandchildren, one great-grandson.

The final celebration of Enid’s life was held on June 3, 2022 in Minneapolis.