Paul A. Offit, MD

Paul A. Offit, MD, is the director of the Vaccine Education Center and an attending physician with the Division of Infectious Diseases at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Areas of Expertise: Vaccines
Locations: Main Campus

  • Background

    Paul A. Offit, MD, is the director of the Vaccine Education Center and a professor of pediatrics in the Division of Infectious Diseases at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He is the Maurice R. Hilleman Professor of Vaccinology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

    Dr. Offit is an internationally recognized expert in the fields of virology and immunology, and was a member of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He is a founding advisory board member of the Autism Science Foundation and the Foundation for Vaccine Research, a member of the Institute of Medicine and co-editor of the foremost vaccine text, Vaccines.

    He is a recipient of many awards including the J. Edmund Bradley Prize for Excellence in Pediatrics from the University of Maryland Medical School, the Young Investigator Award in Vaccine Development from the Infectious Disease Society of America, and a Research Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health.

    Dr. Offit has published more than 150 papers in medical and scientific journals in the areas of rotavirus-specific immune responses and vaccine safety. He is also the co-inventor of the rotavirus vaccine, RotaTeq®, recommended for universal use in infants by the CDC. For this achievement, Dr. Offit received the Luigi Mastroianni and William Osler Awards from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, the Charles Mérieux Award from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, and was honored by Bill and Melinda Gates during the launch of their Foundation’s Living Proof Project for global health.

    In 2009, Dr. Offit received the President’s Certificate for Outstanding Service from the American Academy of Pediatrics. In 2011, he received the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Biologics Industry Organization (BIO), the David E. Rogers Award from the American Association of Medical Colleges, the Odyssey Award from the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, and was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. In 2012, Dr. Offit received the Distinguished Medical Achievement Award from the College of Physicians of Philadelphia and the Drexel Medicine Prize in Translational Medicine from the Drexel University College of Medicine. In 2013, he received the Maxwell Finland award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, the Distinguished Alumnus award from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and the Innovators in Health Award from the Group Health Foundation.

    Dr. Offit is the author of six medical narratives: 

    • The Cutter Incident: How America’s First Polio Vaccine Led to Today’s Growing Vaccine Crisis (Yale University Press, 2005)
    • Vaccinated: One Man’s Quest to Defeat the World’s Deadliest Diseases (HarperCollins, 2007), for which he won an award from the American Medical Writers Association
    • Autism’s False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure (Columbia University Press, 2008)
    • Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All (Basic Books, 2011), which was selected by Kirkus Reviews and Booklist as one of the best non-fiction books of the year
    • Do You Believe in Magic?: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine (HarperCollins, 2013), which won the Robert P. Balles Prize in Critical Thinking from the Center for Skeptical Inquiry and was selected by National Public Radio as one of the best books of 2013
    • Bad Faith: When Religious Belief Clashes with Modern Medicine (Basic Books, 2015)
  • Education and Training

    Medical School

    MD - University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

    Internship

    Pediatrics - Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

    Residency

    Pediatrics - Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

    Fellowship

    Infectious Diseases - The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

    Board Certification

    American Board of Pediatrics

  • Titles and Academic Titles

    Attending Physician, Division of Infectious Diseases

    Director, Vaccine Education Center

    Chairman, Drug Use Evaluation Committee

    Adjunct Associate Professor, The Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

  • Centers and Programs
  • Publications

    Books

    2014

    Offit, P. A., 2015. Bad Faith: When Religious Belief Clashes with Modern Medicine.  Basic Books, New York, N.Y. (in press)

    2013

    Offit, P. A. 2013. Killing Us Softly: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine.  HarperCollins UK, London, England.

    Offit, P.A. 2013. Do You Believe in Magic? The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative  Medicine. HarperCollins, New York, N.Y.

    2012

    Plotkin, S.A., Orenstein, W.A., Offit, P.A. (eds.). 2012. Vaccines. Saunders/Elsevier.  London, UK.

    2011

    Offit, P.A. 2011. Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All. Basic Books, New York, N.Y. 

    Offit, P.A., Moser, C.A. 2011. Vaccines and Your Child: Separating Fact from Fiction. Columbia University Press, New York, N.Y.

    2008

    Plotkin, S.A., Orenstein, W.A., Offit, P.A. (eds.). 2008. Vaccines. Saunders/Elsevier.  London, UK.

    Offit, P.A. 2008. Autism’s False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure. Columbia University Press, New York, N.Y.   

    2007

    Offit, P.A. 2007. Vaccinated: One Man’s Quest to Defeat the World’s Deadliest Diseases. Smithsonian Books, New York, N.Y.

    2005

    Offit, P.A. 2005. The Cutter Incident: How America’s First Polio Vaccine Led to a Growing Vaccine Crisis. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT

    2004

    Marshall, GS, Dennehy PH, Greenberg DP, Offit PA, Tan TQ. 2004. The Vaccine Handbook: A Practical Guide for the Clinician, Lippincott Williams & Wilkens, Philadelphia, PA.

    2003

    Offit, P.A., and L.M. Bell. 2003. Vaccines: What You Should Know. 3rd edition. John Wiley & Sons, New York, N.Y.

    1999

    Offit, P.A., and L.M. Bell.  1999.  Vaccines: What Every Parent Should Know. 2nd edition, Hungry Minds, New York, N.Y.

    Offit, P.A., Fass-Offit, B., and Bell, L.M. 1999. Breaking the Antibiotic Habit: A Parent’s Guide to Coughs, Colds, Ear Infections, and Sore Throats. John Wiley & Sons, New York, N.Y.

    1998

    Offit, P.A., and L.M. Bell.  1998.  What Every Parent Should Know about Vaccines. Macmillan Press, New York, N.Y.

    Chapters

    2014

    Offit, P. A., “Fear of Vaccines,” In: CDC: Health Information for the International  Traveler: The Yellow Book, 2014. G. W. Brunette (ed.) Oxford: Oxford University  Press,  2014.

    2013

    Feemster, K. A., P. A. Offit, “‘Compassionate Use’ for Public Health,” Annals of  Internal Medicine December 24, 2013, doi: 10.7326/M13-2927.

    2012

    Plotkin, S. A., P. A. Offit, F. Murphy. In Memoriam: Dr. H Fred Clark (1937-2012),  Hum Vaccin Immunother 2012: 1:8.

    Offit, P. A. “A Look at Complementary and Alternative Medicine,” Infectious Diseases  in Children, 2012;25:3.

    Offit, P. A. “Fear of Vaccines,” In: CDC Health Information for International Travel:  The Yellow Book 2012, G. W. Brunette (ed.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.

    2011

    Offit, P. A., H F. Clark. Rotavirus Vaccines Part II: Raising the Bar for Vaccine Safety, in History of Vaccine Development, S. A. Plotkin (ed.), New York: Springer, 2011.

    2009

    Gerber, J. Offit, P.A. Vaccines and autism: a tale of shifting hypotheses, Clinical Infectious Diseases 2009;48:456-461

    2008

    Offit, P.A. Vaccines. 2008. In: J. M. Bergelson, S. S. Shah, and T. E. Zaoutis (eds.): Pediatric Infectious Diseases, pp. 373-384. Mosby Elsevier, Philadelphia, PA.

    2006

    Offit, P.A., Clark HF. A multivalent bovine-human reassortant rotavirus vaccine (RotaTeq). Pediatr Annals 2006; 35: 29-34.  

    2005

    McMillan, J.A., Abramson, J.S., Katz, S.L., and Offit, P.A. Reducing the risk of pediatric influenza: Prevention strategies help both the young and old. Contemporary Pediatrics [in press]

    2004

    Ward RL, HF Clark, PA Offit, and RI Glass.  2004.  Live vaccine strategies to prevent rotavirus disease.  In: M.M. Levine, J.B. Kaper, R. Rappuoli, M. Liu, and M.F. Good (eds.): New Generation Vaccines, pp. 607-620. Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, NY.

    2003

    Offit, P.A. 2003. The power of 'box a'. Expert Rev Vaccines 2003;2:1-3.

    Offit P.A., and C.J. Hackett. Multiple vaccines and the immune system.  In: S.A.Plotkin and W. Orenstein (eds): Vaccines, 2003, pp. 1583-1589, 4th Edition, W.B. Saunders.

    Clark, H F., P.A. Offit, R.I. Glass, and RM Ward. Rotavirus vaccines.  In: S.A.Plotkin and W. Orenstein (eds): Vaccines, 2003; pp. 1327-1345, 4th Edition, W.B. Saunders.

    Offit, PA, HF Clark, and RL Ward. Current state of development of human rotavirus vaccines. In: U. Desselberger and J. Gray (eds.): Viral Gastroenteritis, 2003; pp. 345-356, Elsevier Science BV, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

    2002

    Offit, P.A. 2002. The future of rotavirus vaccines. Sem Pediatr Infect Dis 2002;13: 190-195.

    2001

    Macartney, K.K., and P.A. Offit. How vaccine safety is monitored before and after licensure. Pediatric Annals 2001;30:392-399.

    Offit, P.A. 2001. Correlates of protection against rotavirus infection and disease. In Gastroenteritis viruses. Novartis Foundation Symposium 238, pp. 106-124, Wiley, Chichester.

    2000

    Offit, P.A. 2000. Withdrawal of rotavirus vaccine in the USA. Vaccines: Children and Practice 3:2-3.

    Macartney, K.K., and P.A. Offit. 2000.  Immunologic methods and correlates of protection, In: Gray, J., and Desselberger, U. (eds.): Methods in Molecular Medicine: Rotaviruses, Humana Press Inc., Totawa, New Jersey [in press].

    1999

    Offit, P.A., and H F. Clark. 1999. Rotavirus vaccines, pp. 171-195. In: Ellis, R. (ed.): Combination Vaccines, 1st Edition, Humana Press, Totowa, New Jersey.

    Clark, H F., R.I. Glass, and P.A. Offit.  1999.  Rotavirus vaccines.  In: S.A.Plotkin and W. Orenstein (eds): Vaccines, pages 987-1005, 3rd Edition, W.B. Saunders.

    1998

    Offit, P.A., and H.F. Clark. 1998. The rotavirus vaccine. Current Opinion in Pediatrics, Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins.

    Offit, P.A.  1998.  Rotavirus, In: F.D. Burg, J.R. Ingelfinger, and E.R.Wald, R.A. Polin (eds.): Gellis and Kagan's Current Pediatric Therapy, pages 132-133, 14th Edition, W.B. Saunders.

    1997

    Coffin, S.E., and P.A. Offit.  1997.  New vaccines against mucosal pathogens: rotavirus and respiratory syncytial virus.  Adv. Pediatr. Infect. Dis. 13: 333-348.

    Offit, P.A., Kapikian, A.Z., and Clark, HF.  1997.  Vaccines against rotavirus.  In: M.M. Levine, G.C. Woodrow, J.B. Kaper, and G.S. Cobon (eds.): New Generation Vaccines, Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, NY, pages 659-671.

    1996

    Clark, HF., Offit, P.A., Ellis, R.W., Krah, D., Shaw, A.R., Eiden, J.J., Pichichero, M., and Treanor, J.J.  1996.  WC3 reassortant vaccines in children: brief review. Arch. Virol. [Suppl] 12: 187-198.

    Conner, M.E., Estes, M.K., Offit, P.A., Clark, HF., Franco, M., Feng, N., and Greenberg, H.B.  1996.  Development of a mucosal rotavirus vaccine.  In: H. Kiyono, P.L. Ogra, and J.R. McGhee (eds.): Mucosal Vaccines: New Trends in Immunization, Academic Press, pp. 325-344.

    Offit, P.A. Viral gastroenteritis.  1996.  In: A.M. Rudolph, J.I.E. Hoffman, and C.D. Rudolph (eds.): Rudolph's Pediatrics, 20th Edition, Appleton and Lange, pp. 642-643.

    1995

    Offit, P.A. and Clark, H.F.  1995.  Vaccines for enteric viral pathogens.  pp. 1471-8, In: Blaser, M.J., Smith, P.D., Ravdin, J.I., Greenberg, H.B., and Guerrant, R.L. (eds.). Infections of the Gastrointestinal Tract.  Raven Press, New York, N.Y.      

    1994

    Offit, P.A., and Clark, HF.  1994.  Rotaviruses.  In: Mandell, G.L., Bennett, J.E., and Dolin, R. (eds.).  Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases, pp. 1448-1455. 4th Edition, Churchill Livingstone.

    Offit, P.A.  1994.  Rotaviruses: immunological determinants of protection  against infection and disease.  Advances in Virus Research 44: 161-202.

    Offit, P.A.  1994.  Virus-specific cellular immune response to intestinal infection.  pp. 89-100.  In: D.A.J. Tyrell and A.Z. Kapikian (eds.): Virus infections of the gastrointestinal tract, 2nd Edition, Marcel Dekker, Inc.

    Clark, H F., and P.A. Offit.  1994.  Rotavirus vaccines.  pp. 809-822.  In: S.A. Plotkin and E.A. Mortimer, Jr. (eds): Vaccines, 2nd Edition, W.B. Saunders.

    1993

    Offit, P.A.  1994.  Immunologic determinants of protection against rotavirus challenge.  Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology, 1993;185:229-254,  Springer-Verlag Publishers, Berlin, West Germany.

    Greenberg H.B., H.F. Clark, and P.A. Offit.  1994.  Rotavirus pathology and pathophysiology.  Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology, 1993;255-283, Springer-Verlag Publishers, Berlin, West Germany.

    Offit, P.A.  1993.  Rotavirus. In: F.D. Burg, J.R. Ingelfinger, and E.R. Wald (eds.): Gellis and Kagan's Current Pediatric Therapy, pages 652-653.  14th Edition, W.B. Saunders.

    1991

    Offit, P.A. 1991.  Viral gastroenteritis.  In: A.M. Rudolph and J.I.E. Hoffman (eds.): Rudolph's Pediatrics, 19th Edition, Appleton and Lange, 1991: 670-671.

    1988

    Greenberg, H.B., P.A. Offit, and R.D. Shaw.  1988.  Neutralization of rotaviruses in vitro and in vivo:  molecular determinants of protection and role of local immunity. pp. 319-330, In: W. Strober, M.E. Lamm, J.R. McGhee, and S.P. James (eds.): Mucosal Immunity and Infections at Mucosal Surfaces.

    1986

    Offit, P.A., G. Blavat, H.F. Clark, R. Shaw, and H.B. Greenberg.  1986.  Role of gene segments 4 and 9 in determining rotavirus virulence and protection against rotavirus challenge.  pp. 267-273, In: R.M. Chanock and R.M. Lerner (eds.):  Vaccines '86: New Approaches to Immunization.

    Greenberg, H.B., and P.A. Offit.  1986.  Gene coding assignments for rotavirus surface proteins. pp. 221-225.  In: Development of Vaccines and Drugs against Diarrheal Diseases, Studentlitteratur, Lund, Sweden.

    1985

    Greenberg, H.B., P.A. Offit, C. Tran, A. Kapikian, W. Robinson, R. Shaw, R. Gaeta, and R. Bellamy.  1985.  Vaccine strategies for the prevention of rotavirus diarrhea.  pp. 447-455.  In: S. Tzipori (ed.), Infectious diarrhea in the young: strategies for control in humans and animals.  Elsevier Science Publishers, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

    1982

    Offit, P.A., and D. Rubin.  1982.  Viral diseases: infections of the gastrointestinal tract.  Comprehensive Therapy  8: 21-26.

  • Awards and Honors

    2014, 7th Annual Sheldon C. Siegel Lectureship, Department of Pediatrics, UCLA School of Medicine
    2014, Robert P. Balles Prize in Critical Thinking, The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and Skeptical Inquirer Magazine
    2014, Honoree, Autism Science Foundation, 5th Anniversary Celebration
    2014, Visiting Professor, Department of Biology, Haverford College
    2014, Visiting Professor, Department of Biology, University of Richmond
    2013, Innovators in Health Award, Group Health Foundation
    2013, Honor Award and Gold Key, Distinguished Alumnus Award, University of Maryland School of Medicine
    2013, Maxwell Finland Award for Scientific Achievement, National Foundation for Infectious Diseases
    2012, Elected to the John Morgan Society, University of Pennsylvania
    2012, Drexel Medicine Prize in Translational Medicine, Drexel University College of Medicine
    2012, Jonathan M. Mann Memorial Lecture, Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists
    2012, Distinguished Medical Achievement Award, The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
    2012, The CSL Behring Visiting Professor, A. I. Dupont Nemours Hospital for Children
    2012, Fellow, American Academy of Microbiology
    2011, Inducted into the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies
    2011, Board Member, The Franklin Institute
    2011, Odyssey Award, Center for Medicine in the Public Interest
    2011, David E. Rogers Award, American Association of Medical Colleges
    2011, Humanitarian of the Year Award, Biotechnology Industries Organization (BIO)
    2010, Lawrence T. Taft Memorial Lecture, Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine
    2010, 35th Hattie Alexander Memorial Lecture, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
    2010, Ashley Weech Visiting Professor, Children’s Hospital of Cincinnati
    2010, Ralph D. Feigin Award for Excellence, 2010, for “Outstanding Advocacy for Immunizations,”
    2010, 37th Lori Haker Visiting Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin
    2009, Honored by Bill and Melinda Gates at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Living Proof Project for Global Health
    2009, 16th Annual Frontiers in Vaccinology Lecture, Center for Vaccine Development, University of Maryland School of Medicine
    2009, Fiser Lecturer, University of Arkansas Medical Sciences
    2009, President’s Certificate for Outstanding Service, American Academy of Pediatrics
    2009, William Osler Patient Oriented Research Award, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine for the co-invention of the RotaTeq and for the creation of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
    2009, Humanitarian of the Year Award, National
    Meningitis Association
    2009, Dr. Charles Mérieux Award for Achievement in Vaccinology and Immunology from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases
    2008, Saul Krugman Memorial Lectureship, “The Rotavirus Vaccine: From Bench to Bedside,” New York University School of Medicine
    2008, Luigi Mastroianni Clinical Innovator Award, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine for the co-invention of RotaTeq
    2008, AMWA (American Medical Writers Association) Medical Book Award, Public/Healthcare Consumer Category for “Vaccinated: One Man’s Quest to Defeat the World’s Deadliest Diseases”
    2008, 16th Annual Dorothy Horstmann Lecture, Yale University School of Medicine
    2008, Stanley A. Plotkin Award for Outstanding Achievement in Vaccines, Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society
    2008, Stevens Distinguished Visiting Professor, LeBonheur Children’s Hospital and the University of Tennessee Medical Center
    2007, Canon Ely Distinguished Professor, Boston Children’s Hospital
    2006, Jonas Salk Bronze Medal from the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology for the co-invention of RotaTeq
    2006, Gold Medal Award from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for the co-invention of RotaTeq
    2006, The Joseph W. Mountin Lecturer, CDC
    2006, Howard Mermelstein Lecture, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
    2006, Jeryl Lynn Hilleman Lecture, CDC Foundation
    2006, John H. Erskine Lecture in Infectious Diseases, St.
    Jude Children’s Research Hospital
    2004, Recipient of the Maurice R. Hilleman Chair in Vaccinology from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
    2003, Fellow, College of Physicians of Philadelphia
    2001, “Excellence in Service” Award from the Delaware      Valley Immunization Coalition
    1998, Elected to the Executive Committee of the Joseph Stokes, Jr. Research Institute
    1997, Recipient of the Werner and Gertrude Henle Chair in Pediatric Immunologic and Infectious Diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
    1997, Elected to the council of the Society of Pediatric Research
    1991, Research Achievement Award, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia   
    1988, The University of Pennsylvania Research Foundation Award
    1988, Lederle Young Investigator Award in Vaccine Development
    1981, Fellow's Annual Teaching Award, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
    1977, J. Edmund Bradley Prize for Excellence in Pediatrics, University of Maryland Medical School

  • Editorial and Academic Positions

    Editorial positions

    2007-present, American Baby Magazine, Advisory Board
    2006-present, American Council on Science and Health, Advisory Board
    2006-present, Every Child By Two, Advisory Board
    2005-present, Clinical and Diagnostic Laboratory Immunology, , Editorial Board
    2003-present, Infectious Diseases in Children, Associate Editor
    1990-present, Virology, Editorial Board
    1999-present, Child Magazine, Advisory Board
    1999-present, Immunization Action Coalition, Advisory Board
    1999-present, PKIDS, Advisory Board

    Academic and institutional committees

    2008-present, The Center for Vaccine Ethics and Policy, Co-Director
    2006-present, Cell and Molecular Biology Graduate Group
    2005-present, Graduate Program in Public Health Studies
    1989-present, Molecular Biology Graduate Group
    1989-present, Immunology Graduate Group

  • Leaderships

    Memberships in professional organizations

    American Academy of Pediatrics
    American Association of Immunologists
    American Gastroenterological Association
    American Pediatric Society
    American Society for Microbiology
    American Society for the Advancement of Science
    American Society for Virology
    Association for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics
    International Society for Vaccines
    Institute for Science in Medicine
    Pediatric Infectious Disease Society
    Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine
    Society for Mucosal Immunology
    Society for Pediatric Research
    Union of Concerned Scientists