Rodney J. Pollitt

Recipient of the Robert Guthrie Award 2002

Rodney Pollitt is presently Honorary Professor, Division of Child Health, University of Sheffield, Consultant in Neonatal Screening, Sheffield Children’s Hospital and National Co-ordinator UK Cystic Fibrosis Screening Programme.

For over 30 years Dr.Pollitt has been professionally involved in newborn screening locally and nationally. During this time he has become a true newborn screening guru locally, nationally and internationally. This is evidenced by his large number of publications (more than 150 book chapters and full papers in addition to a large number of conference abstracts) on newborn screening and metabolic disease topics, and by his many invitations to speak at meetings.

Dr.Pollitt’s presentations at these meetings are always well attended by those who appreciate a thoughtful analysis of newborn screening issues. He has never been swayed from an approach both commonsense and scientific by the dogma surrounding public health in general and screening in particular. It has been particularly useful to consider his approach to randomised control trials in newborn screening.

Because he has had significant involvement in diagnosis and management of children with a wide variety of inherited metabolic disorders, Dr.Pollitt brings a holistic approach to screening with a broad and fresh perspective not often seen. This has been particularly evident in his writings and presentations on expanded newborn screening. As MS/MS screening is evaluated throughout the world Dr.Pollitt’s report “Neonatal screening for inborn errors of metabolism: cost, yield and outcome: a review”, produced for the UK NHS Health Technology Assessment Unit is widely used as a framework for evaluation of new and existing screening programs.

Award ceremony at the 6th ISNS Meeting in Awaji (Japan). From left: Dr. Rodney Pollitt, Prof. J.L. Dhondt (President ISNS), Anne-Christine Sundell (President Genetic Screening PerkinElmer)