The family of the late Dr. Caroline B. Hall travelled to Paris this week to accept the HHV-6 Foundation’s Dharam Ablashi Lifetime Achievement Award that was awarded posthumously at a banquet attended by over 160 scientists and physicians, including many of her colleagues in international research. Dr. Hall, Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine in Infectious Diseases at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry (URMC) had been a member of the faculty since 1971, passed away on December 10th, 2012.
The award was accepted by her daughters, Amity Breese Hall and Kellian Hall Dowd. Also in attendance were her husband, William J. Hall, MD of URMC and her granddaughter, Macey Dowd. The award was presented by Dr. Koichi Yamanishi of Japan’s National Institute of Biomedical Innovation. Dr. Yamanishi spoke of Dr. Hall’s kindness and special efforts to encourage young investigators in the field at the presentation.
Dr. Caroline Hall was one of the first physicians in the USA to begin characterizing the significance and epidemiology of primary human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) infection among infants and young children. HHV-6 is a ubiquitous virus that causes one-third of complex febrile seizures, post transplant imbic encephalitis in transplant patients and is under study as a cause of epilepsy. Her work on viral diseases in children resulted in more than 500 published articles.
“Caroline Hall was beloved by her scientific colleagues around the world, for her scientific rigor as well as her warm personality,” said her long time colleague Dr. Leon Epstein, Shoemaker Professor of Pediatric Neurology at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL.
Dr. Hall remained a very active researcher until her death last year, with her most recent work focusing on congenital infection with HHV-6. Dr. Hall’s several groundbreaking discoveries and commitment to HHV-6 research shaped the field for two decades, and will continue to inform how researchers and physicians understand the virus moving forward.