PRS History

The Perinatal Research Society was established in 1969 to foster scientific interchange among Pediatricians (neonatologists), Obstetricians and Basic Scientists with research interests in the areas of perinatal medicine and developmental biology. This unique group first gathered at the University of Colorado under the leadership of the late Fred Battaglia, MD. In 1970, when PRS was formally incorporated, the leadership reads like a Who’s Who of early perinatologists and researchers.

PRS Founding Corporation Directors 1970

Frederick Battaglia, MDDept of Pediatrics/Perinatology,
University of Colorado
1932- 2022
Donald Cheek, MDDept of Pediatrics,
Johns Hopkins Hospital
Andre Hellegers, MDDept of Obstetrics-Gynecology,
Georgetown University
Robert Jaffe, MDDept of Obstetrics-Gynecology,
University of Michigan
Stanley James, MDDept of Pediatrics,
Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center
Jan Langman, MD, PhDDept of Anatomy,
University of Virginia
Edward Quilligan, MDDept of Obstetrics-Gynecology,
Los Angeles County Hospital
William Silverman, MDPerinatal Health Center,
Children’s Hospital of San Francisco
William Spellacy, MDDept of Obstetrics-Gynecology,
University of Miam

The Passing of PRS’ Founder

memorial photo

Frederick C. Battaglia, MD

Feb 15th, 1932 – Dec 30th, 2022

Dr. Battaglia passed away December 30, 2022 in Denver, CO. Born in 1932 in Weehawken, New Jersey, he earned his B.S. at Cornell University (1953) and graduated from Yale University School of Medicine (1957). He completed his pediatric internship at Johns Hopkins University (1958) and then went on to study biochemistry under Sir Philip Randle at Cambridge (1958-59) and physiology in Dr. Donald Barron’s lab at Yale (1959-60). He then returned to Johns Hopkins to finish his pediatric residency (1962). Upon completion, he spent two years in Puerto Rico at the National Institutes of Health-funded Laboratory of Perinatal Physiology (1962-64).

Dr. Battaglia was appointed Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins (1963-65) and in 1965, he and his wife, Dr. Jane Donohue Battaglia, moved to the University of Colorado where he spent the remainder of his career.

Among his many accomplishments, Dr. Battaglia created the Division of Perinatal Medicine at Colorado with Drs Giacomo Meschia (Apgar Awardee 1984) in physiology and Ed Makowski in obstetrics/gynecology. His honors include membership in the Institute of Medicine, E. Mead Johnson Award in Perinatal Medicine (1969), Virginia Apgar Award (1984), and the John Howland Medal (2004). He also developed and implemented the Pediatric Scientist Development Program, which was established to help grow the number of pediatricians with expertise in basic research.

Dr. Battaglia’s passion for perinatology led to the creation of the PRS, which he founded and served as secretary/treasurer and president.

Our condolences to his family,


ADDITIONAL Notable Achievements

  • Professor Emeritus, Pediatrics/Perinatology, University of Colorado, 1965-2022
  • John Howland Award 2004
  • AAP Medical Education Award 199

PRS Turns 50 in 2019

In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of PRS, the video below was created, and shown in 2019 at the Annual Meeting to briefly summarize the history of the organization. It features excerpts of a 2018 interview with PRS Founder, the late Fred Battaglia, MD.