The Story Behind the Shields Research Grant

IN THE SPOTLIGHT, features Dr. Christopher (Chris) Giza at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine as the first recipient of the Shields Research Grant in 2007.  This award, which was initially supported by the Winokur Family Foundation but has been fully supported by PERF® since 2018.

Dr. Shields, PERF®’s Vice-President and Secretary shared how the research grant named after him got started.   During his tenure as Chief of Pediatric Neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, a parent of one of his young pediatric epilepsy patients asked how he could help support the research careers of young child neurologists.

Discussions with CNS President, Dr. Anne Tilton and CNF President Mike Painter led to a new young investigator grant. Dr. Shields proposed the grant be named after its benefactor, Herbert S. “Pug” Winokur, Jr., PhD, who instead insisted naming it the Shields Research Grant in honor of the pediatric neurologist who cared for his daughter.

Herbert (Pug) S. Winokur, Jr., PhD

In 2014, “Pug” Winokur accepted PERF®’s invitation to serve as an active member of its Board of Directors through 2019.  He continues as an emeritus member where his business acumen in investment strategies helps PERF® sustain its funds to support early stage and senior investigators in child neurology research.

When PERF® was founded in 2004 to support pediatric neurology research using the royalties from Ovation Pharmaceuticals (Read, “Unintended Consequences: The Story of PERF®”), Dr. Elterman and Dr. Shields did not foresee that 20 years later the Foundation would still be around.  PERF® is grateful for Pug Winokur’s 10 years of uncompensated service to help the Foundation invest the royalties to provide funding for as many more years as possible.