Frank R Ford

Frank R. Ford (1892-1970)

Dr. Frank Ford was born and spent nearly his entire life in Baltimore, where he established a strong Paediatric Neurology Service. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 1915 and its medical school in 1920. In 1918, he joined the Student Army Training Corps. Ford served an internship at the Henry Phipps Psychiatric Institute of The Johns Hopkins Hospital from 1920 to 1921 before completing a residency in neurology at the Bellevue Hospital in New York in 1922.

He returned to Johns Hopkins as a resident in neurology in 1922. He spent a year in psychiatry at the Phipps Psychiatric Clinic under Adolf Meyer but found Meyer's laboratory more objective and satisfying. He left for New York and Bellevue Hospital for a year of neurology training under Foster Kennedy. Here, he would also have encountered Sachs, who was a member of the staff. He returned to the Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1923 and was chief of neurology from 1932 to 1958.

He had a major interest in Paediatric Neurology. Cerebral Birth Injuries and Their Results (1927) was his first book in this area. His text, Diseases of the Nervous System in Infancy, Childhood and Adolescence, 36 was first published in 1937. This book grew from 950 to over 1,500 pages by its posthumous six edition.

Dr. Ford must have worked on this continuously, considering the amount of material he included and that he did all the work, including the typing! In 1937, Ford published Diseases of the Nervous System in Infancy, Childhood and Adolescence. The success of the book was immediate, and it was translated into several foreign languages. The book was published through six editions and cemented his reputation as a neurologist both in the United States and abroad.

Ford was known as a great teacher, clinician, and mentor and published many papers on neurology during his career before retiring in 1958. This work, which became the Bible of Paediatric Neurology, remains his major legacy. To those who worked with him, his greatest strength was his authoritative bedside finesse, which led to his designation as "the judge." Ford's work was confined to Baltimore. He did not join national societies and declined invitations to speak elsewhere. His withdrawn personality also made it difficult for him to teach classes.

To honor the dedication followed by Dr. Ford, ICNA has been hosting the Frank Ford Award since 1982. The Frank Ford Award is a senior investigator award for recognition of lifetime clinical and research contributions to Child Neurology and to the ICNA.

Frank Ford Awardees (1982 - 2024)


Ingrid Tein

A Journey through Bioenergetic Metabolism
18th ICNC2024 Cape Town, South Africa


Pratibha Singhi

The charcuterie board of child neurology – Indian flavours
17th ICNC2022 Antalya, Turkey

Charles Newton

The Global Burden of Paediatric Neurological Disorders
16th ICNC2020 Virtual Congress


Helen Cross

Fit for the future: new insights into the childhood epilepsies
15th ICNC2020 Mumbai, India


Michael Johnston

The Quest for Neuroprotection for Injuries in the Developing Brain
14th ICNC2016 Amsterdam, The Netherlands


Orvar Eeg-Olofsson

The impact of brain maturation on EEG development in children and some electroclinical syndromes
13th ICNC2014 Iguazú, Brazil


Robert Ouvrier

Australasian contributions to Child Neurology
12th ICNC2012 Brisbane, Australia


Yoshiyuki Suzuki

ICNA, Child Neurology & Neuroscience
11th ICNC2010 Cairo, Egypt


Shunsuke Ohtahara

Age dependent epileptic encephalopathy
10th ICNC2006 Montreal, Canada


Hugo Moser

Adrenoleukodystrophy: The challenge of applying 25 years’ knowledge to benefit patients and families
9th ICNC2002 Beijing, China


Jean Aicardi

Epilepsy, the hidden part of the iceberg
8th ICNC1998 Llubjana, Slovenia


Philip R. Dodge

Autobiographical Reminiscences
7th ICNC1994 San Francisco, United States


Yukio Fukuyama

Congenital Muscular Dystrophy
6th ICNC1992 Buenos Aires, Argentina


Isabelle Rapin

Autism as a neurological disorder
5th ICNC1990 Tokyo, Japan


John Stobo Prichard

Who is a Child Neurologist?
4th ICNC1986 Jerusalem, Israel


Sabine Pelc

3rd ICNC1982 Copenhagen, Denmark