The Passano Foundation was founded in 1943 having as its sole purpose the encouragement of medical science and research, particularly those endeavors with clinical applications. The leader and guiding spirit of the Foundation was the late Edward Boetler Passano, a past Chairman of the Board of Williams & Wilkins Co. Mr. Passano saw his business, publishing medical books and periodicals, as a vital part of the work of the medical profession and bound by the same ideals: integrity and high purpose. This same dedication to excellence continues to govern the Passano Foundation today.
Beginning in 1945, the Foundation has presented an award each year to a person or persons who have made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of medical science and whose work was done in the United States. Prime consideration is given to work that has immediate clinical value or gives promise of practical application in the near future.
Since 1975, the Foundation has also made an additional award to a young scientist whose work, though in the early stages, already contributes to scientific research. Currently, the Passano Foundation supports the Clinician Scientist Award at the Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine, by naming a Passano Physician Scientist annually. The Foundation also names a Physician Scientist at the University of Maryland School of Medicine who had been selected by the American Heart Association- Maryland Affiliate for a research award.
To insure truly representative and irreproachable awards, the Directors of the Passano Foundation seek the opinions of a nationwide group of men and women engaged in medical research or practice. The nominators include faculty members from medical schools across the United States who are especially well-informed on the novel research being conducted at their institutions. Evidence of the elite selection process is the universal approval of the Passano Laureates by the scientific community; over twenty Passano Foundation Laureates have gone on to receive the Nobel Prize.