Dr. Agostino Pierro named Officer of the Order of the British Empire
By Rebecca Alberico
Dr. Agostino Pierro, Head of General and Thoracic Surgery at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), has been named Officer of The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE). The prestigious title is awarded by the Queen to individuals with a distinguished role in their respective field, through continued achievement or service to the community.
Pierro is among 1,671 Canadians (military and civilian) who have been recognized as Officers of The Order of the British Empire, and one of only 599 civilians. He is the first SickKids physician to receive the honour while on staff.Through his many endeavors in Europe and North America, Pierro has had a number of notable accomplishments – he has introduced innovative procedures in neonatal and paediatric surgery, including laparoscopic pancreatectomy for congenital hyperinsulinism of infancy.
“I’m very pleased that people have recognized my work to be deserving of this honour. I’m quite thrilled about it,” said Pierro. The SickKids surgeon was nominated by colleagues from both the United States and London, where he formerly resided and worked as Nuffield Professor of Paediatric Surgery and Head of Surgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital and UCL Institute of Child Health, London, UK.
Deciding to make the move to SickKids two years ago was an easy decision for Pierro.
“I knew SickKids would give me an even greater opportunity to try to pursue and develop things which I think are important to paediatric surgery.”
Pierro now dedicates much of his time to researching necrotizing enterocolitis, one of the leading causes of death in premature babies, occurring in about 5 per cent of births. This condition makes the tissues of the large or small intestine become inflamed and at risk for low blood flow, which can cause part of the intestine to die. With a mortality rate hovering around 40 per cent, Pierro is working to develop a better understanding and treatment of this disease.
With great pride, Pierro shares that none of these achievements would have been possible without the support of his family. “I’m very grateful to my wife and my three teenage children who supported me in this great move to Toronto. I’m very proud and, if anything, I would like to dedicate this honour to them.”