O’Donnell Award in Medicine: Jordan Scott Orange, M.D., Ph.D.

Dec 2017

Jordan Orange
Pediatric Immunologist Jordan S. Orange Recognized for Healing Through Research

Jordan Scott Orange, M.D., Ph.D., of Baylor College of Medicine is the recipient of the 2018 Edith and Peter O’Donnell Award in Medicine from The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST).

Dr. Orange is a trailblazing innovator in modern medicine. He has defined a new class of diseases, natural killer cell deficiencies. These diseases take place when the body’s built-in defenses against infections, pathogens and cancer are defective and prevent the body from being able to adequately fight back. His work has uncovered immune deficiencies and identified secrets of these disorders to improve diagnosis and treatment for patients, particularly children.

“Learning more about how natural killer cells work could have an important role in the therapy of some of the most vexing medical conditions that we face,” says Mark W. Kline M.D., Professor and Ralph D. Feigin Chair of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine and physician-in-chief at Texas Children’s Hospital. “The potential of his work is just now beginning to manifest.”

Dr. Orange is professor of pediatrics and chief of the section of Immunology, Allergy and Rheumatology at Baylor College of Medicine, and the director of the Center for Human Immunobiology at Texas Children’s Hospital. In June 2018, Dr. Orange will become chair of pediatrics in the College of Physicians & Surgeons and pediatrician-in-chief of New York-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital. Learn more about Dr. Orange and his discoveries.

“The TAMEST Edith and Peter O’Donnell Awards showcase the best and brightest among Texas researchers,” says TAMEST President Gordon England. “Their work is helping to advance science and open new pathways to discovery. We’re proud to recognize Dr. Jordan Orange for his achievements.”

Interview opportunities with Dr. Orange are available. Please contact:

Dana Benson
Director of Communications, Baylor College of Medicine

Research Highlights

Dr. Orange is a pioneer in discovering novel diseases and translating their underlying biological mechanisms back to broader clinical medicine. He has assembled a unique skill set combining clinical immunology subspecialization with expertise basic immunology, cell biology and genetics. Dr. Orange has solved many clinical mysteries: identifying new immune diseases and their underlying biological mechanisms including COPA syndrome, PGM3-SCID, MTHFD1-SCID amongst others. He is also credited with defining the field of natural killer (NK) cell deficiency and has solved most of these genetically and/or mechanistically, including biallelic IRF8 deficiency and GATA2 deficiency. His expertise in natural killer cell biology has allowed him to discover these diseases and learn from them to translate therapeutic strategies back to his patients as well as to those with more common diseases such as cancer.

2018 TAMEST Edith and Peter O’Donnell Awards Recipients:

  • Medicine: Jordan Scott Orange, M.D., Ph.D., Baylor College of Medicine
  • Engineering: Delia Milliron, Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin
  • Science: Xiaoqin Elaine Li, Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin

Over $1 million has been awarded to 50 recipients in the categories of medicine, engineering, science and technology innovation since the inception of the O’Donnell awards in 2006. The awards are named in honor of Edith and Peter O’Donnell, who are among Texas’ staunchest advocates for excellence in scientific advancement and STEM education. Read more about the 2018 Edith and Peter O’Donnell Awards recipients.

The recipients will be honored during the O’Donnell Awards dinner and reception on Thursday, January 11, 2018, at the TAMEST 2018 Annual Conference: Aerospace. The conference takes place January 10–12, 2018, at the South Shore Harbour Resort and Conference Center in League City, Texas, just outside of Houston. Media are encouraged to attend.


TAMEST (The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas) is the state’s premier scientific organization, bringing together Texas’ best and brightest scientists and researchers. TAMEST membership includes all Texas-based members of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and the state’s Nobel Laureates.



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