I have the honor to serve in several capacities this month: as author of a brief article, as guest editor for this issue, and as editor-in-chief. As it happened, I had agreed to serve as the guest editor last year, long before I was invited to consider the job as editor-in-chief of Pediatric Annals. Bill Altemeier, my predecessor as editor-in-chief, asked me to be guest editor for this issue, but I now know that he had another agenda.
We have assembled an all-star lineup of authorities on pneumococci and pneumococcal infections for this issue. In the aggregate, these authors have published hundreds of key clinical and research articles on this extremely important pathogen of children, and their contributions to this issue of Pediatric Annals are all excellent reviews of the topics of clinical syndromes, microbiology and immunity, treatment, and vaccine development.
Readers will note a new feature in this issue, one that we hope will become a regular item. I refer to "Firm Rounds at The Children's Memorial Hospital, Chicago," edited by the new Associate Editor of Pediatric Annals, Dr. Robert Listernick.
Bob has distinguished himself as an outstanding clinician and teacher and also has become a noted authority on neurofibromatosis. A New Yorker, he is a graduate of the University of Rochester (he claims) and received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania and his pediatric training at The Children's Memorial Hospital, Chicago. He has never left, having advanced through the ranks to become Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University. He also serves as Director of the Diagnostic and Evaluation Clinic, Co-director of the Neurofibromatosis Clinic, and Director of the Firm Conferences. The latter are outstanding, weekly, case-based, multidisciplinary conferences, each focused on a particularly interesting and challenging child. Bob has arranged for audiotaping of the Firm Conference proceedings. He edits the transcripts into readable and what we believe will be highly educational works. We solicit your feedback about this new feature.
There are no stamps from my collection appearing below, but if you turn to the article on page 225 entitled "The History of the Pneumococcus," you will find stamps honoring the great Louis Pasteur. I can promise that this will not be the last time that stamps issued in his honor grace these pages, as he is the "Father of Microbiology" and I have more than 50 different Pasteur stamps in my collection!