May 6, 2016

Jack Pellock, MD

Share Reminisces of Jack

In Memoriam


It is with great sadness that AES shares the news that Dr. John M. “Jack” Pellock, a leader in epilepsy and a former AES president, has passed away.

Few have had as great an impact on the field as Jack. Internationally recognized for his contributions in epilepsy drug therapy and clinical care, he was principal investigator for more than 100 trials evaluating epilepsy treatments in children and adults and author of more than 200 journal articles and 70 book chapters. He was chief editor of Pellock’s Pediatric Epilepsy: Diagnosis and Therapy, soon to be released in its fourth edition and widely considered the gold standard for diagnosis, treatment, classification, and management of childhood epilepsies.

AES honored Jack with the J. Kiffin Penry Award in 2004 for the impact his work had on improving the quality of life for people with epilepsy. In 2015, AES launched the John M. Pellock Pediatric Travel Award to support early career investigators and recognize his considerable contributions to scholarship and mentorship.

While his life’s work in epilepsy was profound, for those fortunate to know Jack personally, his impact was equally transformative.

pellock2“So many of us benefited from his scholarship, mentorship, and friendship,” Dr. Amy Brooks-Kayal, former AES president, says. “He was a role model of encouraging and mentoring emerging pediatric epilepsy leaders.”

“He was my personal AES mentor, recruiting me to the board, then into the executive line. What a great member, leader, mentor, and team player. Always upbeat, he was quick to fill whichever role he was called upon to do and--in his usual unassuming way--always did an amazing job,” AES President Dr. Michael Privitera says. (Pellock is pictured in 2010 assuming the AES presidential gavel from his predecessor, Dr. Jaideep Kapur.)

Jack began his career as a pediatric resident at the Medical College of Virginia and completed his Pediatric Neurology fellowship at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. He joined the faculty of the Medical College of Virginia in 1978, becoming chairman of the Division of Pediatric Neurology in 1995. Later he served as senior associate dean for professional education, helping develop CME programs for the entire VCU health system. During his tenure, he received multiple awards for teaching excellence.

He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Mary Pellock; children Kayte (Steve) Harte and Mike (Carey) Pellock; and grandson Reed Pellock.

Mentor, leader, physician, scientist—the entire epilepsy community will be forever grateful for his tireless efforts in these roles. The impact he had on the field, his colleagues, patients and friends will be felt for years to come.

AES members are encouraged to share their reminisces of Jack at the AES Connect community. Click here to view the discussion. (Login required.)

Donations to the John M. Pellock Pediatric Travel Award, which supports early career investigators, may be made online. Click here to make a donation.