Public Health Trailblazer Honored with Alma Dea Morani, MD Renaissance Woman Award


Dr. Margaret Hamburg to receive prestigious award from the Women in Medicine Legacy Foundation

Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg, an internationally recognized leader in public health and medicine, will receive the 2018 Alma Dea Morani MD Renaissance Woman Award, the highest honor bestowed by an elite group dedicated to preserving and advancing the legacy of women in medicine.

Dr. Hamburg is president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and foreign secretary of the National Academy of Medicine, where she serves as senior advisor on international matters and liaison with other Academies of Medicine around the world. 

“Peggy Hamburg’s leadership has had a widespread and positive impact in making the world a healthier and safer place,” says Julia Haller, MD, president of the Women in Medicine Legacy Foundation. “She has shaped policies that have helped to speed life-saving drugs to patients around the world and has worked to reduce nuclear and biological threats.”

The Alma Dea Morani, MD Renaissance Woman Award was established to recognize an outstanding woman in medicine or science who has demonstrated professional excellence and a thirst for knowledge and service beyond her medical practice or scientific endeavors. The Women in Medicine Legacy Foundation is dedicated to preserving and promoting the history of women in medicine and the medical sciences to empower the women of today and tomorrow.

As commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Dr. Hamburg globalized the agency, advancing regulatory science and modernizing regulatory pathways. As founding vice president and senior scientist at the Nuclear Threat Initiative, she worked to reduce the danger of nuclear, chemical, and biological threats.

As commissioner of the New York City Department of Health in the 1990s, she led groundbreaking public health initiatives, including improved services for women and children, a needle-exchange program to combat the spread of HIV, and the first public health bioterrorism preparedness program in America.

Dr. Hamburg sits on the Boards of the Commonwealth Fund, the Simons Foundation, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, the Urban Institute, and the American Museum of Natural History. She serves in various advisory roles, including the Harvard University Global Advisory Council and the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Gates Foundation. Dr. Hamburg is an elected member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the National Academy of Medicine, and a Fellow of the AAAS and the American College of Physicians. She has received numerous awards and honorary degrees.

Dr. Hamburg earned her BA from Harvard College, her MD from Harvard Medical School and completed her medical residency at Weill Cornell Medical Center. Following her medical training, Dr. Hamburg went to Washington to work in health policy as Assistant Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Alma Dea Morani was the first woman admitted to the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons and an impassioned advocate for humanism in medicine.

The award will be presented on November 7, 2018, in Boston, MA.

Alicia Lazzaro