Linda P. Fried, MD, MPH

2019 Alma Dea Morani Awardee

Linda P. Fried, MD, MPH is Dean and DeLamar Professor of Public Health at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, where she is also Professor of Epidemiology and of Medicine, and Senior Vice President, Columbia University Medical Center. A geriatrician and epidemiologist, Dean Fried is an internationally renowned medical scientist, clinician, and leader in medicine and public health. As Dean, since 2008, Dr. Fried has led Columbia Public Health to become the leader in innovation in public health education in the US, starting with a completely transformed MPH curriculum for the 21st Century which has become the accreditation standard. She has built programs to address the critical issues of our century that affect the public’s health and require effective prevention and mitigation, from the health effects of climate change to increasing health span for our society of longer lives.

As a scientist, Dr. Fried is the author of over 500 scientific articles and chapters. She has led 3 major lines of scientific investigation:  First, research that has defined frailty in aging as a new medical syndrome, with distinct phenotypic presentation, etiology and outcomes, and scientific innovation in the understanding of the diseases and preclinical processes that lead to disability in aging, with an overall goal of extending health span to match life span; she has been the Principal Investigator of a number of major population-based longitudinal studies, including the Women’s Health and Aging Studies and the Cardiovascular Health Study.  Second, she co-designed and founded a novel community-based public health intervention to prevent frailty and cognitive and functional decline in older adults, embedded in a volunteer program for older adults to build social capital, serving in public elementary schools to improve the academic outcomes of the children. This program, named Experience Corps, has been evaluated by Dr. Fried and colleagues in a randomized controlled trial and demonstrated to improve the outcomes intended, and is now in 24 US cities led by AARP. The third line of work has been to develop the concept that longer lives could lead to a Third Demographic Dividend.

Dr. Fried has led numerous initiatives to improve equity of opportunity for women in medicine and public health. At Johns Hopkins, she served as the founding chair of the Department of Medicine Task Force on Women’s Academic Careers (1990-95), which led to over 40 interventions now extending over 25 years that have significantly improved gender equity. She also chaired the Johns Hopkins University President’s Task Force for Careers of Women Faculty, from 2000-2004, which led to numerous university-level recommendations.

Prior to becoming Dean, Dr. Fried was Director of the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology and Founding Director of the Center on Aging and Health (Center of Excellence for Aging Research) at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. In the former role, she led the bicampus division and its coordinated continuum of geriatric care models, developed a full spectrum of research programs – from the biology of frailty and aging to prevention science to health services research - and brought the Division to be ranked as #1 in US by USNWR.

Dean Fried is the recipient of numerous honors and awards. Most recently, she received the French INSERM International Prize for Medical Research. An elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and of its Council, she is past President of the Association of American Physicians, and an elected member of the Council on Foreign Relations