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UM SOM Researcher Dr. Kathleen Neuzil Honored by Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

April 12, 2016

Kathleen Neuzil, MD, MPH

The Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (VUSM) has announced that Kathleen Neuzil, MD, MPH, director of the Center for Vaccine Development at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM), has received the 2016 Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Distinguished Alumni Award.

Neuzil, who is also the deputy director of the UM SOM Institute for Global Health, will be honored during VUSM’s 2016 Reunion festivities, Oct. 20-22. The award is the highest honor given to Vanderbilt alumni. Thirty-eight recipients have been recognized since the award was first granted in 1983.

“Dr. Neuzil’s career provides a role model to those who are interested in pursuing a career in medicine or public health,” said Ann Price, MD, associate dean of Alumni Affairs at VUSM. “I hope by highlighting her achievements others will be inspired to walk their own distinguished career paths that will one day allow them to help others as she has.”

Dr. Neuzil, who is also a professor of medicine and pediatrics at UM SOM, has a national and international reputation for her work in infectious disease and epidemiology. After graduating summa cum laude from the University of Maryland in 1983 and receiving her medical degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1987, Neuzil completed her residency and fellowship training at Vanderbilt and was appointed the Hugh Morgan Chief Resident in Medicine. She received her MPH degree from VUSM in 1998.

"This is a prestigious award, and one that Dr. Neuzil thoroughly deserves,” said Christopher Plowe, MD, MPH, founding director of the UM SOM Institute for Global Health, as well as Professor of Medicine, of Microbiology and Immunology, and of Epidemiology and Public Health at the school. “It underscores the importance of the work on vaccines and global health that she is doing here at UM SOM."

Dr. Neuzil has held academic appointments at both Vanderbilt and the University of Washington as an infectious disease physician and epidemiologist. She also spent a decade working with PATH, a global health non-profit organization, where she led their vaccine access and delivery team.  

She has led or been involved in pivotal vaccine trials that have influenced vaccine policy worldwide. A strong advocate for translating research results into vaccine policies, she was a key driver in the many changes in the influenza policy over the last two decades in the United States, and on an international level, her research helped shape rotavirus vaccine policy. Her research has focused on a variety of vaccines, including influenza, rotavirus and RSV, as well as other areas like maternal immunization, optimizing vaccine use and overcoming barriers to sustainable vaccine uptake in low resource settings.   She is continuing this work at UM SOM.

She has more than 160 scientific publications on vaccines and infectious diseases. Her extensive experience in domestic and international policy includes memberships on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the Pandemic Influenza Task Force for the Infectious Disease Society of America. She has worked with the World Health Organization, served as a member of the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts’ rotavirus working group and served as a member of the Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety working group on the safety of vaccines in pregnancy. 

She currently chairs the steering committee for the CDC-sponsored Ebola vaccine trial in Sierra Leone.

“Dr. Neuzil has spent her career working to improve vaccines for those who are most in need,” said E. Albert Reece, Vice President, Medical Affairs at the University of Maryland and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and Dean at UM SOM. “This award highlights her impressive accomplishments, and really bodes well for the future of the Institute for Global Health and the Center for Vaccine Development.”

About the University of Maryland School of Medicine

The University of Maryland School of Medicine was chartered in 1807 and is the first public medical school in the United States and continues today as an innovative leader in accelerating innovation and discovery in medicine. The School of Medicine is the founding school of the University of Maryland and is an integral part of the 11-campus University System of Maryland. Located on the University of Maryland’s Baltimore campus, the School of Medicine works closely with the University of Maryland Medical Center and Medical System to provide a research-intensive, academic and clinically based education. With 43 academic departments, centers and institutes and a faculty of more than 3,000 physicians and research scientists plus more than $400 million in extramural funding, the School is regarded as one of the leading biomedical research institutions in the U.S. with top-tier faculty and programs in cancer, brain science, surgery and transplantation, trauma and emergency medicine, vaccine development and human genomics, among other centers of excellence. The School is not only concerned with the health of the citizens of Maryland and the nation, but also has a global presence, with research and treatment facilities in more than 35 countries around the world. http://medschool.umaryland.edu/

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