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Awards & Honors Fall 2022

Yale Public Health Magazine, Yale Public Health: Fall 2022


Serap Aksoy, PhD, professor of epidemiology (microbial diseases) at YSPH, presented the 2022 annual lecture of the Medical Library Associates in April. The lecture was titled “Advancing global public health: Building bridges across disciplines and advocating for evidence-based health policies.” Aksoy is a tropical medicine researcher whose work focuses on the epidemiology of insect-transmitted (vector-borne) and zoonotic diseases. 

Yale Professor of Epidemiology Paul Anastas, PhD, the Teresa and H. John Heinz III Professor in the Practice of Chemistry for the Environment, was honored with the August Wilhelm von Hofmann Commemorative Medal by the German Chemistry Society. Anastas shared the award with John Warner, senior vice president in chemistry and distinguished research fellow at Zymergen Corporation as well as Global Sustainability Chair at the University of Bath in the U.K. Anastas and Warner are the co-founders of the concept of green chemistry, composed of 12 principles explained in their book, Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice. The von Hofmann medal for special services in chemistry is given to individuals who have achieved great things in chemistry. 

Professor Adjunct of Epidemiology (Environmental Health Sciences) Linda Birnbaum, PhD, received YSPH’s highest honor, the C-E.A. Winslow Medal, in April. Birnbaum was the first toxicologist and first woman to head the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences at the National Institutes of Health. She also directed the largest division focusing on environmental health research at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. She was honored with the Winslow Medal for her foundational work regarding the health hazards of persistent organic pollutants, mechanisms of action of toxic environmental contaminants, endocrine disruption, and linking real-world exposures to human health problems. Birnbaum was among the first scientists to demonstrate that contaminant exposure early in life was associated with adverse health effects in children.

The following YSPH faculty were inducted into the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering in 2022: Susan Busch, PhD, professor of public health (health policy and management) and professor in the Institution for Social and Policy Studies; Ted Cohen, DPH, MD, professor of epidemiology (microbial diseases); and co-director, Public Health Modeling Concentration; Marcella Nunez-Smith, MHS ’06, MD, C.N.H. Long Professor of Internal Medicine (General Medicine), of epidemiology (chronic disease) and of public health (social behavioral sciences), associate dean for health equity research; and director, Equity Research and Innovation Center, Yale School of Medicine; and Saad Omer, MBBS, MPH, PhD, FIDSA, director, Yale Institute for Global Health; associate dean (global health research), Yale School of Medicine; Harvey and Kate Cushing Professor of Medicine (infectious diseases); professor of epidemiology of microbial diseases, YSPH; adjunct professor, Yale School of Nursing. Election to CASE is made on the basis of scientific and engineering excellence and distinction achieved through significant contributions in theory or applications. 

YSPH professors Kai Chen, PhD, assistant professor of epidemiology (environmental health sciences) and director of research for the Yale Center on Climate Change and Health, and Robert Mcdougal, PhD, assistant professor of bio-statistics, were appointed members of the Wu Tsai Institute at Yale. The institute hosts Yale researchers from the natural, social, computational, and engineering sciences. It is devoted to the interdisciplinary study of human cognition. More than 130 researchers from more than 29 departments across five Yale schools are members of WTI. 

Amy Justice, MD ’88, PhD, the C.N.H. Long Professor of Medicine (General Medicine) at Yale School of Medicine and professor of public health (health policy) at YSPH, was honored with the William S. Middleton Award. The Biomedical Laboratory Research and Development Service established the Middleton Award in 1960 as the highest honor for outstanding contributions in biomedical and behavioral research. It is awarded annually to senior investigators at the Department of Veterans Affairs to recognize research accomplishments relevant to the health care of veterans.

Two YSPH faculty were recognized for their influential research by Clarivate, a public analytics company. Albert Ko, MD, and Harlan Krumholz, MD, were among the researchers named to Clarivate’s 2021 Highly Cited Researchers™ list. The annual list recognizes researchers who have produced multiple highly cited papers over the past decade. Ko is the Ray and Indra Nooyi Professor of Public Health and professor of epidemiology (microbial diseases) at YSPH. He is an infectious disease physician and epidemiologist whose research has yielded critical insights into the health consequences of rapid urbanization and social inequity. Krumholz is the Harold H. Hines Jr. Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) and a professor in the Institute for Social and Policy Studies of Investigative Medicine and of public health (health policy). He is a cardiologist at Yale New Haven Hospital. Krumholz is considered a leading expert in the science to improve the quality and efficiency of health care and eliminate disparities and promote equity.

Saad Omer, MBBS, MPH, PhD, FIDSA, director, Yale Institute for Global Health; associate dean (global health research); professor of epidemiology of microbial diseases, YSPH; adjunct professor, Yale School of Nursing, was recently appointed the Harvey and Kate Cushing Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) at the Yale School of Medicine.

John Pachankis, PhD, the Susan Dwight Bliss Professor of Public Health (Social and Behavioral Sciences) at the YSPH, was named a Fulbright Scholar for the 2022–23 school year. Pachankis directs Yale’s LGBTQ Mental Health Initiative and is an affiliated faculty member of the Yale Institute for Global Health. He will be a visiting scholar at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, one of the world’s foremost medical research universities.

Professor Rafael Pérez-Escamilla, PhD, was named to the board of directors of Newman’s Own Foundation, a prestigious honor in recognition of his extensive service toward maternal and child health. Established by actor and philanthropist Paul Newman, the foundation has donated more than $570 million in net profits and royalties from Newman’s Own products to impactful organizations across the globe. As a member of the board of directors, Pérez-Escamilla will use his public health and leadership experience to further advise the foundation and its donations. 

Two YSPH professors were honored by the American Psychological Association’s Division 56 for their work in trauma psychology. Robert Pietrzak, MPH, PhD, a professor of psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine and professor of public health (social and behavioral sciences), received the division’s 2022 Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Science of Trauma Psychology. Sarah Lowe, PhD, associate professor of public health (social and behavioral sciences), who has secondary appointments in YSM’s Department of Psychiatry and the Yale School of Nursing, received the division’s 2022 Award for Outstanding Contribution to Trauma Psychology by an Early Career Psychologist.

Sten Vermund, MD, PhD, former dean of YSPH, Anna M.R. Lauder Professor of Public Health, and professor of pediatrics at the Yale School of Medicine, was elected to serve as vice president/president-elect of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering. Vermund began service as CASE vice president on July 1, 2022, and will become president on July 1, 2024. He will complete his six-year term on June 30, 2028. CASE is a nonprofit institution that provides expert guidance on science and technology to the people and state of Connecticut and promotes the application of science and technology to social and economic well-being. 

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