Dr. Michael Cappello, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases at the Yale School of Public Health, and professor of pediatrics and microbial pathogenesis at the Yale School of Medicine, was presented with the Francis Gilman Blake Award for outstanding teaching of the medical sciences at YSM’s commencement on May 22.
The annual award is chosen by the graduating class. It was created in memory of Blake (1887-1952), who served as YSM’s dean (1940-47) and was a Sterling Professor of Medicine.
Cappello, who earned his MD in 1988 from Georgetown University, came to Yale to train in adult and pediatric infectious diseases, and joined the faculty in 1995. He oversees a laboratory and field-based research program focused on global health, tropical medicine, and molecular parasitology. He also provides clinical care as an infectious diseases specialist at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital. He is co-founder of the Yale Partnerships for Global Health, an initiative that advances scientific knowledge, promotes international understanding, and builds human capacity through collaborative research and training. He is the interim director of the Yale Institute for Global Health (YIGH).
From 2007-15, Cappello directed the Yale World Fellows Program, a multi-disciplinary, campus-wide initiative whose mission is to cultivate and inspire a global network of leaders committed to positive change. From 2016-21, he chaired the Council on African Studies at the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies and was faculty director of the Yale Africa Initiative. Cappello is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and serves on the Academic Advisory Council of Schwarzman Scholars Program at Tsinghua University in Beijing.
In addition to serving as YSM dean, Blake was president of the American Association of Immunologists, a longtime physician-in-chief of Yale New Haven Hospital (then known as New Haven Hospital), and a fellow of the National Academy of Sciences. Among his many accomplishments was performing some of the first laboratory and clinical tests on penicillin. The award was first presented in May 1952, three months after his death.
In all, 107 students were awarded their MD degree at the ceremony.