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Leading Physician-Scientist Laurie H. Glimcher to Receive 2016 Marion Spencer Fay Award at Drexel

September 01, 2016


Laurie H. Glimcher, MD, is former dean at Weill Cornell Medical College and will become president of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in October.

Drexel University College of Medicine’s Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership has announced Laurie H. Glimcher, MD, as the 2016 Marion Spencer Fay Award honoree.

Glimcher is former dean and professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City and provost for medical affairs of Cornell University. She is the incoming president and chief executive officer of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.   

“Like Marion Spencer Fay, the first female dean of a medical school in Pennsylvania, I am the first female dean of a medical school in the state of New York, and I understand the challenges faced by women in science and medicine,” said Glimcher. “I’m delighted to be recognized for my research and leadership, which would not have been possible without pioneers like Dr. Fay.”

The national Marion Spencer Fay Award, now in its 53rd year, annually honors a woman physician and/or scientist who has made an exceptionally significant contribution to health care as a practitioner, medical educator, administrator and/or research scientist. It recognizes the honoree’s past contributions and supports her ongoing work.    

The award, which includes a $10,000 honorarium, will be presented on Monday, September 26, 2016 at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University in Philadelphia. Glimcher will deliver the annual Marion Spencer Fay Award Lecture at 4:30 p.m. and a reception will follow.  Her lecture is titled, “Doctor without Borders,” and highlights key research contributions from her laboratory paired with key personal events in her career over the last 30 years.

Glimcher has made pioneering discoveries in immunology and osteobiology. Her work has important implications for understanding and treating autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases, osteoporosis and cancer. In addition to her contributions in biomedical science and prominence as an outstanding researcher, she has had a remarkable impact on medical education, policy and health care. A visionary leader, she is the first woman to serve as dean of Weill Cornell Medical College in its 114-year history. In October 2016 she will assume her new role as the president and chief executive officer of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

She earned a bachelor’s degree from Radcliffe College and medical degree from Harvard Medical School. Glimcher has received numerous awards and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and is the former president of the American Association of Immunologists. 

“One of the most rewarding aspects of the Marion Spencer Fay Award selection process is the growing number of exceptional women leaders in medicine and science who are nominated each year,” said Lynn H. Yeakel, director of the Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership. “Dr. Glimcher is an extraordinary example of the contributions women are making in these fields.” 

Marion Spencer Fay, PhD, was dean and president of Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania (a predecessor institution of Drexel University College of Medicine) from 1946 to 1963. The National Board for Women in Medicine established this award in her name in 1963 to recognize her pioneering leadership. The College of Medicine maintains the traditions of the Woman’s Medical College and the Medical College of Pennsylvania that reflect a 160-year legacy of excellence.

Past Marion Spencer Fay Award honorees include Katherine L. Knight, PhD, chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and co-founder of the Infectious Disease and Immunology Institute at Loyola University, Chicago; Phyllis A. Dennery, MD, chief of Neonatology and Newborn Services at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia; Nancy C. Andrews, MD, PhD, dean, Duke University School of Medicine; and Julie Overbaugh, PhD, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.