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August 26, 2004

Two Prestigious Foundations Appoint Dean Sommer to Board of Directors

Alfred Sommer, MD, MHS

Alfred Sommer, MD, MHS

Alfred Sommer, MD, MHS, dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, was recently named to the board of directors of two prominent scientific research foundations, the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation.

The Foundation for the NIH, which was established by Congress, is dedicated to improving health through scientific discovery and works to identify and develop innovative public-private partnerships to support scientific research initiatives. Recently, the Foundation for the NIH formed a partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to establish the Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative. The Gates Foundation provided a grant for $200 million to identify and fund solutions to the greatest impediments to improving health in the developing world.

The Lasker Foundation was established to increase public support for research by creating public awareness and appreciation for the achievements of medical science. The annual Albert Lasker Medical Research Awards are the centerpiece of the Foundation’s activities. The awards program, which is among the most prestigious honors for medical research, marks significant achievements against disease and illness and focuses attention on the importance of medical science. Dr. Sommer received the Lasker Award for Clinical Medical Research in 1997 for his comprehensive research of vitamin A deficiency and its link to increased childhood mortality.

“I am honored to have been asked to serve on both the Foundation for the NIH and the Lasker Foundation boards and help them to fulfill their missions of advancing medical research,” said Dr. Sommer.--Tim Parsons

Public Affairs media contacts for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Tim Parsons or Kenna Lowe at 410-955-6878 or paffairs@jhsph.edu.