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September 22, 2008

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Awards Dean’s Medal to David Heymann


Dean Klag (r) awards medal to David Heymann.

Michael J. Klag, MD, MPH, dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has awarded the Dean’s Medal—the Bloomberg School’s highest honor—to renowned physician and international health advocate, David L. Heymann, MD. The Dean’s Medal recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to the field of public health.

“Throughout his career, David Heymann has demonstrated exemplary leadership in the global fight against infectious disease,” said Klag. “David brings both intelligence and compassion to his work and it is a great privilege to award the Dean’s Medal to David.”

Heymann is Assistant Director-General for Health Security Environment and Representative of the Director-General for Polio Eradication at the World Health Organization (WHO). Previously, he served as Executive Director and then Assistant Director-General of the WHO Communicable Diseases Cluster. During his tenure with the WHO, Heymann oversaw numerous infectious and tropical disease programs, including the public health response to SARS in 2003 and to the Ebola outbreak in Kikwit, Democratic Republic of Congo in 1995. He also served as chief of research activities for the WHO Global Programme on AIDS. Prior to joining WHO, Heymann spent 13 years with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) working to prevent childhood illnesses in sub-Saharan Africa. During that time, Heymann participated in the investigation of the first known outbreak of Ebola in 1976. Heymann also spent two years in India as a medical epidemiologist with the WHO Smallpox Eradication Programme.

Heymann has published more than 140 scientific articles and contributed chapters to several medical textbooks. He currently serves as editor of the Control of Communicable Diseases Manual, a joint publication of the WHO and the American Public Health Association.

Heymann was presented with the Dean’s Medal on September 19, 2008, during the Bloomberg School’s inaugural Vaccine Day event. The event marks the establishment of the Johns Hopkins Vaccine Initiative, which was formed to promote and encourage current vaccine research programs at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, as well as identify new opportunities in vaccine research and policy development that require a coordinated multidisciplinary approach.

Previous recipients of the Dean’s Medal include Sam Thier, MD, President, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences; David Kessler, MD, JD, Commissioner, U.S. Food and Drug Administration; HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand; Carol Bellamy, Executive Director, UNICEF; Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; and Alfred Sommer, Dean Emeritus, Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Public Affairs media contact: Tim Parsons at 410-955-7629 or