Without a doubt, advances in healthcare over the past century have shown we live in what many call the Innovation Age. Innovation in healthcare, in the form of the discovery of new treatments and procedures, is essential to the future of healthcare throughout the world. Some of the world’s most well trained and dedicated professionals around the world are working tirelessly to ensure that the medical field maintains its momentum in the age of innovation. That is where these 50 Most Innovative People in Healthcare come in. They all have something unique to offer the area of healthcare and with their innovative techniques and research, the future of healthcare is looking bright. They were chosen for this list based on the following criteria:
1. Innovation: Each of these people offers something unique to healthcare.
2. Applicability: The research and insights offered by these individuals has improved the world of healthcare.
3. Awards & Recognition: Many of the individuals on this list have earned awards and have been recognized by organizations such as Castle Connolly and other organizations.
4. Accomplishments: Many of the individuals on this list have unique accomplishments.
50. Brian William Walsh, MD
Dr. Brian William Walsh is the Director in the Division of Surgical Gynecology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School. He graduated from Brown University School of Medicine. His clinical interests include assisted reproductive technologies (ART), laparoscopic surgery, in vitro fertilization, fibroids, ovarian cysts, and infertility and Dr. Walsh has published many articles on these topics. Infertility and Reproductive Surgery and Obstetrics/Gynecology are his specialties. Some of Dr. Walsh’s honors include being named as a Top 10 Doctor in a City (Boston), Castle Connolly Top Doctors, and Patients’ Choice 5th Anniversary Award.
49. David Riley, MD
Dr. David Riley earned his medical degree from University of Utah School of Medicine and is Co-founder and Editor in Chief of Global Advances in Health and Medicine, LLC. He is board certified in Internal Medicine. Global Advances in Health and Medicine, LLC, an indexed medical journal, is influential in the medical community. It has a global focus in health and medicine with case reports, research, reviews, and more. Dr. Riley has been conducting clinical research for over 20 years. Some of his clinical interests include anti-infective agents, anemia, phytotherapy, and pediatrics.
48. Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FNAPA, FACEP (E)
Dr. Georges C. Benjamin is the Executive Director of the American Public Health Association (APHA) and is board certified in internal medicine. Dr. Benjamin has influenced the medical community through his position with the APHA as well as through his nearly 100 scientific articles and book chapters. He is also publisher of The Nation’s Health and The American Journal of Public Health. Partnership for Prevention, Reagan-Udall Foundation, and Research America are all fortunate to have Dr. Benjamin serve on their board. Using his medical experiences, Dr. Benjamin is able to speak with devotion and precision about health issues that have a significant impact on our country.
47. Joseph R. Betancourt, MD, MPH
Dr. Joseph R. Betancourt is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is also the Director of The Disparities Solutions Center and the Program Director of Multicultural Education at Massachusetts General Hospital. At the Morgan Institute for Health Policy, Dr. Betancourt serves as a Senior Scientist. He is also the Co-founder of Quality Interactions, Inc., which is a company that specializes in cross-cultural care and communication. Dr. Betancourt is an authority on how to improve the quality of care and to get rid of imbalances and he has spoken on this topic to many different groups including the federal government, private industry, and trade organizations.
46. Gang Zeng, Ph.D.
Dr. Gang Zeng is Associate Professor at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center in the Department of Urology. He is also a member of the UCLA Clinical Translational Science Institute and is a member of the JCCC Tumor Immunology Program Area. His work is centered around cancer immunodiagnostics, immunotherapy, and prostate cancer stem cell biology. Finding new immunodiagnostics and therapeutics for clinical application is the main goal of Dr. Zeng and his laboratory. One of these includes a new test for prostate cancer which is more comprehensive than the one that is currently used. Dr. Zeng has published over 1,000 articles. In 2012, The National Cancer Institute granted Dr. Zeng a grant to continue his research into prostate cancer.
45. Michael H. Davidson, MD
Dr. Michael H. Davidson, clinical professor and director of preventative cardiology at the University of Chicago, is board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiology, and Lipidology. He has conducted extensive research on statins, which are drugs that lower fat levels in the blood. After coordinating more than 1,000 clinical trials in the area of statins and therapies that do not involve drugs, Dr. Davidson is considered a leader in his field. Dr. Davidson has authored 3 books on the subject of Lipidology and has also written more than 250 articles for medical journals. Best Doctors, Inc. named Dr. Davidson as one of the “Best Doctors in America” 10 times. He has also served as president of the National Lipid Association.
44. Christopher R. Shea, MD
Dr. Christopher R. Shea shares his knowledge of dermatology through numerous scientific papers and chapters as well as at lectures around the world. Since he speaks multiple languages, he is able to communicate with many people around the world. As Chief at the University of Chicago Dermatology, Dr. Shea is well skilled in the area of disorders of the hair, skin, and nails. His specialty areas include dermatopathology, cutaneous lymphoma, pigmented skin lesions, and general dermatology. Melanoma is the area that Dr. Shea’s research is focused on including origins, tumor markers and treatments. The effects of ultraviolet radiation on the skin and the pathologic basis of skin diseases are also areas of research interest for Dr. Shea.
43. Daniel Dumesic, MD
Dr. Daniel Dumesic, recipient of the Mayo Award for Excellence in Leadership, is Division Chief and Professor of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at UCLA Health. Female infertility, in vitro fertilization (IVF), and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are areas that have been studied in depth by Dr. Dumesic through both clinical studies and research. From this research, Dr. Dumesic has written numerous publications and received many awards. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) has awarded Dr. Dumesic the Star Award for over 10 years of research. His research interests include PCOS, developmental programming of adult diseases, and assisted reproductive techniques (ART).
42. Michael M. Miller, MD, FASAM, FAPA
Dr. Michael M. Miller, named to the Best Doctors in America from 2007-2014, is Medical Director at the Herrington Recovery Center at Rogers Memorial Hospital in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. He has received many other awards including the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) annual award for outstanding contributions to the growth and vitality of ASAM. For over thirty years, Dr. Miller has been helping people cope with addictions as he is board certified in general psychiatry and addiction psychiatry, and is certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine in addiction medicine. Dr. Miller has lectured around the world on these topics and also shares his knowledge in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin where he serves as an assistant clinical professor.
41. Mitchell H. Grayson, MD
Dr. Mitchell H. Grayson, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Medicine, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at the Medical College of Wisconsin, is specialized in allergy and immunology from infants to seniors. He has received many awards and has been named as a “Top Allergist/Immunologist,” “America’s Top Physicians,” and a “Best Doctor in America.” At the Children’s Research Institute at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Dr. Grayson is the co-director of the Infection, Inflammation and Immunity research unit. He has published peer-reviewed articles and has received numerous National Institutes of Health (NIH) research grants. Dr. Grayson’s clinical interests include asthma, allergic rhinitis, angioedema, and anaphylaxis.
40. James K. Liao, MD
Dr. James K. Liao is the Chief of Cardiology at the University of Chicago Medicine. He has conducted numerous clinical studies some of which have been funded by the Association of American Physicians and the American Society for Clinical Investigation. Blood vessel biology and arterial disease are subjects of expertise for Dr. Liao. His knowledge has been passed on to many doctoral students who have gone one to have successful careers and his efforts were rewarded by receiving the honor of Harvard University’s Certificate of Distinction in Teaching. Dr. Liao has also influenced others in the medical community through his writing of many journal articles and lectures both in the United States and abroad.
39. Joanne C. Smith, MD, MBA
Dr. Joanne C. Smith is President and CEO of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) and made Chicago Magazine’s 100 Most Powerful Chicagoans list. RIC has been named the number one rehabilitation hospital every year since 1991 by US News and World Report. Every year since 2004, she has also been one of Chicago’s “Top Doctors” in Chicago Magazine. Her research interests include women’s musculoskeletal medicine, pain management in pregnancy, and pelvic pain. Dr. Smith is in a unique position where the medical and business worlds meet. She earned her Doctor of Medicine from Michigan State University and her MBA from the University of Chicago.
38. Brian Cole, MD, MBA
Dr. Brian Cole, Professor at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, has received many awards in his career in Sports Medicine and Cartilage Restoration Orthopedic Surgeon. Some of his honors include being named one of the “Best Doctors in America” annually since 2004, “Top Doctor” in Chicago each year since 2003, and NBA Team Physician of the Year in 2009. For the treatment of knee, shoulder, and elbow conditions, Dr. Cole is a leader in his field and shares his knowledge through international lectures where he describes his innovative techniques. Dr. Cole has also shared his expertise through more than a thousand articles and 5 textbooks. His research interests include cartilage transplantation, rotator cuff healing, and shoulder instability.
37. Stuart Rich, MD
Dr. Stuart Rich, Chairman of the Board of the Pulmonary Vascular Research Institute, is an innovative pioneer in the field of pulmonary hypertension. He has developed new techniques for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension including intravenous prostacyclin, which has been called one of the most effective drugs in the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension. Castle Connolly Ltd. has named Dr. Rich among the country’s best doctors for more than 20 straight years. He shares his knowledge of pulmonary heart disease through publications including hundreds of clinical articles and book chapters. His clinical interests include cardiology, pulmonary vascular disease, congestive heart failure, congenital heart disease, pulmonary thromboembolism, and complex and rare forms of heart diseases.
36. Mimi Guarneri, MD, FACC, ABIHM
Dr. Mimi Guarneri graduated number one in her class from SUNY Medical Center in New York. After working at SCRIPPS Clinic, she founded the SCRIPPS Center for Integrative Medicine and was Medical Director for 15 years. Dr. Guarneri is a leader in the field of holistic medicine and using a holistic approach to treat and prevent cardiovascular disease. The SCRIPPS Center for Integrative Medicine uses the best cardiac imaging technology and lifestyle change programs to diagnose, prevent, and treat cardiovascular disease.The Heart Speaks is a book written by Dr. Guarneri, which portrays stories from patients that have benefited from her work. She is the recipient of many awards and honors including the Bravewell Leadership Award, ARCS Scientist of the Year, Linus Pauling Functional Medicine Lifetime Achievement Award and the Grace A. Goldsmith award.
35. Jean Bennett, MD, Ph.D.
Dr. Jean Bennett, a principal investigator who examines diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration, earned her MD from Harvard Medical School. At the University of Pennsylvania, her main research interests include molecular genetics of retinal degenerations and gene therapy-mediated treatment of ocular disease. In the area of gene-therapy mediated treatments, Dr. Bennett has developed a number of strategies and has also been a pioneer in being among the first to try certain strategies. In Dr. Bennett’s lab, they create and study animal models and after reversing blindness in a dog, a clinical study will be conducted on humans to see if the treatment will be effective.
34. Mary Jo Kreitzer, PhD, RN, FAAN
Dr. Mary Jo Kreitzer is the founder and director of the Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota. She is also a professor in the School of Nursing. Dr. Kreitzer earned her Ph.D. in Health Services Research Policy and Administration from the University of Minnesota. The field of integrative health and medicine has been influenced by Dr. Kreitzer in many ways and she has testified in front of the US Senate about health reform. Dr. Kreitzer has also published many articles and conducted large scale research and clinical trials. Her research interests include optimal healing environments, integrative therapies and healing practices, and mindfulness-based stress reduction.
33. Consuelo H. Wilkins, MD, M.S.C.I.
Dr. Consuelo H. Wilkins is board certified in geriatric medicine and internal medicine and earned her MD from Howard University as well as an M.S. in Clinical Investigation from Washington University School of Medicine. She is the Executive Director of the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance and Director of Community-Engaged Research Core at the Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Science. Finding ways to involve patients and communities in research is at the core of Dr. Wilkins’ work. As the principal investigator of the PCORI (Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute) Research Award, Dr. Wilkins strives to understand the connection of patient engagement on research. As a trained geriatrician, Dr. Wilkins also researches older adults and attempts to identify and address risk factors for cognitive impairment.
32. W. Peter Geis, MD
Dr. W. Peter Geis, Chief of the Division of Minimally Invasive Surgery at Northwest Hospital in Maryland, is known as one of the Pioneers of Laparoscopic Surgery in the United States. Single site mini-laparoscopy and complex laparoscopy with the assistance of Robotics have been developed by Dr. Geis and he has been the guide of that development. Dr. Geis earned his MD from Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine and is Board Certified in General Surgery. Dr. Geis is able to perform many types of surgeries and is able to do many of them as laparoscopic. He is also a Diplomate of the American Board of Surgery.
31. Sally J. Rogers, Ph.D.
Dr. Sally J. Rogers is the co-developer of the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM), which is a comprehensive behavioral early intervention approach for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) between the ages of 12 to 48 months. Working all around the world, Dr. Rogers trains therapists in the use of ESDM. She also shares her knowledge through books, articles, and training videos that she has created. Along with her work with ASD, her other clinical interests include the evaluation of emotional, social, cognitive, behavioral, and adaptive functioning children with developmental disorders. Dr. Rogers is an active researcher, editor, and consultant. Her most recent NIMH funded research role is the principal investigator for Interdisciplinary Training for Autism Researchers.
30. Geraldine Dawson, Ph.D.
Dr. Geraldine Dawson is the co-developer of the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM), which is a comprehensive behavioral early intervention approach for children with autism between the ages of 12-48 months. The ESDM was named one of the top 10 medical breakthroughs of 2012 by Time Magazine. In part, the idea for the ESDM came from her laboratory’s innovative research that showed signs of autism could be found in the first year of life. Now at Duke University as a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Director of the Duke Clinical Program on Autism Diagnosis and Treatment, Dr. Dawson continues her work with autism, which the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has acknowledged as a Top Advance in Autism Research in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013.
29. Joe Leigh Simpson, MD
Dr. Joe Leigh Simpson, recipient of the 2011 ASRM Distinguished Researcher Award, is Chair and Professor in the Department of Human and Molecular Genetics and a Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine at Florida International University. Dr. Simpson is an active writer and has published 15 books as well as over 700 articles and chapters on the subjects of prenatal genetic diagnosis, cytogenetics, and reproductive genetics. Dr. Simpson’s current research centers around the genetics of ovarian failure, which has been successful in discovery many causative mutations such as FIGLA and NOBOX. Since 1983, Dr. Simpson has been involved with the March of Dimes and is now the Senior Vice President for Research and Global Programs.
28. Abraham H. Dachman, MD
Dr. Abraham H. Dachman is the author of The Atlas of Virtual Colonoscopy, which is the first book on virtual colonoscopy. Along with the book, Dr. Dachman has written numerous journal articles, book chapters, and books. He also has spoken at many scientific meetings across the United States. Virtual colonoscopy is just one of Dr. Dachman’s clinical interests. He is also interested in colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, and gastrointestinal fluroscopy. Dr. Dachman is an expert at using CT scans to find polyps and masses in the colon, to detect and stage pancreatic cancer, and to evaluate tumor response to chemotherapy, which allows for a non-invasive procedure to offer information to doctors without having to take a more invasive approach.
27. Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH
Dr. Thomas Frieden, Director of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) since June 2009, graduated Columbia University with an MD and an MPH degree. He went to Yale University for training in infectious disease. Although Dr. Frieden has been trained in internal medicine, epidemiology, public health, and infectious diseases, he is most recognized for his tuberculosis control knowledge. His career started in 1990 with the CDC as Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer with the New York City Health Department. Throughout his career at the CDC, Dr. Frieden has made many advances for healthcare. He has been instrumental in reducing childhood obesity, helping to prevent diabetes, and helping Americans to quit smoking. Dr. Frieden has published more than 200 scientific articles and has received many awards and honors.
26. Osamu Nureki, Ph.D.
Dr. Osamu Nureki is a professor in the Department of Basic Medical Sciences at the University of Tokyo. He is recognized around the world as an expert in protein chrystallography and is also known for elucidating the structures of aminoacyl tRNA synthetases. Dr. Nureki earned his Ph.D. in biophysics and biochemistry from the University of Tokyo. For his work in understanding protein structure, Dr. Nureki has earned numerous awards and honors. Dr. Nureki has published more than 100 peer reviewed articles.The Teshima Commemorative Foundation has twice awarded Dr. Nureki with the Teshima Memorial Research Award. He has also received the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science prize.
25. Yu Chen, MD, Ph.D.
Dr. Yu Chen, an oncologist specialist, is dedicated to the care of patients and to researching how cancers develop while in the laboratory. Developing clinical trials and analyzing tumor tissues is what Dr. Chen works with other specialists in doing. He studies critical drivers in prostate cancer pathogenesis in the Human Oncology Pathogenesis Program (HOPP) at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City by using cell, tissue, and mouse models. Dr. Chen has written a number of publications on the topic of prostate cancer and is a leading authority on the subject. Anemia, bladder cancer, leukocytosis, liver cancer, prostate cancer, renal cancer, and secondary malignancies are some of the conditions that Dr. Chen is able to treat. He is also skilled in HPC Transplantation (Stem Cell Transplant.)
24. Hannah Gay, MD
Dr. Hannah Gay who is board-certified in pediatrics, is a pediatric HIV specialist at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Time Magazine named Dr. Gay as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2013 when she was able to take many year’s worth of work by numerous healthcare professionals and treat a newborn child who was infected with HIV. After the treatment that Dr. Gay administered from the time the infant was 30 hours old and for the next 18 months, tests came back showing no signs of HIV and the child is now considered in remission. It is thought that the aggressive and early treatment administered by Dr. Gay is the reason that the HIV is in remission.
23. Atul Gawande, MD, MPH
Dr. Atul Gawande is a Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, General and Endocrine Surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, chairman of Lifebox, staff writer for New Yorker Magazine, and also writes for the New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Gawande and his colleagues research errors in surgery, performance and safety in the operating room, and medical malpractice claims. His goal is to lessen all of these occurrences. Dr. Gawande has also written four books: Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science; Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance; The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right; and Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End. The recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and the Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science, Dr. Gawande is also the Executive Director of Ariadne Labs, which is a joint center for health systems innovation.
22. Thomas J. Louie, MD
Dr. Thomas J. Louie is an infectious disease specialist at the University of Calgary who has revolutionized the world of fecal transplants. Clostridium difficult (C-diff) and other digestive infections have been treated with a fecal transplant through a colonoscopy, but Dr. Louie and his team have come up with a less invasive way that also produces fewer side effects and seems to be longer lasting. He developed a triple-coated pill that contains good bacteria from the stool of a healthy donor (usually a relative). Other treatments often have relapses, however the “poop pills” do not seem to have the same occurrence of relapse. Dr. Louie’s research interests include hospital epidemiology and evolution of control policies regarding multi-antibiotic resistant organisms and community infection control needs and processes.
21. Mohammad Al-Ubaydli
Dr. Mohammad Al-Ubaydli is the founder and CEO of Patients Know Best (PKB) in the United Kingdom. PKB makes it possible for patients to view their medical records and gives patients easy access and control over those records. Dr. Al-Ubaydli was named as an Ashoka Fellow in 2012 for what he has offered to patient care. With personal experience as a long-term patient, a physician, and an IT, Dr. Al-Ubaydli has been able to bring innovation to patient care records. He thinks through the steps from each stakeholder’s perspective and has been able to make PKB user friendly for all. Dr. Al-Ubaydli has also written and published many books about medical topics.
20. Jacques Banchereau, Ph.D.
Dr. Jacques Banchereau, Director of the Baylor Institute for Immunology Research, was the 2009 recipient of the Award in Immunology Research presented by the American Association of Immunologists Dana Foundation. The emphasis of Dr. Banchereau’s research interests lie in human immunology and within that more specifically, he studies dendritic cell biology, the pathophysiology of autoimmune diseases and caner, genomic approaches to the diagnosis of human diseases, and the design of novel vaccines. Dr. Banchereau was among the first to find out how to grow human dendritic cells. His work has been shared in numerous articles, book chapters, and reviews. He also speaks at scientific conferences around the world.
19. Ellis L. Reinherz, MD
Dr. Ellis L. Reinherz is a professor in the Department of Medicine at Harvard Medical School as well as Chief in the Laboratory of Immunobiology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Under the leadership of Dr. Reinherz, the Laboratory of Immunobiology centers its attention on T lymphocyte recognition of antigen along with activation and differentiation of T cell processes. From the studies conducted, functional applications of immune recognition have been discovered. Vaccine design and human immunotherapy efforts have been impacted by Dr. Reinherz’s findings about the T-cell receptors. Dr. Reinherz has shared his work through 400 plus research articles. The American Association of Immunologists awarded the Human Immunology Award to Dr. Reinherz in 2011.
18. W. Mark Saltzman, Ph.D.
Dr. Mark Saltzman is the Chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Goizueta Foundation Professor of Chemical and Bioengineering at Yale University. His research interests include bio-compatible polymers and drug delivery systems. Specifically, Dr. Saltzman researches to how make medical and surgical therapies more effective and safe. These methods are based on tissue engineering. Brain tumor treatment protocol is based on methods that Dr. Saltzman and a team developed. Dr. Saltzman has written 3 textbooks: Biomedical Engineering, Tissue Engineering, and Drug Delivery and many peer-reviewed articles. He has also been the recipient of many awards including the Professional Progress in Engineering Award from Iowa State University and the Sheffield Teaching Prize from Yale University.
17. Christopher I. Moore, Ph.D.
Dr. Christopher I. Moore is an Associate Professor at Brown University’s Institute for Brain Science. He was formerly an Associate Professor of Neuroscience at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences in the Moore Lab. He earned his Ph.D. from MIT in Brain and Cognitive Science. In order to understand brain dynamics and their impact on perception, Dr. Moore draws on techniques and concepts from many disciplines including biology, bioengineering, computation, and neuroscience. These studies provide an interconnected vision of biological systems in the brain. Dr. Moore has written several peer-reviewed publications and has spoken at seminars around the world. He has also been a reviewer of numerous grants and journals.
16. Jay Parkinson, MD, MPH
Dr. Jay Parkinson is the co-founder and CEO of Sherpaa, which is a way to streamline healthcare. Before Sherpaa, Dr. Parkinson earned his Master of Public Health and his MD from Johns Hopkins University. He then started an internet-based practice and later co-founded Hello Health and then The Future Well. The overarching idea is that healthcare as it is now, is not effective or working well for very many people. The idea of Sherpaa is that doctors are able to be accessed without going in to the office, specialist referrals can be quick, and they are able to analyze the company’s healthcare costs.
15. Barton Ford Haynes, MD
Dr. Barton Ford Haynes is Professor of Medicine, Research Professor of Global Health, and Professor of Immunology at the Duke Human Vaccine Institute at the Duke University School of Medicine. Dr. Haynes also serves as Director of the Human Vaccine Institute in the Department of Medicine. By studying innate and adaptive immune responses to influenza, tuberculosis (TB), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), Dr. Haynes and his lab are working to find preventative vaccines against these infectious diseases. Dr. Haynes has written many articles and was the Infectious Diseases Society of America awarded Dr. Haynes the Alexander Fleming Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2011. In 2013, the American Association of Immunologists presented Dr. Haynes with the Ralph Steinman Award for Human Immunology Research.
14. Gary Douglas Hammer, MD
Dr. Gary Douglas Hammer’s interest in healing and relationships with people have led him to a career in clinical care, teaching, and research as a Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan Health System. His specialties are in endocrinology and internal medicine. Adrenal cancer, adrenal masses, and adrenal disease are his clinical interests. Because Dr. Hammer is a leading expert in Adrenal Cortext Cancer (Adrenal Cortext Neoplasm), which is one reason that patients travel from around the world to visit Dr. Hammer. His interest in people allows him to engage and spend time with his patients. Dr. Hammer has been named an America’s Top Doctor and an America’s Top Doctor for Cancer by Castle Connolly.
13. John P. Atkinson, MD
Dr. John P. Atkinson earned his MD from Kansas University. He is a Professor of Internal Medicine, Rheumatology, and Molecular Microbiology in the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences at the Washington University in St. Louis. His research interest is in complement activation and regulation in innate and adaptive immunity. One of the high points of the laboratory’s findings has been identifying disease-causing mutations related to the complement system in lupus, preeclampsia, age-related macular degeneration, atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome, and others. Dr. Atkinson has written many journal and review articles. From this work, Dr. Atkinson has been listed as one of the Best Doctors in America by Best Doctors, Inc. from 2003-2013. The Arthritis Foundation awarded him the Innovator in Arthritis Care Award and he was a Paul Kemplerer Medalist from the New York Academy of Medicine.
12. Suzanne Louise Topalian, MD
Dr. Suzanne Louise Topalian, Melanoma Program Director at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, is internationally recognized for her cancer immunology and immunotherapy research. Her studies have provided a foundation for other advanced treatments of cancer. Currently, Dr. Topalian is researching immune checkpoints in cancer therapy and finding biomarkers that will predict clinical outcomes after treatment. Using biochemical and structural analyses, she is working on creating optimal melanoma vaccines and hopes to explore treatment regimens of vaccines with PD-1 blocking drugs. Because of her research, new scientific interests and clinical investigations are being explored in the areas of cancer immunology and immunotherapy.
11. Douglas A. Melton, Ph.D.
Dr. Douglas A. Melton, Xander University Professor at Harvard University, is an investigator in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He also serves as co-director of Harvard’s Stem Cell Institute. His primary laboratory interest is studying the genes and stem cells that aid the pancreas and insulin-producing beta cells, which may have beneficial consequences for diabetes. Patients with Type 1 Diabetes will benefit from these insulin producing cells if Dr. Melton can figure out the next step of the equation, which is stopping the body from attacking the cells. From his start as a history and philosophy of science major at the University of Illinois, Dr. Melton has made great strides toward providing a source of insulin-producing beta cells for diabetics.
10. Raif S. Geha, MD
Dr. Raif S. Geha, James L. Gamble Professor of Pediatrics and Chief of the Division of Immunology at the Children’s Hospital Boston, graduated from American University of Beirut, Lebanon. In the Immunology Research Lab, Raif Geha’s lab studies the molecular basis inherited immune deficiencies. Using mice as models, the researchers are studying the mechanisms of allergic sensitization through the skin and of recruitment of T cells and eosinophils to the skin. Mapping the Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP) and the WIP, which is a novel cellular negative regulator of WASP, is another focus of Dr. Geha. Dr. Geha has published many articles and is a leading expert in the areas of atopic dermatitis, igA deficiency, Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes, and Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome.
9. J. Craig Venter, Ph.D.
Dr. J. Craig Venter, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), is a pioneer in genomic research. He and his team at the JCVI sequenced the first human genome and have gone on to sequence and analyze hundreds more. With his work, Dr. Venter is working on new vaccines and antimicrobials, humanized pig organs, and new food and nutritional products to promote healthy living. Before his work with JCVI, Dr. Venter created Expressed Sequence Tags (ESTs) at the National Institutes of Health. From these scientific breakthroughs, Dr. Venter has numerous research articles, honors, and awards. He was the recipient of many awards including the United States National Medal of Science, King Faisal International Award for Science, and the Gairdner Foundation International Award.
8. Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD
Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, Global Director for Cancer Services and Bioinformatics for Providence Health and Services, has a goal of redefining cancer care. Cancer Genome Sequencing in genomic medicine (studying an individual’s genes), is the key to this redefining, according to Dr. Soon-Shiong. He believes in a holistic approach to medicine and has shared his ideas through numerous publications and as an advisory board member for various foundations and institutions. Dr. Soon-Shiong is the founder of NantHealth and two pharmaceutical companies. He has received numerous awards, including Medical Visionary Award from the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and the Gilda Club Award for the advancement of cancer medicine for his contributions to healthcare.
7. Bohdan Pomahac, MD
Dr. Bohdan Pomahac is Director of the Burn Center and Director of Plastic Surgery Transplantation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He is also Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School. His specialties include plastic surgery, restorative surgery, and trauma, burn, and surgical critical care. Dr. Pomahac has many clinical interests including full face transplants. Along with his colleagues, Dr. Pomohac has designed the face transplant operation. The first face transplant’s costs were covered by the hospital and Dr. Pomahac and the other surgeons worked on donated time. The following face transplants’ costs were covered by a research grant from the Department of Defense. Dr. Pomahac’s hope for the future is that insurance companies will cover face transplants because although they don’t save lives, they help people get their lives back.
6. Carl H. June, MD
Dr. Carl H. June, Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine and the Director of Translational Research at the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania, is the principal investigator of a pancreas cancer trial. His research interests include determining mechanisms of lymphocyte activation and the development and testing of novel forms of immunotherapy for cancer and chronic infections. Under Dr. June’s leadership, the research team has been testing the effectiveness of strategies in which the immune system recognizes and attacks tumor cells. They have gathered this information through innovative clinical trials. Dr. June has specifically been studying CAR T cells, which are able to find and attack cancer cells and then multiply and find more cells until the tumor is gone. This innovative clinical trial will likely change how cancer is treated.
5. Anthony Atala, MD
Dr. Anthony Atala has focused his work on growing new human cells, tissues, and organs. At Wake Forest University, he is the W.H. Boyce Professor and Chair of the Department of Urology as well as Director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine where he is a practicing surgeon and regenerative medicine researcher. Dr. Atala’s innovative approaches to regenerative medicine have earned him several awards and honors. The Christopher Columbus Foundation Award, World Technology Award in Health and Medicine, and the Gold Cytoscope award are just a few of these honors. Time Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, Discover Magazine, and U.S. News and World Report have all recognized Dr. Atala and the work he has done. Dr. Atala has many patents, published more than 300 journal articles, and has edited 13 books.
4. Francis Collins, MD, Ph.D.
Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is a physician geneticist. From Yale University, Dr. Collins earned his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry and from the University of North Carolina, he received his M.D. As Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute for 15 years, Dr. Collins was best known for his discoveries of disease genes, including those responsible for cystic fibrosis, neurofibromatosis, Huntington’s Disease, and Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome. He was also well known as the leader of the Human Genome Project, which created a sequenced human DNA instruction book. Dr. Collins has received many awards for his work with genetic research including a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007 and the National Medal of Science in 2009.
3. Neil Martin, MD
Dr. Neil Martin is certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery in neurological surgery and is Head of the UCLA Stroke Center and Director of the Aneurysm and AVM program. Dr. Martin has many clinical interests including acoustic neuromas, brain and spinal cord arteriovenous malformations, brain aneurysms, and pituitary tumors. The UCLA Stroke Center has been at the forefront of innovative techniques such as the GDC system for aneurysm embolization and transvenous neuroperfusion for acute stroke. The Center also provides facilities and procedures that a limited number of medical centers can provide. Dr. Martin has been named a “Top Doctor” by US News and Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. and one of the “Best Doctors in America” since 1997.
2. John Byrd, MD
Dr. John Byrd is the D. Warren Brown Chair of Leukemia Research at The Ohio State University. Finding non-toxic therapies to treat those with leukemia is an overarching goal for Dr. Byrd. He works to connect the lab to the clinic and has used the information to find therapeutic agents for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Some of these therapeutic agents include rituximab, alemtuzumab, and flavopiridol. Dr. Byrd has been the recipient of many awards and honors including Best Doctors in America (10 times), Emil J. Freireich Award, MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Richard L. Schilsky CALGB Achievement Award. Some ways that Dr. Byrd shares his knowledge are through his many research articles along with the numerous editorial boards that he has served on.
1. David M. Frim, MD, Ph.D.
Patients travel from around the world to get treatment from Dr. David M. Frim, a neurosurgeon at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Board certified in neurological surgery and pediatric neurological surgery, Dr. Frim utilizes innovative approaches to hydrocephalus, syringomyelia, myelodysplasia/tethered cord syndrome, and Chiari malformation. Some of the neurosurgical procedures that Dr. Frim performs include craniotomy, neuroendoscopy, hydrocephalus shunting, spinal cord untethering, skull base surgery, laminectomy, and pediatric disc removal or spinal fusion. Dr. Frim speaks on these topics at educational presentations and lectures. He also shares his knowledge through numerous publications. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has supported projects in which Dr. Frim has been the lead investigator of laboratory and clinical studies.