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Distinguished Women

Women faculty and alumnae of YSM have made important contributions to science, clinical medicine, mentoring, and teaching. Since our goal is to be inclusive and to create a record of all women who have had an impact, we invite you to recognize faculty and alumae, current and past, alive or deceased, whom you feel exemplify excellence in science or clinical care and/or are role models, leaders, or mentors, as well as those who work or have worked on issues that affect women.

To recognize or honor a woman, you may provide professional information pertaining to her career, or you may simply want to offer personal thoughts or remembrances about how a mentor, colleague, advisor or friend affected your life or career.

Click here to recognize a colleague, mentor, or woman whom you admire.

  • Caroline J. (Kendall) Schmidt

    Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry; Clinical Psychologist, Psychology Section

    Years active at Yale: 2005-present

    Dr. Caroline Schmidt is being recognized for her clinical research in tinnitus and audiologic disorders. A graduate of Gallaudet College, Dr. Schmidt successfully completed an NIH T-32 residency where she examined mental health disparities among veterans with auditory disabilities. Of particular excellence, she received a Career Development Award in 2009. This award ultimately led to the development of Progressive Tinnitus Management — the gold standard of care for the management of tinnitus. She continues to support research in tinnitus nationally and currently is examining best practices of mental health integration within audiology clinics across the country. She is a member and active participant of Diversabilities at Yale (DAY) Affinity Group. Finally, Dr. Schmidt's contributions to providing and promoting culturally sensitive mental health services for deaf persons and to veterans is exemplary of the impact of psychological science at its highest service to the community.

  • Alumna

    Years active at Yale: YSPH Class of 1969

    Expertise and Public Health Practitioner, Leadership

    Susan Addiss is being recognized for her expertise and leadership as a public health practitioner. She had an exemplary career in public health practice at the local, state, and national level. She was Commissioner of Health for the State of Connecticut from 1991 to 1995, heading up the Department of Public Health and Addiction Services (now the Department of Public Health). Prior to this she was director of the Quinnipiac Valley Health District from 1985 to 1991, served as chief of the Bureau of Health Planning and Resource Allocation at the Connecticut Department of Health Services from 1976 to 1985, and held various positions with local public health departments in the state. She is a member and past president of the American Public Health Association and the Connecticut Public Health Association, a founding member and current director of the Connecticut-based Environment and Human Health, Inc., a vice-chair of the Connecticut Health Foundation, and a past member of the Pew Environmental Health Commission.

  • Pooja Agrawal

    Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine; Director, Global Health Education; Section of Global Health & International Emergency Medicine

    Years active at Yale: 2012-present

    Dr. Agrawal is being recognized as a nationally and internationally recognized scholar and leader in global health and academic emergency medicine. With extensive, first-hand experience providing technical assistance and evaluations to international NGOs engaged in humanitarian relief, Dr. Agrawal has worked around the globe from Japan to Cameroon. She is a tireless advocate for improving health outcomes among the world’s most vulnerable populations, with a particular focus on refugees. She has partnered with major NGOs to assess health outcomes upon resettlement for pediatric refugees and helped design tools for refugee resettlement agencies to rapidly identify the health needs of new populations. Dr. Agrawal epitomizes the catchphrase, “Think globally-act locally.” As a board member of the Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS) of New Haven, she has developed a community-based research program designed to improve the linkage between refugees in the New Haven community and health and social services. Beyond her scholarly work, Dr. Agrawal is a formidable educator and clinician in the Department of Emergency Medicine. She has mentored dozens of residents participating in the Yale/Stanford/Johnson & Johnson Global Health Scholars program, and has served as a faculty advisor to numerous residents and medical students. Dr. Agrawal is also an ardent advocate for women, serving as a member of the American College of Emergency Physicians’ Women in Global Health Initiative, and she was recently elected president of the Academy for Women in Academic Emergency Medicine, where she has served as chair of the Global Health Committee and as Treasurer. In 2018 she received the AWAEM Momentum Award in recognition of her extraordinary services in moving the mission and values of AWAEM forward. Awardees have enhanced the recruitment, promotion, retention, and advancement of women in academic emergency medicine through individual support as well as organizational influence. At YSM, Dr. Agrawal is faculty coordinator of the Emergency Medicine Global Health Day Symposium and a faculty member at the Yale Center for Asylum Medicine.

  • Nita Ahuja

    William H. Carmalt Professor of Surgery; Chair, Department of Surgery; Assistant Cancer Center Director, Surgery, Yale Cancer Center

    Years active at Yale: 2018-present

    Dr. Ahuja is being recognized for her leadership and her excellence in clinical care and research. Dr. Ahuja is a passionate advocate for mentorship of trainees, staff, and faculty and has a reputation as a collaborative leader. Her surgical specialization is in gastrointestinal cancers, including gastric, rectal, and pancreatic cancers. She has developed an international reputation for management of peritoneal cancer metastases with cytoreduction and heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy, which attracts patients from around the world. She is widely recognized as a leader in translational epigenetics, conducting investigator-initiated clinical trials in colorectal cancer, pancreatic cancer, and other solid tumors. In addition, she has developed biomarkers for early detection of colorectal and pancreatic cancers. 

    Dr. Ahuja is a national and international surgical leader and surgeon scientist who serves on multiple editorial boards and in national leadership positions including as a member of the American Surgical Association, the elected national representative to the Commission on Cancer from the Fellowship for the American College of Surgeons, and on the Association of American Medical Colleges Council of Faculty and Academic Societies Administrative Board. She has published over 200 papers and book chapters contributing to both the surgical and basic science fields. Her many awards and honors include the William J. Reinhoff, Jr. Scholar Award, the American Surgical Association Fellowship, the Society of Surgical Oncology Clinical Investigator Award, and the Abell Foundation Award: Johns Hopkins Alliance for Science and Technology Development.

  • Serap Aksoy

    Professor of Epidemiology (Microbial Diseases)

    Years active at Yale: 2002-present

    Serap Aksoy, PhD, is being recognized for her excellence in research into the biology of host-pathogen interactions, specifically involving tsetse flies, which transmit African trypanosomes and harbor multiple symbiotic microbes. Dr. Aksoy has multiple collaborative research programs with institutions in Uganda and Kenya, and her lab is developing novel methods to reduce tsetse fly populations or their ability to transmit disease. In Uganda, she studies Sleeping Sickness disease. In Kenya, she has been involved in an international training program to expand research capacity in tsetse-transmitted diseases. 

    During her time at Yale, Dr. Aksoy has headed the Division of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases. She also serves as editor in chief of the journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, where she works to build research and publication capacity for global neglected tropical diseases. She has chaired both the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ Vector Biology Study Section and the World Health Organization’s Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, Molecular Entomology BL5.

  • Virginia Alexander

    Alumna

    Years active at Yale: YSPH Class of 1941

    Dr. Alexander is being recognized as a pioneering woman physician and public health practitioner. Born in Philadelphia in 1899, she was only 4 years old when her mother died, and at age 13, her father lost his once flourishing livery stable. She eventually won a scholarship to the University of Pennsylvania and to pay for her living expenses, she worked as a maid, a clerk, and a waitress. Dr. Alexander ranked second highest among medical aptitude test examinees after her entry into the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania. African American physicians were discriminated against in many medical institutions, and no Philadelphia hospital would accept her for practical training. She moved to Kansas City for her internship and within a few years, she was back in Philadelphia, running her own community health clinic and serving on the faculty of the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania. The Aspiranto Health Home was founded in her own home to serve Philadelphia's poor.

    In 1941, Dr. Alexander earned her MPH at Yale and accepted a position at Howard University, where she was appointed physician- in-charge of women students. She also ran a private health practice and worked for the U.S. Department of Health. When World War II broke out, physicians from across the country were dispatched to military bases to care for the injured, leaving many groups at home desperate for medical care. Dr. Alexander volunteered for the government and was sent to the coal fields of Alabama to treat miners living in extreme poverty. She died at the age of 49 from lupus.

  • Heather Allore

    Professor; Director, Yale Program on Aging Biostatistics Core; Director, Data Management and Statistics Core, Yale Alzheimer's Disease Research Center; Co-director of the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Core of the Yale Transdisciplinary Collaborative Center for Precision Medicine focused on Health Disparities; Adjunct Professor, Harldsplass Deaconess Hospital, University of Bergen, Norway

    Years active at Yale: 2000-present

    Dr. Allore is being recognized for her outstanding contributions to clinical science and leadership. She is director of the biostatistics core of the Yale Program on Aging and has pioneered advanced methodological applications for overcoming issues inherent in aging research. She is credited for founding the field of "gerontological biostatistics."

  • Louise Bates Ames

    Former YSM faculty

    Years active at Yale: 1933-1950 

    Dr. Ames is being recognized for her significant role in research on and popularization of norms of child development. Dr. Ames became the best known of several women MDs and PhDs who collaborated with Arnold Gesell, MD, director of the Clinic of Child Development at Yale from 1911 to 1948. The women members of the clinic included Catherine Strunk Amatruda, MD (1903-1949), Frances Ilg, MD (1902-1981), and Helen Thompson, PhD. Dr. Gesell and his team studied detailed stages of normal development of children by analyzing frames of film taken of children placed inside an experimental dome, which enabled the children to be viewed from outside. The collaborators did almost all the analysis of frames upon which the norms of development were based, and co-authored many of Dr. Gesell’s books. Dr. Ames came to Yale as a PhD student in 1933. Her thesis was on the sequence of prone progression in the human infant. She collaborated on such works as The First Five Years of Life (1940) and Infant and Child in the Culture of Today (1943), and also published research articles on her own. She, like Dr. Gesell, took a biological approach to child development (as opposed to behaviorism or psychoanalysis) and believed that stages of motor and cognitive development were predictable. She was particularly interested in tests for “developmental diagnosis” and age-related responses to Rorschach tests. In 1948, Drs. Ames, Ilg, and Janet Learned Rodell, founded the private Gesell Institute for Human Development in New Haven. She and Ilg, in addition to ongoing research, published books on child development for a general audience. They also wrote a syndicated newspaper column, called “Child Development,” and later, “Parents Ask,” from 1951 to 1996. Dr. Ames lectured widely and hosted a weekly TV talk show in the 1950s and 1960s.

  • Karen Anderson

    Professor of Pharmacology and of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry; Co-Leader, Developmental Therapeutics, Yale Cancer Center; Co-Director Therapeutics/Chemotherapy Program

    Years active at Yale: 1992- present

    Dr. Anderson is being recognized for her leadership in mechanistic enzymology and structure-based drug design. Her work focuses on understanding how enzymes, playing critical roles in such diseases as cancer and infectious diseases, including AIDS, work at a molecular level. She uses that information to develop new drug therapies. Her recent work on new antiviral therapies to treat HIV infections in a long-term collaborative effort with Dr. William Jorgensen in Yale’s Department of Chemistry has led to the discovery of a promising preclinical candidate that is now under further development. Dr. Anderson has trained more than 40 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who are now involved in biomedical research. 

    She is a co-director of Developmental Therapeutics in the Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center, and co-track director of Biochemistry, Quantitative Biology, and Structural Biology in the Yale Combined Program in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Anderson has received numerous awards, including Monsanto Research Achievement awards, the Dean’s Young Faculty Award, the Hull Cancer Research Award, YCC Breast Cancer Initiative Award, Gates Foundation Grand Challenge Award, and Department of Defense Lung Cancer Concept Award. She has published more than 200 research papers and was elected to the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering.

  • Nancy Angoff

    Professor; Associate Dean for Student Affairs

    Years active at Yale: YSM Class of 1990, MPH Class of 1991; 1998-present

    Dr. Angoff is being recognized for her leadership in student affairs and the creation of educational programs which emphasize professionalism. Her leadership and programs have changed the ethos of our school and enriched the environment in which our students learn.

    She has been a tireless advocate for students, having created the Peer Advocate program which provides first-year students with upper-class student advocates and the Academic Advisor Program, which provides each student with an advisor who mentors and guides the student’s academic progress. She herself is an incredible mentor. Several of our more well-known students attribute their success to the advice and mentorship of Dean Angoff. Of equal importance to our school, Dr. Angoff has developed important elements of our educational curriculum which help form the professional identity of our students. They include: “The First Day of School” project, in which students are immersed in the importance of cultural humility, and “Power Day,” in which students and interdisciplinary faculty reflect on the meaning of power in medicine. Most recently, Dr. Angoff has become the Director of the Master Course which begins medical school exploring professional behavior through hospital emersion, reflective writing, and other exercises. Her mentorship of students, development of the Students Advisor Program and creation of curricula that emphasize the meaning of being a doctor have been significant and important contributions to our medical school.

  • Lydia Aoun-Barakat

    Associate Professor Term; Medical Director Nathan Smith Clinic; Program Director, HIV Primary Care Training Track

    Years active at Yale: 2000-present

    Dr. Aoun-Barakat is being recognized for her deep and unyielding commitment for the past 20 years to bringing high quality, compassionate, and comprehensive care to people living with HIV. As medical director of the Yale New Haven Hospital Nathan Smith Clinic since 2010, she is a constant inspiration for her trainees and colleagues alike as she fosters team-bases care with excellence. She also created the robust HIV track within the primary care residency program in 2011 to promote development of future leaders in this area.

  • Martine Armstrong

    Senior Research Scientist Emeritus of Epidemiology (Microbial Diseases)

    Years active at Yale: 1968-1997

    Dr. Armstrong is being recognized for her studies of retroviruses and her service as an administrator overseeing the university’s animal care committee. She also served on the Yale Biological Safety Advisory Committee and was acting vice-chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health from 1993 to 1995. 

    Dr. Armstrong’s early career focused on the study of retroviruses in mouse models. In the early 1980s, with the appearance of AIDS, a retrovirus, she turned to the study of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia. Before retroviral therapy it was a common cause of death in AIDS patients. Dr. Armstrong studied the in vitro cultivation of Pneumocystis carinii, an opportunistic protozoon pathogen, and the delineation of the pathogen’s interaction with host lung tissue. Her research led to about 40 papers and reviews. 

    In 2015, she was inducted into the Winslow Centennial Honor Roll for Excellence and Service, which was established to honor 100 alumni and/or faculty who made outstanding contributions to public health during the Yale School of Public Health’s first 100 years.

  • Linda Arnold

    Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Emergency Medicine) and of Emergency Medicine

    Years active at Yale: 1999-present

    Dr. Arnold is being recognized as a leader in global child health education and training, and collaborative multi-sector partnerships to improve global maternal and child health (MCH). She is internationally recognized for her contributions to global health capacity building, professional leadership development, and scale up of proven interventions through existing MCH platforms to reduce child mortality through professional societies and initiatives, such as Rwanda’s Human Resources for Health Program, and the Survive and Thrive Global Development Alliance.

    At Yale, Dr. Arnold is a long-standing member of the Down’s International Fellowship Committee, helped create the Yale Pediatric Global Health Track, and actively mentors students, trainees, and junior faculty interested in global health. On a national level, she served as chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on International Child Health (SOICH). Under her leadership, SOICH established an annual scientific abstract program for global health scholarship and travel grants for physicians from low- and middle-income countries to present their work at professional meetings, as well as prioritized global health advocacy training and policy work. Dr. Arnold has moderated congressional receptions focused on global MCH funding; participated in multiple high-level MCH events at the United Nations, NIH, and on Capitol Hill; and is frequently invited to speak both nationally and internationally about the importance of global capacity building and effective multi-sector bidirectional partnerships.

    Dr. Arnold is immediate past chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on International Child Health, a member of the American Board of Pediatrics Global Health Task Force, and the North American representative to the International Pediatric Association, where she is co-chair of the Ethics Committee.

  • Amy Arnsten

    Albert E. Kent Professor of Neuroscience and Professor of Psychology; Member, Kavli Institute of Neuroscience at Yale University

    Years active at Yale: 1987-present

    Dr. Arnsten is being recognized for excellence in research and teaching. She is an international expert on the molecular regulation of the newly evolved brain circuits that subserve higher cognition, which are the target of such disorders as schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s Disease. Much of her work focuses on the prefrontal cortex, a newly evolved brain region that creates our "mental sketchpad," and subserves abstract reasoning, high order decision-making, working memory, and thoughtful regulation of attention, behavior, and emotion (including inhibition of inappropriate thoughts, actions and feelings). Her research has shown that exposure to uncontrollable stress or advancing age weakens network connections by opening ion channels near synapses, leading to loss of neuronal firing and cognitive impairment. Her work has successfully translated to new treatments for cognitive disorders in humans, including guanfacine (IntunivTM) for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorders and related prefrontal cortical disorders, and prazosin for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. Dr. Arnsten has held MERIT and Pioneer Awards from the National Institutes of Health, and was awarded the 2015 Goldman-Rakic Prize for Outstanding Research in Cognitive Neuroscience. She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine.

    In addition to her research, Dr. Arnsten is a prize-winning teacher who has taught Yale medical students, graduate students, and undergraduates, as well as medical residents and fellows. She teaches about the neurobiology of mental illness with the hope that it will help reduce stigma. Her research on stress has also led to new programs aimed at de-escalating potentially violent situations by restoring higher brain functions during threatening conditions.

  • Ani Aydin

    Assistant Professor

    Years active at Yale: 2012-present

    Dr. Aydin is being recognized for her accomplishments in the field of emergency medicine education and trauma/surgical critical care. She practices as an attending in the emergency department and the Surgical Intensive Care Unit. She serves as the liaison to the Department of Surgery, as an emergency department Quality Improvement committee member, and as an emergency medicine reviewer for the American College of Surgeons Trauma Center Verification Program. She is the founder and chairperson of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Critical Care Medicine Interest Group, and the secretary/newsletter editor of the American College of Emergency Physicians Critical Care Medicine Section. Dr. Aydin is currently working with other emergency medicine faculty to develop a critical care curriculum for YSM, and she is working on a national scale to develop a mechanical ventilator course for
    emergency medicine.

  • Michele Barry

    Former YSM faculty

    Department: Internal Medicine

    Years active at Yale: 1977-2009

    Dr. Barry is being recognized because of her expertise in international health and leadership in creating change for women at the School of Medicine. While on the faculty she rose to the rank of professor of medicine before she was recruited to Stanford University as senior associate dean for global health and director of the Stanford Center for Innovation in Global Health. She is a past president of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2002.

    While at Yale, Dr. Barry was a tireless advocate for women’s rights. She wrote the first policy to be used for maternity leave in the Department Medicine. In 2000,she and Dr. Shirley McCarthy co-authored “Recommendations for Addressing Inequity Issues at Yale Medical School,” more commonly called the Bill of Rights for Women. Dr. Barry was also passionate about her work in international health. She started the first International Health Clinic at Yale, along with Dr. Frank Bia, and they obtained funding from Johnson & Johnson to launch the first international residency training program at Yale. Our loss was Stanford’s gain.

  • Linda Bartoshuk

    Former YSM faculty

    Department: Department of Psychology, Department of Surgery’s Section of Otolaryngology

    Years active at Yale: 1970-2005

    Dr. Bartoshuk is being recognized for her research in the studies of genetic variations in taste perception and how taste perception affects overall health. She is one of the world’s foremost authorities on the sense of taste. Now at the University of Florida, Dr. Bartoshuk is best known for her discovery, in the early 1990s, that one in four people is a “supertaster” for whom sweet is more cloying and bitter, more astringent. She was the first to discover that burning mouth syndrome, mostly experienced by postmenopausal women, is not a psychosomatic condition, but caused by damage to the taste buds at the front of the tongue. She was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1995, and in 2003 she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

    Dr. Bartoshuk began her career in astronomy as an undergraduate at Carleton College in Minnesota, but left that field when her professors told her it was not friendly to women and that landing a position at an observatory would be nearly impossible for her. She changed majors when she learned that the psychology department would accept her math and science credits.

  • Susan Baserga

    Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, of Genetics and of Therapeutic Radiology

    Years active at Yale: YSM Class of 1988; 1993-present

    Dr. Baserga is being recognized because of her excellence in basic science research, in teaching and mentoring, and for her contributions to the history and progress of women at the school. A graduate of Yale College and YSM, Dr. Baserga has served in many leadership roles in the MD/PhD program as well as in her own department, including director of medical studies in the Department of Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry,and program director in the Predoctoral Program in Cellular and Molecular. 

    She has received many awards for her science and teaching including the “Bohmfalk Scholar in Medical Research,” and the Charles W. Bohmfalk Prize for basic science teaching. She was elected to the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering in 2012. Dr. Baserga has also been an advocate for women and the issues that affect them. In the 1980s and 1990s, she worked with the Committee for the Status of Women in Medicine, helping to create policy that increased day care options, pressed the dean to hire more women, and published yearly transparency documents for faculty salaries. The first sexual harassment guidelines at Yale University were written at that time by Dr. Baserga and this committee. Dr. Baserga’s science, teaching, and women’s advocacy constitute important contributions to our school.

  • Lori Bastian

    Professor of Internal Medicine (General Medicine); Section Chief of General Internal Medicine VA Connecticut Healthcare System; Director, Pain Research, Informatics, Multimorbidities, and Education (PRIME) Center

    Years active at Yale: 2016-present

    Dr. Bastian is being recognized for her excellence in clinical science and leadership. She is a health services researcher whose research focuses on developing health behavior interventions. Since joining the faculty in 2016, she has served as section chief for General Internal Medicine and director of Pain Research, Informatics, Multimorbidities, and Education (PRIME) at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System. She has a long-standing interest in health behaviors among women veterans. She began her research career in women's health in 1991 at Duke University, where she served as the medical director of a comprehensive women's clinic and also served as PI of NIH and VA grants focusing on interventions to change health behaviors,such as smoking cessation and weight loss. She has served as deputy editor of the Journal of General Internal Medicine since 2006. Her scholarly accomplishment is demonstrated by more than 150 publications in peer-reviewed journals. In her leadership role as director of the PRIME Center, she oversees a health services research program with 30 core faculty and she mentors both fellows and junior faculty.

  • Leona Baumgartner

    Alumna

    Years active at Yale: PhD Class of 1932; MD Class of 1934

    Dr. Baumgartner is being recognized for her role as a pioneering woman in public health. She was an early recruit to the Yale Plan of Medical Education. Induced to undergo two years of general medical training and an internship rather than remain immersed in basic immunology, she found a place for her expanded interests as a national leader in public health. Values promulgated by C-E.A. Winslow and Ira Hickok of the Yale School of Public Health became the bedrock of her career. She eventually became Commissioner of Health for New York City, where she spearheaded the creation of the Health Research Council (meant to be a National Institutes of Health for NYC), developed programs for drastically reducing the infant mortality rate, improved sanitation, and linked clinical medicine to public health in new and effective ways. Under her direct leadership, NYC enrolled in the Salk vaccine trial of 1954, which led to the near elimination of polio in the city over the course of three years. Dubbed by Life Magazine as “Doctor to 8,000,000 People,” she went on from the Health Department to become an assistant secretary of state, the highest ranking woman in the Johnson administration. She ended her distinguished career as Visiting Professor of Social Medicine at Harvard.