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On the Frontline of Medical Discovery

Women's Health Research for the 21st Century


Dr. Vivian Pinn
Associate Director for Research on Women's Health
Director, Office of Research on Women's Health, National Institutes of Health, (NIH)

Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2000 • 7 pm

Masur Auditorium•NIH Clinical Center

Dr. Vivian Pinn

Dr. Vivian W. Pinn is the first full-time Director of the Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an appointment she has held since November 1991. In February 1994, she was also named as Associate Director for Research on Women's Health, NIH. Dr. Pinn came to NIH from Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C., where she had been Professor and Chair of the Department of Pathology since 1982, and has previously held appointments at Tufts University and Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Pinn has long been active in efforts to improve the health and career opportunities for women and minorities. She recently led a national effort to reexamine priorities for the women's health research agenda for the 21st Century, involving over 1,500 advocates, scientists, policy makers, educators and healthcare providers. Dr. Pinn attended the public schools of Lynchburg, Virginia. She earned her B.A. from Wellesley College in Massachusetts, and received her M.D. from the University of Virginia School of Medicine in 1967. She was the only woman and minority in her class. She completed her postgraduate training in Pathology at the Massachusetts General Hospital, on a NIH training grant; at the same time she served as Teaching Fellow at the Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Pinn then joined the faculty of Tufts University School of Medicine and Tufts New England Medical Center Hospital, and held the positions of Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Associate Professor of Pathology. In 1982, she assumed the Chairmanship of the Department of Pathology at Howard University College of Medicine and Howard University Hospital. She is a member of long-standing in many professional and scientific organizations, in which she has held many positions of leadership. She served as the 88th President of the National Medical Association during the year 1989-1990, and also was a member of the Executive Committee of the Association of American Medical Colleges. Dr. Pinn has received numerous honors, awards, and recognitions, and has been granted seven Honorary Degrees of Laws and Science since 1992.

In October 1994, she was inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In October 1995, she was elected to the Institute of Medicine. She received an Alumni Achievement Award from Wellesley College in February 1993, and currently serves on the Wellesley College Board of Trustees. She also received the second annual Distinguished Alumna Award from the University of Virginia in September 1992, and was honored by the UVA medical school as one of their Alumni Luminaries in 1998. In May of 1994, Dr. Pinn was named by Cosmopolitan magazine as one of "The Big Time! 8 (in feminism now) for her accomplishments in medicine. She was also featured in several issues of Ladies Home Journal, and in May 2000, Essence magazine recognized Dr. Pinn among Black women trailblazers for her dedication to women's health research.

Among her more recent awards and recognitions, she was named the 1997 Excellence in Leadership in the Public Sector Honoree by the National Women's Economic Alliance Foundation. The American College of Physicians awarded Dr. Pinn the James D. Bruce Memorial Award in 1998 for distinguished contributions in preventive medicine; she was awarded the Athena Award in February 1999 from the Partnership for Women's Health at Columbia University; she has been honored by the North American Menopause Society; and in March 2000 she received the Catherine McFarland Award from the University of Pennsylvania for distinguished service in women's health.

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This page last reviewed on 09/9/09



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