Flaura K. Winston, MD, PhD
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Between 1988 and 2018, the number of youth and young adults who died in motor vehicle crashes in the United States dropped precipitously, from 30,819 to just 7,381 each year. This decline is in no small part because of the efforts of Flaura K. Winston, MD, PhD, distinguished chair in the Department of Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and a tenured professor of pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Winston is also the founder and scientific director of the National Science Foundation Center for Child Injury Prevention Studies and the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at CHOP.
Dr. Winston is an internationally recognized injury scientist, inventor, innovator, engineer, and behavioral scientist whose research and public policy recommendations have advanced regulations, laws, programs, and products that have saved thousands of lives.
Her multidisciplinary background in medicine, bioengineering, and public health and safety has enabled her to conduct highly impactful research into child and adolescent health, injury prevention, injury treatment, technology, and behavior. Using a signature “research-to-action-to-impact” approach, Dr. Winston bridges academia, industry, and policy. She and her diverse team created a national child-focused crash surveillance system and research center that has led to upgrades in 49 state and federal child passenger safety laws, numerous upgrades to federal vehicle and child-restraint safety standards, multiple patents and enhancements to child-restraint systems, and child-focused vehicle safety features.
One of Dr. Winston’s most notable contributions is Ohio’s statewide validated virtual driver assessment system that helps young drivers become safer drivers. Data collected via the program are linked to crash outcomes and further influence safety policy.
Dr. Winston’s efforts and leadership in the field of injury prevention and public safety have led to a 30% decline in crashes and fewer fatalities when crashes do occur.
William Kelley, MD, professor of medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine, says that Dr. Winston’s career “demonstrates that academics can be both world-class scientists and impactful, evidence-based advocates for improved health and safety, thereby ensuring value is achieved from federally funded research.”
Dr. Winston has earned numerous accolades across her illustrious career, including a U.S. Government Award for Special Appreciation from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the Department of Transportation in 2003, the Excellence in Science Award from the American Public Health Association in 2009, and the National/International Health Impact Award from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2009. In 2017, she was elected to the National Academy of Medicine.
Dr. Winston studied bioengineering as an undergraduate and graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania. She earned her PhD in 1989 and her MD in 1990, both from the University of Pennsylvania.