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2019 Award Recipients

The AAMC is pleased to announce the 2019 recipients of the association’s annual awards, which honor individuals and institutions making significant contributions to medical education, research, clinical care, and community engagement.

The recipients will be honored on Sunday, Nov. 10, at Learn Serve Lead 2019: The AAMC Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona. Please consider joining us at the AAMC Awards Dinner to celebrate these outstanding awardees (advance registration is required).

Do you know someone who exemplifies the best of academic medicine? Nominations for the 2020 AAMC Awards are open. Visit to learn more about the criteria and to nominate someone.

Joseph C. Kolars, MD

2019 Abraham Flexner Award for Distinguished Service to Medical Education

A dynamic medical educator and mentor, Dr. Kolars has pioneered curricular transformation in medical education and played a critical role in advancing competency-based education through his leadership roles at the University of Michigan Medical School, at the Mayo Clinic, and abroad.
Learn more about Dr. Kolars

Rafi Ahmed, PhD

2019 Award for Distinguished Research in the Biomedical Sciences

Through his work answering some of the most pressing questions about the crucial roles of T cells and B cells, Dr. Ahmed’s findings have revolutionized the understanding of the immune system and paved the way for novel therapeutic approaches.
Learn more about Dr. Ahmed

Kenneth W. Kizer, MD, MPH

2019 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation David E. Rogers Award

Dr. Kizer has transformed care delivery and population health management by enhancing public health throughout California, improving care delivery in the Veterans Affairs system, and enhancing the quality of care across the nation by establishing the National Quality Forum.
Learn more about Dr. Kizer

Maria L. Soto-Greene, MD, MS-HPEd, FACP

2019 Herbert W. Nickens Award

Recognizing that the foundation for a more diverse health care workforce is laid long before students enter medical school, Dr. Soto-Greene has tirelessly supported underrepresented students and faculty throughout their careers in medicine.
Learn more about Dr. Soto-Greene

Hoover Adger, Jr., MD, MPH, MBA

2019 Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award

Focusing his research, medical practice, and educational efforts on adolescent health and substance use disorders, Dr. Adger employs a patient-centered, family-first approach to transform the lives of his patients while modeling humanistic care for his students.
Learn more about Dr. Adger

Cooper Medical School of Rowan University

2019 Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Engagement

Since its founding in 2009 by the New Jersey legislature at the urging of the Camden community, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University has integrated the community into the fabric of the school, exemplifying its motto, “Camden is our classroom; Camden is our home.” In addition to required service learning, CMSRU coursework ensures that students graduate with a profound understanding of how communities should inform medical practice.
Learn more about the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University

Susan M. Cox, MD

2019 Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award

Through the design and development of a curriculum emphasizing leadership skills, collaboration, and cross-disciplinary teamwork, Dr. Cox has been at the forefront of shaping medical education for learners and faculty in Texas and beyond.
Learn more about Dr. Cox

Mohammed K. Khalil, DVM, PhD, MSEd

2019 Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award

Through his clear understanding of educational psychology, his proven record of effectiveness and innovation in teaching, and his contributions to students’ development, Dr. Khalil has been a steadying hand in the lives of others throughout his career.
Learn more about Dr. Khalil

N. Kevin Krane, MD

2019 Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award

In addition to Dr. Krane’s ability to lead and collaborate, which ensured Tulane medical students and faculty were quickly able to resume their work after Hurricane Katrina, his passion for innovation has led to thoughtful curricular reforms that have helped students keep up with the rapid proliferation of information.
Learn more about Dr. Krane

Cathleen C. Pettepher, PhD

2019 Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award

An exceptional educator and innovative leader, Dr. Pettepher led Vanderbilt University School of Medicine’s efforts to adopt a more integrated approach to the basic sciences and a more collaborative approach to content organization and academic policy.
Learn more about Dr. Pettepher