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2014 Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award

Emma A. Meagher, M.D., Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Emma A Meagher, Ph. D

Emma Meagher, M.D., has a reputation for being a tireless teacher, mentor, and curricular innovator.

“She has demonstrated characteristic enthusiasm, flare, dedication, innovation, and persistence with the mission of educating medical students in systems pharmacology and translational therapeutics,” says J. Larry Jameson, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn).

In 1999, Dr. Meagher redesigned the medical school’s formerly fragmented pharmacology curriculum. Her efforts resulted in a highly effective approach that ensures integrated pharmacology education across all four years of medical education at Perelman, where she serves as associate professor.

Building upon her sustained enthusiasm for basic science education, Dr. Meagher employed her creativity to create “Case Studies in Translational Research,” an M.D.-Ph.D. course that explores the challenges and opportunities surrounding personalized medicine, diagnostics, and devices. The course’s success provided foundational support as Dr. Meagher, with support of an NIH-funded training grant (T32) and school leadership, designed and implemented a Master of Science in translational research for medical students.

“Our goal is to create a workforce of translational scientists who will be adept at bridging the divide between basic research and clinical investigation,” explains Dr. Meagher.

A fearless forerunner in educational innovation, Dr. Meagher developed a global online pharmacology curriculum as part of UPenn’s partnership with Coursera. She further leverages that curriculum today in her “flipped classroom.”

Dr. Meagher’s exceptional talent as an educator has been recognized many times over by her students, fellow faculty, school administrators, and the university, which awarded her its highest teaching honor, the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, in 2005.

“Dr. Meagher is an inspirational role model to our class. Her accomplishments are truly incredible,” attests one of her students.

Dedicated to encouraging educator development, Dr. Meagher and her colleagues at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia established a mentor-leadership training program that has trained 75 mentors since 2012.

In addition to scholarly contributions to medical education, Dr. Meagher has been prolific in her work on therapeutics for dyslipidemia. Maintaining fidelity to her advocacy for translational science, she recently contributed to a personalized medicine clinical trial examining the efficacy of lomitapide, a cholesterol-lowering drug targeting homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia, which was found effective in the target population and recently approved for use.

Dr. Meagher is director of translational research education of the UPenn Clinical and Translational Sciences Award and is on the board of directors for the National Association for Clinical and Translational Science. She also serves as associate dean for both clinical research and admissions at Perelman, among other appointments.                                                                 

Originally from Dublin, Dr. Meagher received her medical degree at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and completed her residency at Mater Hospital at University College Dublin, where she also became a senior lecturer of cardiovascular medicine.

Watch the video spotlight on Dr. Meagher here.

More about Dr. Meagher

Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award

This award provides national recognition to faculty members who have distinguished themselves in medical student education.