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HomeMembersMembership ▶ Elizabeth A. Rich, MD Award
Elizabeth A. Rich, MD Award

Now Accepting Nominations for Elizabeth A. Rich, MD Award 

Since 2000, the ATS Membership Committee has presented the Elizabeth A. Rich, MD award to an outstanding woman in ATS who has made significant contributions in the fields of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine. The award is presented on behalf of Elizabeth A. Rich, MD, a respected ATS member, a mentor, and peer who died tragically at the age of 46 years old. The award recognizes Elizabeth’s dedication and contributions to the field of lung disease research and her position as a female role model and mentor.

Criteria. To be nominated for the annual Elizabeth A. Rich, MD Award, a candidate should be an outstanding woman who:

  • Has made significant contributions in the fields of pulmonary, critical care and/or sleep medicine,
  • Is an ATS member and has made contributions to the ATS. Please list committees and time served, assemblies and other areas of volunteerism.
  • Is a leader and has mentored others meaning a personal relationship where a more experienced individual guides a less experience or knowledgeable person as an advisor or guide.

The awardee is recognized at the Women’s Forum at the ATS International Conference at which she is invited to speak. She will also be recognized on the ATS web site.

Nominations. To nominate someone for this award:

  • Complete the award nomination form.
  • Provide a few paragraphs explaining why you are nominating this person and how they meet all three criteria areas for the award. There should only be one letter and that can be signed by multiple people.  
  • Attach the nominee’s current curriculum vitae.

Deadline Wednesday, November 30


Over the years the ATS Membership Committee has presented this distinguished award to talented and outstanding women, including:

                                               2022 Patricia Sime

2021

Beth Moore, PhD

2010

Sharon I.S. Rounds, MD

2020

Eileen Collins, PhD

2009

Patricia W. Finn, MD

2019

Monica Kraft, MD

2008

Pamela Davis, MD, PhD

2018

V. Courtney Broaddus, MD

2007

Deborah Cook, MD

2017

Zea Borok, MD

2006

Polly A. Parsons, MD

2016

Irina Petrache, MD

2005

Sally E. Wenzel, MD

2015

Cynthia Rand, PhD

2004

Lynn M. Schnapp, MD

2014

J. Usha Raj, MD

2003

Claire M. Doerschuk, MD

2013

Suzanne Lareau, RN, MS, FAAN

2002

Deborah Shure, MD

2012

Pamela Zeitlin, MD, PhD

2001

Molly L. Osborne, MD, PhD

2011

Serpil Erzurum, MD

2000

Jeanine Weiner-Kronish, MD



About Elizabeth A. Rich, MD

Elizabeth Rich

Elizabeth A. Rich, MD, was born in Baton Rouge, LA and earned her bachelors degree from Memphis State. She went on to received her MD from the University of Tennessee and completed her internship and residency at the City of Memphis Hospital. When she finished her residency, she pursued her love of the violin for six months in France, returning to conduct research in laboratories at the University of Tennessee while supporting herself by moonlighting in the emergency room. Elizabeth’s goal was to become a first rate pulmonary immunologist, and in 1982 she moved to Case Western Reserve University for a fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. She soon became an independent world renowned expert in the pulmonary alveolar macrophage, tuberculosis, and AIDS. Her research portfolio grew to include major research programs in tuberculosis and AIDS, and her laboratory attracted numerous trainees, whom she mentored with characteristic respect, verve, and vision.

Elizabeth’s personal creativity spilled into her work and was characterized by novel thinking and insights into the function of the lung. Her dedication to finding the truth, her willingness to question dogma (including her own), her sly sense of humor, and her full engagement in life made her a sought-after mentor and treasured friend. At the time of her death, Elizabeth’s grant portfolio totaled about four million dollars and included, near and dear to her heart, a T32 training grant in pulmonary immunology. She was killed in a traffic accident in July of 1998, at the age of 46, and left a considerable scientific and personal legacy.

Written by Pamela David, MD, PhD (Elizabeth was Pamela’s former fellow)