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Distinguished Service

The Distinguished Service to SER award is given to recognize individuals who have multiple years of outstanding contributions to the organization. Award winners are selected by the leadership of the organization.



2022 Award Winner – George Kaplan

George A. Kaplan, Ph.D. is the Thomas Francis Collegiate Emeritus Professor of Public Health and Epidemiology in the School of Public Health, a Research Professor Emeritus at the Institute for Social Research, Founder and former Director of the Center for Social Epidemiology and Population Health, all at the University of Michigan. He was Chair of the Department of Epidemiology from 1996-2003. He is also Senior Advisor for the Scholars and Fellows Programs at The Institute for Integrative Health in Baltimore.

Among his honors are elected membership in the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Social Insurance, the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research, and presidency of the Society for Epidemiologic Research. Professor Kaplan was also the first public health scientist to be invited to address the Nobel Forum at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. Read more

2021 Award Winner – Allen Wilcox

Allen Wilcox is an Emeritus Investigator at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Durham NC, where he has spent his career. His research has focused on fertility and the events of pregnancy, and he is the author of a textbook on this topic. He served for ten years as the Chief of the Epidemiology Branch at NIEHS, and for 14 years as the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Epidemiology. He received his medical degree from the University of Michigan, his PhD in epidemiology from the University of North Carolina, and an honorary doctoral degree from the University of Bergen in Norway. He has been attending SER meetings since 1979.

2020 Award Winner – Moyses Szklo

Dr. Moyses Szklo is a native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He received his MD degree from the State University of Rio de Janeiro and his master’s and doctoral degrees from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He is University Distinguished Professor of Epidemiology and Medicine (Cardiology) at the Johns Hopkins University, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of the American Journal of Epidemiology, and director of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Summer Institute of Epidemiology and Biostatistics.

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2019 Award Winner – Sandro Galea

Sandro Galea, a physician, epidemiologist, and author, is dean and Robert A. Knox Professor at Boston University School of Public Health. He previously held academic and leadership positions at Columbia University, the University of Michigan, and the New York Academy of Medicine. He has published more than 800 scientific journal articles, 50 chapters, and 13 books, and his research has been featured extensively in current periodicals and newspapers.

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2018 Award Winner – Julie Buring

Dr. Julie E. Buring is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital; and Professor of Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H.Chan School of Public Health.

The primary focus of her research is the epidemiology of chronic diseases, primarily cardiovascular disease and cancer, and especially among women. Dr. Buring has been involved in the design, conduct, analysis, and interpretation of a number of large-scale cohort studies and randomized clinical trials.

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2017 Award Winner – Polly Marchbanks

Polly Marchbanks received a BSN and MSN from The University of Texas at Austin, and a PhD in epidemiology from The University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston.

In 1984, while presenting dissertation results at her first SER annual meeting, Polly was recruited to CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS), a two-year post-doctoral program in applied epidemiology. She entered the EIS in 1985 and later became the first woman and first non-physician to serve as Chief of the EIS. Read more

2015 Award Winner – Joseph Lynn Lyon

Joseph Lynn Lyon is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of Utah School of Medicine. He received his B.S. and M.D. degree from University of Utah, and a Master of Public Health degree from the Harvard School of Public Health.

He has published over 140 articles in the peered reviewed scientific literature. He has been the recipient of 29 grants and contracts, mostly from the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He has served as a reviewer for a number of scientific journals, including the Journal of the American Medical Associationand the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Dr. Lyon has served as the Secretary-Treasurer of the SER for more than 20 years.

2014 Award Winner – Susan Sacks