Kathryn M. Edwards, M.D.
A member of the National Academy of Medicine, Edwards’s work focuses on the evaluation of vaccines for the prevention of infectious diseases in adults and children. Throughout her internationally recognized career, Edwards has contributed to vaccine development for countless diseases including Haemophilus influenza type B, pertussis, influenza, avian influenza, Streptococcus pneumoniae, smallpox, rotavirus, malaria, and others. Additionally, her work has informed the evidence-base for treatment for influenza, whooping cough, recurrent fevers, diarrheal diseases, human metapneumovirus, and COVID-19 infections. As a testament to her high-energy approach, Edwards has led trials for nearly every infectious disease for which an effective vaccine exists. She is an incredible example of a physician-scientist whose focus is always on what’s good for patients, rather than a particular pathogen.
Edwards has received many awards and recognitions, including the Maxwell Finland Award for Scientific Achievement from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases and the John Howland Award from the American Pediatric Society. Edwards is a Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, a leader of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society and a member of the World Health Organization’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Pertussis. Additionally, she has had leadership roles on national vaccine advisory committees and global implementation programs. Currently she is providing knowledge and leadership on the evaluation of the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.
Her contributions to preventing major pediatric pathogens, documented in her 500+ scientific publications, have advanced public and child health in incredible ways. Despite her stature and leadership, she continues to model excellent patient care to the countless trainees who work alongside her. She is the consummate physician—one who is routinely asked by colleagues around the globe for her expertise and her advice in compassionate patient care. Edwards has advanced vaccine science, saved and improved lives around the globe, and trained the successive generations of pediatricians, infectious diseases doctors and investigators.