By Richard Asinof
PROVIDENCE – Dr. Jennifer Friedman, a pediatrician at Hasbro Children’s Hospital and director of clinical studies for the Center for International Health Research at Rhode Island, was awarded the 2012 Bruce M. Selya Award for excellence in research by Lifespan.
Friedman co-founded the Center for International Health Research in 2005, where investigators use both laboratory and field studies to solve urgent global health issues. Friedman has led population-based studies in Brazil, western Kenya and the Philippines. Some of those include designing and implementing a study of how worm infections increase the risk for anemia, malnutrition, and cognitive impairment among children.
Friedman’s research is run collaboratively with the work of Dr. Jonathan Kurtis, director of the center, who was the 2011 recipient of the Selya Award.
“Dr. Friedman and last year’s awardee, Dr. Kurtis, are a very successful research team,” said Peggy McGill, director of research administration for Lifespan. “Dr. Kurtis, a pathologist, studies diseases to understand how a vaccine may be made to eradicate the illness, while Dr. Friedman studies the effect of the disease on the maternal health of worldwide populations. Somehow, Dr. Friedman finds time to carry out this global research, mentor residents and students, and give of her time as a pediatrician. She is quite remarkable.”
The Lifespan Board of Directors instituted this award in 1999 as a means to honor its first Lifespan Board chairman, the Honorable Bruce M. Selya. Judge Selya served as chairman of the board from 1994 through 1999, and remains a member of the board today.