Physician-Scientist Neil R. Powe Named Distinguished Educator by National Association of Clinical Research Training
Johns Hopkins internist and epidemiologist Neil R. Powe, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., who has trained hundreds of fellow clinical researchers and medical students in the past two decades, has been named the 2007 Distinguished Educator by the National Association of Clinical Research Training.
Powe, an expert in the treatment of chronic kidney disease and a professor at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, will receive a plaque in honor of the award on March 28 at a ceremony held in conjunction with the Association’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
“Neil Powe’s accomplishments represent the very best of Hopkins,” says Myron Weisfeldt, M.D., chief of medicine and the William Osler Professor of Medicine at Hopkins. “He is a reputable scholar in his own specialty, a recognized educator in clinical research who has changed national policy on how physicians care for their patients, and he is a mentor to other leaders in medicine, cultivating young scientists, especially minority groups, and leaving a legacy of talent at institutions across the country.”
Among Powe’s accomplishments are changes to practice guidelines for treating patients with end-stage renal disease, preventing the misuse of treatments, such as recombinant erythropoietin, and the examining the effectiveness of various technologies, including peritoneal or hemodialysis.
Since joining Hopkins Division of Internal Medicine in 1986, he has produced 273 peer-reviewed publications, served as the principal investigator or co-investigator on 46 federally funded health research studies, and been a member of numerous national scientific advisory bodies.
In 1995, Powe led introduction to the Hopkins undergraduate and graduate medical curriculum of the first instruction in health outcomes and effectiveness research. The course, which is also taught to master’s and doctoral students (more than 60 students annually), focuses on how best to introduce, monitor and evaluate new laboratory discoveries into clinical practice. He also directs a federally funded K12 grant worth more than $13 million to train fellows and young faculty in clinical and translational research, plus another grant of $3 million to train medical students in clinical research.
Named director in 1998 of Hopkins Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology and Clinical Research, a research training center, Powe has overseen the doubling of its size and stature. It now has 29 faculty, 94 trainees and nearly 120 research staff, and its annual research budget has grown to more than $16 million.
“Fellow researchers describe Neil as the quarterback of the team,” says Weisfeldt, who is also the physician in chief at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. “They just want to follow him because he offers moral leadership, is always positive, never edgy or harsh in offering critical feedback, and he takes greater pride in celebrating his students’ accomplishments rather than his own.
“He fits the motto of William Osler - Hopkins first physician in chief and widely considered to be the father of modern-day medicine - that a physician leader should be an island of calm in a sea of chaos,” he adds.
Among the 38 clinical researchers personally trained by Powe, who is co-director of Hopkins’ Division of Internal Medicine, 25 have gone on to hold academic positions at Hopkins and other medical centers, nine are still in training, and the remaining hold clinical research positions in government or industry.
Current and former Welch Center faculty include the dean of the University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health, Michael Klag, M.D., M.P.H.; the Vice Dean for Clinical Research at the School of Medicine, Daniel E. Ford, M.D., M.P.H.; and the leaders of its Division of General Internal Medicine, Frederick Brancati, M.D., M.P.H., and Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, Linda Fried, M.D., M.P.H.
A hallmark of Powe’s leadership has been his commitment to promoting diversity in medical research. Fifty-two percent of the Welch Center faculty are women, and 26 percent represent visible minorities. He works nationally with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Howard University College of Medicine in Washington to identify promising, young minority faculty, fellows and medical school students for clinical research training at Hopkins.
A recipient of numerous awards, Powe was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2003. He is also a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation, Association of American Physicians and American Epidemiologic Society. Powe, originally from Philadelphia, earned his medical degree at Harvard Medical School and his master’s in public health at Harvard School of Public Health in 1981. He completed his master’s in business administration at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1986.
Media contact: David March