Dr. Linda P. Fried, MD, MPH, is a global leader in the fields of epidemiology and geriatrics who has dedicated her career to the science of healthy aging and longer health span for all, and creating the knowledge needed for transition to a world where greater longevity benefits people of all ages. An internationally renowned scientist, she has authored over 500 peer-reviewed articles and chapters. Dr. Fried has done seminal work in defining frailty as a medical syndrome, characterizing disability, cardiovascular disease and multimorbidity in older adults, and illuminating their causes and the potential for prevention as keys to optimizing health for older adults.
Under Fried's visionary leadership, the Mailman School continues to be a leader in transforming the health of populations and is ranked among the top five U.S. schools of public health. Fried led the School to build the nation's first program in a school of public health on climate and health; on prevention of mass incarceration; and the first university-wide center on knowledge leadership to prepare for societies of longer lives, the Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center. Under Fried’s leadership, the School launched the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion, Columbia Corporate Partnerships, the Global Consortium on Climate and Health Education, the Program in Global Health Justice and Governance, and elevated Columbia's leadership role in research, policy and programming to create healthy cities. She led the creation of an innovative interdisciplinary and case-based core public health curriculum that emphasizes a life-course approach to prevention of disease, injury and disability and the systems to accomplish it. As dean, Fried is invited annually to participate in the World Economic Forum, is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and remains a highly cited expert in policy and practice for creating healthier societies that benefit all, from the youngest to the oldest.
Before coming to Columbia in 2008 as Dean of the Mailman School, Fried was the Mason F. Lord Professor of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. She founded and led the Johns Hopkins Center on Aging and Health, the Center of Excellence for Aging research across the schools of medicine, public health and nursing, directed the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, and held joint appointments in the schools of medicine, public health, and nursing.
Fried is also the co-designer and co-founder of Experience Corps, a high impact, evidence-based senior volunteer program, in which older adults serve in public schools, and an evidence-based health promotion program for the older volunteers. The program is now in over 20 cities under the auspices of AARP and in several countries. Acting as tutors, mentors, and coaches, the older volunteers help boost students' academic success while bolstering their own health through carefully designed roles, continued activity and engagement. Under Fried’s leadership, an evaluation of this innovative public health intervention has shown its effectiveness in improving health outcomes and preventing cognitive decline among older adults, while improving child literacy, academic success, and school climate—providing evidence for the potential win-wins of an aging society.
Fried is an epidemiologist in the fields of chronic disease, cardiovascular disease and aging who has led as Principal Investigator a number of major national population-based cohort studies and randomized controlled trials including: The Cardiovascular Health Study; The Women’s Health and Aging Studies I and II; and the GEM and Experience Corps Randomized Controlled Trials. She was previously the founding principal investigator of the Johns Hopkins Older Americans’ Independence Center and the recipient of a MERIT award from the National Institution on Aging.
Fried is the recipient of numerous awards, most recently the 2016 Inserm International Prize in Medical Research, the 2018 Crain’s Notable Women in Health Care and 2020 Crain’s Notable in Health Care, and the 2019 Alma Dea Morani Renaissance Woman Award from the Women in Medicine Legacy Foundation. A short video of Dean Fried's work was presented at the Inserm awards ceremony. Watch it here. Other honors include Fondation IPSEN's 2012 Longevity Prize and the Alliance for Aging Research's inaugural 2011 "Silver Innovator Award" and their 2012 Silver Scholar Award. In 2004, the U.S. Congress named her a Living Legend in Medicine. In 2012, Fried was also profiled by The New York Times as one of 15 world leaders in science. Global publisher Thomson Reuters named her "one of the top one percent of the most influential scientific minds of the past decade" in 2014.
Fried is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences' National Academy of Medicine, and re-elected to serve on its executive council. Fried served as the 2016-17 President of the Association of American Physicians, the elected society of the U.S.'s leading physician scientists. She was the second dean of a School of Public Health to be President of AAP, the first being William Henry Welch in 1904. She is a member of the Aging Society Research Network and the Milken Institute's Center for the Future of Aging. An elected member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Fried was co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Futures Council on the Future of Human Enhancement and currently serves as a member of its Council of Human Longevity. She is the co-chair of the 2019-2020 National Academy of Medicine initiative for a Global Roadmap for Healthy Longevity.