Photo of Dean Fried and the David Rall Medal on a background of blue and purple

National Academy of Medicine Honors Dean Linda P. Fried

October 9, 2023

The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) honored Linda P. Fried, dean and DeLamar Professor of Public Health at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, and John E.I. Wong, executive director of the Center for Population Health at National University of Singapore, with its prestigious David Rall Medal.

Dean Fried is world renowned for her scientific leadership on aging and healthy longevity. She established frailty as a new clinical syndrome and identified novel opportunities for its prevention. She has been widely honored for her accomplishments, including, recently, with France’s Legion of Honor.

Bestowed at the organization’s annual meeting on October 8, the David Rall Medal recognizes the recipients’ “distinguished leadership” and “remarkable success” as co-chairs of the NAM’s first Grand Challenge, the Global Roadmap for Healthy Longevity initiative. The NAM announcement notes that Dean Fried “has a long history of commitment to NAM and the field of public health and aging, and Wong has led national efforts in aging, cancer, and precision medicine.”

The David Rall Medal is named after the late David Rall, the former director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, from 1971-1990, who pioneered efforts to identify and understand environmental factors impacting human health, notably founding the National Toxicology Program in 1978.

The NA M announcement continues:

As co-chairs, Fried and Wong worked tirelessly to fulfill and enhance the vision for the grand challenge, driving its far-ranging approach and showing careful consideration in selecting the first topic on which to focus. Beginning in 2019, Fried and Wong worked synergistically through three years of report development—including leading the committee during a global pandemic, pausing at times to allow the committee’s public health experts to focus on COVID-19 in their home nations—and publishing their groundbreaking report in August 2022. Their innovative approach to the roadmap started with a vision for healthy longevity in 2050, and then worked to determine the changes needed to make that vision a reality. They held three global workshops, ran several working groups, and conducted consultations with regional experts. The committee’s work has already had a significant impact—with launch events held in Singapore, the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Japan, and China, and planning underway for events in Africa and Latin America. The report has received international recognition and continues to shape the development of the NAM’s other grand challenges.


Edward Shortliffe, adjunct professor and chair emeritus, Department of Biomedical Informatics, Columbia University; and Kenneth Olden, director emeritus, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, were also honored at the NAM meeting.

“The decades of service and generosity these members have shown to the NAM make them remarkably deserving of this recognition,” said National Academy of Medicine President Victor J. Dzau. “From advancing healthy longevity around the globe to reshaping environmental health and leading NAM initiatives, it is an honor for us to recognize these individuals’ expertise, hard work, and diligence—all in the name of advancing health and science to new frontiers.”