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Douglas receives Black History Maker award

Dr. Frank Douglas, professor of the practice at the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology and executive director of the MIT Center for Biomedical Innovation in the MIT Schools of Management, Engineering and Science, is one of five recipients of the Associated Black Charities' 2007 Black History Makers Award.

Douglas will receive the award at an April 11 dinner ceremony in New York City.

Douglas, a world-renowned innovator in pharmaceutical research and development, has led the discovery, development and market launch of more than 20 drugs in his 22 years in the pharmaceutical industry.

In his current role leading MIT's Center for Biomedical Innovation, Douglas' mission is to transform the discovery, development, manufacture and distribution of cost-effective therapeutics and devices.

Among his many awards are the Heart of the Year Award from the Chicago Heart Association and the Louis B. Russell Memorial Award from the American Heart Association, both for Douglas's development of high blood pressure screening and control programs for black churches in Chicago.

After graduating cum laude from Lehigh University, Douglas earned a Ph.D. in physical chemistry and M.D. from Cornell University.

Douglas's Black History Maker Award is named for Percy L. Julian, who, despite personal and societal hurdles, became an outstanding organic and natural chemist. Julian was the first to synthesize physostigmine and to use soybeans to synthesize human steroids.

The Associated Black Charities is a federation of 14 member agencies who deliver health and human services in New York City. The other 2007 award recipients are Carla Harris, a managing director at Morgan Stanley; David A. Paterson, lieutenant governor of New York; Tony Dungy, head coach of the Indianapolis Colts; and Lovie Smith, head coach of the Chicago Bears.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on April 4, 2007 (download PDF).

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