Johns Hopkins internist and epidemiologist Neil R.
Powe, who has trained hundreds of 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 in the School of Medicine, will
receive a plaque in honor of the award on Wednesday, 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," said Myron Weisfeldt, the William Osler
Professor of Medicine and director of the Department
of Medicine at Johns 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 examining the effectiveness
of various technologies, including peritoneal dialysis and
Since joining the 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 the introduction of the first
instruction in health outcomes and effectiveness research
to the Johns Hopkins medical curricula; the course, taught
to master's and doctoral candidates (more than 60 students
annually) as well as to medical students, focuses on how
best to introduce new laboratory discoveries into clinical
practice and how best to monitor and evaluate them. 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.
Since being named in 1998 as director of Johns
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
"Fellow researchers describe Neil as the quarterback
of the team," said Weisfeldt, who is also 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."
Of the 38 clinical researchers personally trained by
Powe, who is co-director of the Division of Internal
Medicine, 25 have gone on to hold academic positions here
and at 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
Michael Klag, dean of the Bloomberg School of Public
Health; Daniel E. Ford, vice dean for clinical research at
the School of Medicine; and the leaders of the school's
Division of General Internal Medicine, Frederick Brancati,
and Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, Linda
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 with
the Howard University College of Medicine in Washington,
D.C., to identify promising young minority faculty, fellows
and medical school students for clinical research training
at Johns 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 graduated from Princeton in 1976 and earned his
medical degree at Harvard Medical School and his master's
in public health at Harvard School of Public Health, both
in 1981. He completed his master's in business
administration at the Wharton School of the University of
Pennsylvania in 1986.