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For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Ron Harris
Director of Communications
Office of University Communications

Health Sciences Sr. V.P. Receives Prestigious Heed Award
Dr. Eve J. Higginbotham
WASHINGTON  (Nov. 1) -- Dr. Eve J. Higginbotham, senior vice president and executive dean of Health Sciences at Howard University, received the prestigious Heed Award from the Society of Heed Fellows during the 2010 American Academy of Ophthalmology meeting in Chicago.  She is the first woman to receive the award in its 45-year history.

The Society of Heed Fellows is a charitable and educational foundation that provides funding for post-graduate studies in ophthalmology and the ophthalmic sciences and annually awards a former fellow for outstanding performance.

Recipients are awarded for major contributions to ophthalmology as an educator, clinician, and/or as investigator; outstanding original discoveries or investigations that have produced major advancements in the field of ophthalmology and long-term extraordinary and distinguished leadership service on behalf of ophthalmology.

Higginbotham, an internationally recognized expert in glaucoma and a Heed Fellow in 1983, is the 46th recipient of the award since its establishment in 1965. 

Higginbotham thanked the society and said the fellowship was an integral part of her professional growth.   It allowed her, she said, to work at the renowned Howe Laboratory of Ophthalmology at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary at Harvard Medical School under the tutelage of Dr. Tom Richardson, and to spend time working with Dr. Dick Simmons, who was affiliated with the laboratory.

“So, I was well prepared to join the faculty in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, then led by professor and chair Dr. Mort Goldberg,” she told the society last month upon receiving her award.

She also acknowledged the influence of a previous Heed Award honoree, Dr. Thom Zimmerman.  Zimmerman, who died last year, was Dr. Higginbotham’s first glaucoma teacher at Louisiana State University.

At Howard, Higginbotham oversees Howard University Hospital, the College of Medicine, the College of Dentistry, the College of Pharmacy, Nursing and Allied Health and the Health Sciences Library.

Howard University Health Sciences’ colleges and programs have awarded over 25,000 degrees and sent thousands of dedicated health professionals into communities across the United States and the world.
“Taking on this new leadership role, in my view, is a chance to grow vision research and ensure a secure place in the broader portfolio of current science and scholarship,” Higginbotham said.

Higginbotham has held several prestigious positions during her academic career, in addition to maintaining an active glaucoma practice.  Prior to Howard, she served as dean and senior vice president for Academic Affairs at the Morehouse School of Medicine, professor of Ophthalmology at the Emory Eye Center, chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Maryland, associate professor and assistant dean Faculty Affairs University of Michigan and the chief of the Glaucoma Clinic at the University of Illinois.

She has served as a Board Member Advisory Council of the National Eye Institute, Board of Trustees of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Board of Women in Ophthalmology, and the Helen Keller Foundation. 

She is the past president Maryland Society Eye Physicians, Alumni Council Harvard Medical School and current member of the Board of Overseers Harvard University.  She is a member of the Editorial Board of the Archives of Ophthalmology, the Institute of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in chemical engineering from MIT and her medical degree from Harvard Medical School.

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