Dr. Mary Ellen Avery (1927–2011) was a pioneering scientist and pediatrician. In 1957, on a research fellowship at Harvard, Dr. Avery discovered the major cause of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), which paved the way for the creation of the modern neonatal intensive care unit and continues to save hundreds of thousands of lives. In addition, she was the first female physician-in-chief at Boston Children’s hospital, the first woman to chair a major department at Harvard Medical School, a recipient of the National Medal of Science and proponent of solutions to global health problems such as the polio vaccine. During her long and illustrious career, Dr. Avery mentored innumerable young men and women including the Clinic for Special Children’s co-founder, Dr. D. Holmes Morton.
In honor of the legacy of Dr. Mary Ellen Avery, the Avery fellowship was established in 2012. The fellowship includes up to one year at our unique practice, working to solve complex medical problems with a focus on clinical applications and regional public health. Avery Fellows hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree with specific training and interest in one or more of the following areas: pediatrics, genetics, bioinformatics, newborn screening, and public health. We want Avery Fellows to think about the life and work of a physician-scientist in underserved communities before they become immersed in the culture of the modern medical system.
2012-2013 – Kiri E. Sunde
2013-2014 – Abigail R. Benkert
2014-2015 – Aarti P. Rao