Marianne J. Legato, professor of clinical medicine, has received the 2002 Woman in Science Award from the American Medical Women's Association (AMWA). The award, sponsored by Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, is presented to a woman physician who has made exceptional contributions to medical science, especially in women's health, through her basic and/or clinical research, her publications, and leadership in her field.
The award was presented to Legato by Clarita Herrera, president of the American Medical Women's Association, at AMWA's annual meeting in San Antonio. "The impossible in today's medicine may be the reality of tomorrow in part due to the work of our Woman in Science Award recipient for 2002," Herrera said. " Legato's concern for humankind and her dedication to medicine brought about her achievements in medicine."
"I am deeply honored to have been chosen for this award by the American Medical Women's Association," said Legato. "The work we are doing at the Partnership for Women's Health and publishing in our peer-reviewed and indexed Journal of Gender-Specific Medicine is aimed at showing the relevance of gender to normal human function and the unique ways in which men and women experience disease. As a consequence of all we have learned about women's health, we are reconsidering and revising our essentially male models of health and illness. This award is a gratifying recognition of the importance of this 'new look' at how we should be practicing medicine."
Legato is the founder and director of the Partnership for Women's Health at Columbia. Founded in 1997, the Partnership is the first collaboration between academic medicine and the private sector focused solely on gender-specific medicine: the science of how normal human biology differs between men and women and of how the diagnosis and treatment of disease differs as a function of gender.
Legato is the founder and editor of the Journal of Gender-Specific Medicine, published for the scientific community and selected in 2001 by the National Library of Medicine and Elsevier Science to be indexed and included in their worldwide databases, MEDLINE and EMBASE. She is the author of "The Female Heart: The Truth About Women and Heart Disease," published by Simon and Schuster and winner of the 1992 American Heart Association's Blakeslee Award for the best book written for the lay public on cardiovascular disease. Her film, "Shattering the Myths: Women and Heart Disease," won a "Freddy" award, the first prize in the category of Women's Health at the 1995 International Health and Medical Film Festival. In 1997, she published "What Women Need to Know" (Simon and Schuster) and recently completed a third book for the lay public on gender-specific medicine called "Eve's Rib," to be published by Crown in May 2002. Legato is also editing "The Principles of Gender Specific Medicine," the first textbook on the subject for the physician, to be published by the Academic Press in 2003.
The American Medical Women's Association is a national organization of 10,000 women physicians and medical students dedicated to serving as the distinctive voice for women's health and the advancement of women in medicine. The association functions at the local, national, and international level to advance women in medicine and improve women's health.
The Woman in Science Award was first presented by the American Medical Women's Association in 1993. Previous recipients are: Nanette Kass Wenger, (1993); Suzanne W. Fletcher, (1994); Florence Haseltine, (1996); Olga Jonasson, (1997); Elizabeth Barrett Connor, (1998); Bernadine Healy, (1999); and Judith Lewis Herman, (2000).