Vivian W. Pinn, MD

Vivian W. Pinn, MD, was the first full-time director of the Office of Research on Women’s Health at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), beginning in 1991, and in 1994 she was also named associate director for research on women’s health (NIH), positions she held until her retirement in August 2011.  Since her retirement, she has been named as a Senior Scientist Emerita at the NIH Fogarty International Center.  She came to the NIH from Howard University College of Medicine, where she had been professor and chair of the Department of Pathology since 1982. In this position, she became the third woman to chair an academic department of pathology in the United States.  Dr. Pinn had previously held appointments at Tufts University and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Pinn is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 1995. A graduate of Wellesley College, she earned her M.D. from the University of Virginia School of Medicine, the only woman or minority in her medical school class.  She completed her post-graduate training in Pathology at the Massachusetts General Hospital.  Dr. Pinn has received 12 Honorary Degrees of Science, Law and Medicine, and the University of Virginia School of Medicine has named one of its four advisory medical student colleges in her name. Tufts University School of Medicine has named its Office of the Deans of Student Affairs for her at the time her former medical students dedicated a scholarship in her name. She served as President of the National Medical Association and is currently Chair of the NMA Past Presidents Council.  A special tribute by Senator Olympia Snowe on Dr. Pinn’s retirement was published in the Congressional Record in November 2011 commending her contributions during her NIH tenure. The Association of American Medical Colleges also awarded her a Special Recognition Award for exceptional leadership over a forty year career. She has received numerous honors and recognition, and has presented her perceptions of women’s health and health disparities, as well as challenges in biomedical careers, to audiences both nationally and internationally.