Farmer is Named Kolokotrones University Professor


Harvard Medical School Dean Jeffrey Flier announced today that Paul Farmer has been named as the first incumbent to the Kolokotrones University Professorship.

Message from Dean Flier:

I am delighted to share the news that Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust today has announced the appointment of Paul Farmer, the HMS Maude and Lillian Presley Professor and chair of the HMS Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, to the Kolokotrones University Professorship. University professorships, Harvard’s highest professorial distinction, were created in 1935 to celebrate “individuals of distinction . . . working on the frontiers of knowledge, and in such a way as to cross the conventional boundaries of the specialties.”

Paul exemplifies this description, having built his career—in fact, his life—around the conviction that all the world’s people should have access to quality health care. He works to achieve that goal by forging the ideas and innovations of modern medicine—discovered in clinics, laboratories and classrooms—into tools that improve health care and its delivery to underserved and remote areas.

Widely recognized for his research in ethnography, the anthropology of epidemic disease, and human rights in the health arena, Paul also has made important contributions to the clinical literature on drug-resistant tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. His work with patients with HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis in Haiti, Peru and Rwanda has helped convince international health organizations that treatment and prevention can be successfully integrated into resource-poor settings.

Paul also serves as the chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and as a professor in the Department of Global Health and Population at the Harvard School of Public Health, and he is a leading figure in the Harvard Institute for Global Health. In addition, he is co-founder of Partners In Health, the international humanitarian organization that works cooperatively with communities to fight disease.

Paul is the first incumbent of the Kolokotrones University Professorship, which was established through a gift from Wendy and Theo Kolokotrones, MBA ’70. Only 23 of Harvard’s more than 12,000 faculty members now hold university professorships. For the complete announcement, see today’s Harvard Gazette.

Please join me in congratulating Paul on this richly deserved appointment.