June 29, 2021

Edwards among Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame Inductees

Kathryn Edwards, MD, is among a new set of inductees into the Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame.


by Holly Fletcher

Kathryn Edwards, MD

Kathryn Edwards, MD, is among a new set of inductees into the Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame.

Edwards, the Sarah H. Sell and Cornelius Vanderbilt Endowed Chair in Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, is an honoree in the 2020 class of inductees.

A member of the National Academy of Medicine, Edwards’ work focuses on the evaluation of vaccines for the prevention of infectious diseases in adults and children. She has led many of the pivotal clinical trials of vaccines licensed in the past several decades and has played a major role in their implementation.

The 2020 Hall of Fame induction ceremony was postponed due to the pandemic, during which time Edwards’ expertise and long-held commitment to mentorship and professional development fortified Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s research, surveillance and media response.

For many years Edwards was the principal investigator for a Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit (VTEU) funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and has received continuous support from the NIH and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for decades. She has published more than 650 research publications, many with her trainees and mentees. Previous honors include the 2018 Maxwell Finland Award for Scientific Achievement from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.

Mentoring young investigators in research also has been a passion, and Edwards has received mentorship awards from VUMC, the Society for Pediatric Research, and the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

With a mission to honor men and women who have made significant and lasting contributions to the health and health care industries, the Hall of Fame was created in 2015 by Belmont University, the McWhorter Society and the Nashville Health Care Council, a founding partner. Honorees for 2020 and 2021 will be inducted at a ceremony in October.

Since its creation, the Hall of Fame has previously inducted seven members with ties to Vanderbilt:

  • David Barton, MD
  • Monroe Carell Jr.
  • Stanley Cohen, PhD
  • Colleen Conway-Welch, PhD
  • Carol Etherington, MSN, RN
  • John Flexner, MD
  • William Frist, MD
  • Ernest Goodpasture, MD
  • Harry Jacobson, MD
  • Stanford Moore, PhD
  • William Schaffner, MD
  • Mildred Stahlman, MD