January 30, 2009

Light lands Thoracic Society award

Featured Image

Richard Light, M.D.

Light lands Thoracic Society award

Richard Light, M.D., professor of Pulmonary Medicine, has been awarded the 2009 Distinguished Achievement Award from the American Thoracic Society.

The award, established in 1994, is given to those who make outstanding contributions to fighting respiratory disease through research, education, patient care or advocacy.

Light is recognized for “seminal contributions in both clinical and laboratory research in pleural diseases and stellar contributions to teaching and education.”

“Richard is one of those extraordinary faculty who has the keen ability to make a lasting impression on clinical medicine,” said Eric Neilson, M.D., chair of the Department of Medicine. “It is an honor to have him working with our house staff and students here at Vanderbilt.”

“I am flabbergasted and very honored,” Light said. “It makes me realize how lucky I am. I was born with a reasonable brain, and the things I've done have turned out well.”

Light is an expert in pleural disease. In 1972, he developed Light's Criteria to separate the two types of pleural effusions, and the guidelines are still used today.

He is the author of 375 papers, mostly on pleural disease, and 12 books, including “Pleural Disease,” now in its fifth edition and considered by many to be the standard text of that field.

For Light, however, his global impact is most satisfying.

“I am most proud of people who have come to do research with me from other parts of the world and have returned home to become experts in pleural disease in their own countries,” he said.