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Dec. 19, 2016

MSU’s Terrie Taylor honored with Ben Kean award

Terrie Taylor, internationally recognized malaria expert in the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Michigan State University, was recently awarded the Ben Kean Medal by the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

The Ben Kean Medal is awarded every three years to a clinician or educator whose dedication to clinical tropical medicine keeps with the tradition established by Ben Kean, a renowned clinical professor of tropical medicine and professor of public health at Cornell University. 

For 30 years, Taylor has spent half of each year in Malawi studying the impact of and providing care to children with cerebral malaria. During this time, she has trained multiple generations of students, residents and fellows interested in tropical medicine. Trainees interested in malaria come from all over the world and all disciplines to work with Taylor and learn the fundamentals of tropical medicine and severe malaria.

While in Malawi, Taylor and her team discovered what causes death in children with cerebral malaria, the deadliest form of the disease. The groundbreaking study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Taylor is an exceedingly accomplished mentor and a superb role model, interested in people, their histories, dilemmas and future opportunities,” said Lauren Cohee, University of Maryland School of Medicine, who presented the award. “She facilitates clinical rotations for MSU medical students in Malawi, welcoming them into her home and work at the hospital. She manages them through their personal, work and international challenges, playing both the advisor and the caring den mother.”

According to Justin McCormick, associate dean for Research and Graduate Studies at MSU, “Dr. Taylor is without doubt, the lead clinical investigator in the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Michigan State University. What is not obvious is how Terrie has been a mentor to numerous other faculty at MSU and other institutions. MSU’s extensive medical research programs in Africa, specifically, Malawi, Uganda and Zambia are all the results of Terrie’s initial research project.”

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