Skip to main content

Welcome to our new website. We’re still fine-tuning things. If you experience any issues or would like to provide feedback, please contact us.

Alfred Sommer Awarded Thomas Francis Jr. Medal in Global Public Health


Alfred Sommer, MD, MHS, dean emeritus of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, is the recipient of the Thomas Francis Jr. Medal in Global Public Health from the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Sommer’s research into vitamin A deficiency has saved millions of children from blindness and death.

The Thomas Francis Jr. Medal in Global Public Health is awarded once every three to five years to individuals who have contributed to the significant advancement of global public health and is one of the University of Michigan’s highest honors. The medal is named after Dr. Thomas Francis Jr., who designed and directed field trials of the Salk polio vaccine. Sommer is second recipient of the award.

Sommer, who is also professor of epidemiology, international health and ophthalmology at the Bloomberg School and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, is a pioneer in vitamin A deficiency research. His findings and recommendations for vitamin A supplementation is known to be one of the most cost-effective of all health interventions.

Sommer will be presented with the medal at a ceremony on November  4 in Ann Arbor, Mich. He will also deliver the keynote speech "Vitamin A Deficiency, Health and Mortality,” to be followed by a panel discussion on policy issues, implementation strategies and the challenge of advocacy with regard to vitamin A supplementation.

Contact for Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Tim Parsons at 410-955-7619 or