CHICAGO — The American Medical Association (AMA) presented Carolyn C. Meltzer, M.D., an internationally recognized imaging scientist, academic administrator, and social justice advocate from Atlanta, with the Distinguished Service Award. Established in 1938 as one of the AMA’s highest honors, the Distinguished Service Award is presented for meritorious service in the science and art of medicine.

Dr. Meltzer was chosen by the AMA as an exceptional scholar whose cross-disciplinary imaging research advanced the neurobiological understanding of neuropsychiatric disorders that disproportionately affect women, such as late-life depression and Alzheimer’s disease. Her functional imaging study validated the effects of normal aging on the brain’s serotonin neurotransmitter system and evaluated the role of neurochemical mechanisms in age-related neuropsychiatric disease.

“The development of innovative imaging methods by Dr. Meltzer has contributed to the science and art of medicine by advancing the assessment and treatment of age-related disorders related to brain function and chemistry,” said AMA President Gerald E. Harmon, M.D. “She is a scholar and physician leader whose work in medical science and social advocacy has enhanced patient care and promoted equity and inclusion in the medical profession.”

As a catalyst for diversity, equity, and inclusion, Dr. Meltzer has promoted social justice as a necessary element for sustained excellence in health care. Her expertise in implicit bias and systemic organizational biases that disadvantage underrepresented gender, ethnic and minoritized groups in medicine has inspired and benefitted many.

Dr. Meltzer is currently the William P. Timmie Professor and chair of the Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences, executive associate dean of faculty academic advancement, leadership and inclusion and chief diversity and inclusion officer at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. She received her medical degree from The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and completed her postdoctoral medical training at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

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The American Medical Association is the physicians’ powerful ally in patient care. As the only medical association that convenes 190+ state and specialty medical societies and other critical stakeholders, the AMA represents physicians with a unified voice to all key players in health care.  The AMA leverages its strength by removing the obstacles that interfere with patient care, leading the charge to prevent chronic disease and confront public health crises and, driving the future of medicine to tackle the biggest challenges in health care.

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