ASPPH Research Excellence Award

The ASPPH Research Excellence Award recognizes faculty who have devoted their careers to investigating public health issues. The award is given annually to a full-time faculty member from an ASPPH- member, CEPH-accredited school or program of public health.

2021 Winner

Grace John-Stewart, MD, PhD, MPH

University of Washington School of Public Health

Dr. Grace John-Stewart is a Professor in the Departments of Global Health, Epidemiology, Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Washington. She has worked for the past >20 years on research aiming to contribute approaches to decrease infant HIV infections, improve pediatric and adolescent HIV outcomes, and improve maternal-child health in regions with high HIV prevalence. She has led molecular epidemiology studies, clinical trials, and implementation science trials in collaborative research based in Kenya. Following initial work on understanding mechanisms and prevention strategies for mother-to-child HIV transmission, her team has advanced research to guide care for women and children living with HIV as programs and treatments evolve. This includes research to improve timely diagnosis, growth, neurodevelopment, tuberculosis, and viral control in pediatric HIV, as well as how to best inform children of their diagnosis, help in their transition to independent adult care and to optimize their retention and viral control as adolescents. Her team is evaluating approaches to optimize viral suppression and prevent HIV in pregnant women. Dr. John-Stewart is a global expert in HIV research; she received the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation Scientist award for her research on mother-to-child HIV transmission. Studies from her group have helped to advance programs and policy in Kenya and globally, including expediting pediatric diagnosis, delivering PrEP in pregnancy, and improving HIV treatment.  She has contributed to >400 publications, many in high impact journals and has led numerous research grants, including from NIH, CDC and the Thrasher Foundation.  She currently serves on the Scientific Leadership Group of the NIH-funded IMPAACT Network which leads multi-site clinical trials on maternal, pediatric, and adolescent HIV.

Dr. John-Stewart is the Founding Director and now Co-Director of the University of Washington Global Center for Integrated Health of Women, Adolescents and Children (Global WACh). UW Global WACh makes scientific discoveries, cultivates leaders, and bridges disciplines to advance the tightly connected health and well-being of women, adolescents, and children. Lifecycle approaches that address connections between these populations and critical windows for intervention are the hallmark of research in this Center. Dr. John-Stewart is a founding member of the UW Kenya Research and Training Center (KRTC) and is on the leadership team of UW Center for AIDS Research (CFAR).

Dr. John-Stewart is committed to mentoring the next generation of public health researchers and has received awards for her mentoring of pre-doctoral and post-doctoral fellows. She has mentored over 100 trainees from Kenya and the US with a generational collaborative approach to mentorship.  Many of her former mentees are in leadership positions in academia and policy.