Lucy Balian Rorke-Adams

Outstanding Achievement Award Recipient

Medical School, November 1, 2017

Lucy Balian Rorke-Adams received a bachelor of arts degree (1951) and a master of arts degree (1952) in psychology, College of Liberal Arts, and a bachelor of science in medicine (1955), and a doctor of medicine (1957) from the Medical School at the University of Minnesota. After completing her residency and a fellowship in anatomic pathology and neuropathology at Philadelphia General Hospital, she stayed on to work as a pathologist and ultimately, served as the first and only woman President of the Medical Staff until the hospital closed in 1977. She then moved on to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the nation’s first hospital devoted to the care of children, where she is credited with transforming the field of pediatric neuropathology. Rorke-Adams is the author of pioneering studies of the infant brain’s normal and abnormal development, childhood brain tumors, effects of inadequate oxygenation during the perinatal period, and various nervous disorders unique to children. Rorke-Adams is an early expert on Shaken Baby Syndrome. She has published 300 peer-reviewed papers, multiple chapters in textbooks, and two books. She is renowned for her excellence in teaching and for her innovative approach to translating basic science into clinical care. Rorke-Adams has served on editorial boards of leading journals, including the Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology, Brain Pathology, and Pediatric Neuroscience. She is the recipient of numerous honors, including being elected President of the American Association of Neuropathology and received that organization’s Bronze Plaque for Meritorious Contributions to Advancement in Neuropathology. She also has been awarded several honorary memberships in international neuropathology societies and in the American Society of Neuroradiology. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia established a named faculty chair in pediatric neuropathology in her honor in 2010. 

Biographies are as-of time of award presentation.