2021 VIRTUAL annual Awards gala
Join SWHR in celebrating achievements, advancements, & innovations in women’s health.
2021 Award Winners
Lotus Mallbris, MD, PhD
Dr. Mallbris is the Vice President and Global Head of Immunology Product Development at Eli Lilly and Co. As head of immunology at Lilly, she is working to improve the lives of millions of women with autoimmune diseases by furthering innovation in health care and solving problems for patients. Dr. Mallbris is a passionate executive leader who brings a unique perspective to the industry as she began her career as a trained physician and has diverse experience across the spectrums of patient care, academic research, pharmaceutical drug development and global medical affairs.
She joined Lilly in 2015 and leads the company’s multifunctional Global Clinical Development and Global Medical Affairs teams across the dermatology, rheumatology, and gastroenterology fields. Before joining Lilly, she spent several years at Pfizer and held leadership positions within the dermatology business. Prior to joining the corporate world, Dr. Mallbris was a practicing physician for more than 10 years, starting her career as a surgeon before transitioning to the field of dermatology. Her decision to shift from academia and practicing as a dermatologist to joining a biopharmaceutical company was rooted in her desire to help more patients and bring them the treatments they need.
Dr. Mallbris has always been devoted to patients and found caring for them incredibly rewarding, but recognized an opportunity to take that devotion to the next level by joining the companies working to create the innovative solutions needed to help patients around the world. She continues to be an active member of multiple external immunology research advisory boards that focus on public health and epidemiology, bridging the external state-of-the-art research with Lilly.
Valerie Montgomery Rice, MD, FACOG
As President and Dean of the Morehouse School of Medicine, Dr. Montgomery Rice provides a valuable combination of experience at the highest levels of patient care and medical research, as well as organizational management and public health policy. She is the sixth president of Morehouse School of Medicine and the first woman to lead the freestanding medical institution. A renowned infertility specialist and researcher, she most recently served as dean and executive vice president of Morehouse School of Medicine, where she has served since 2011.
Prior to joining Morehouse, Montgomery Rice held faculty positions and leadership roles at various health centers. Most notably, she was the founding director of the Center for Women’s Health Research at Meharry Medical College, one of the nation’s first research centers devoted to studying diseases that disproportionately impact women of color. Through membership and Board service, Montgomery Rice lends her experience to organizations that enhance pipeline opportunities for academically diverse learners, diversifies the physician and scientific workforce, and fosters equity in health care access and health outcomes. She is a former SWHR Board member and has received numerous accolades and honors.
A Georgia native, she holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology, a medical degree from Harvard Medical School, an honorary degree from the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and a Doctor of Humane Letters honorary degree from Rush University. She completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Emory University School of Medicine and her fellowship in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Hutzel Hospital.
Nora D. Volkow, MD
Dr. Volkow is the Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which supports most of the world’s research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction. Her scientific research was instrumental in demonstrating that drug addiction is a disease of the human brain, and her work at NIDA has promoted research that improves the prevention and treatment of substance use disorders.
As NIDA director, Dr. Volkow has worked to create an inclusive environment for women researchers to thrive and championed research on biological sex differences. NIDA’s Women and Sex/Gender Differences Research Group works to support the careers of women scientists, as well as to promote conduct, translation, and dissemination of research on sex and gender differences in substance use disorders and responses to drugs of abuse.
As a research psychiatrist, Dr. Volkow pioneered the use of brain imaging to investigate the toxic and addictive effects of abusable drugs. Her studies documented disruption of the dopamine system in addiction with its consequential functional impairment of frontal brain regions involved with motivation, executive function and self-regulation. She has also made important contributions to the neurobiology of obesity and ADHD.
Dr. Volkow has published more than 820 peer-reviewed articles, written more than 100 book chapters and non-peer-reviewed manuscripts, co-edited a Neuroscience Encyclopedia, and edited four books on neuroimaging for mental and addictive disorders.