Charles Drew University Executive Vice President Selected to be Research!America Ambassador

Charles Drew University Executive Vice President Selected to be Research!America Ambassador

Joins Distinguished Health Experts in Seeking Greater U.S. Investment in Global Health

LOS ANGELES—January 14, 2009 — Research!America honored Dr. Keith C. Norris, the executive vice president for Research and Health Affairs at Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science, by naming him an “ambassador” for the nonprofit organization’s Paul G. Rogers Society for Global Health Research.

The Rogers Society, named for the late Florida Congressman Paul G. Rogers (1921-2008), a champion for health research and Research!America chair emeritus, advocates for greater U.S. investment in research to fight diseases that disproportionately affect the world’s poorest nations.

Norris is among 25 new ambassadors for the Rogers Society. They will join 50 of their peers in Research!America’s Rogers Society in a united effort to build a national conversation around the value and importance of U.S.-funded global heath research.

These prominent advocates include experts in pediatrics, nursing and dentistry and specialize in critical areas, such as neglected and emerging tropical diseases, tuberculosis and polio. They were selected by an advisory council comprised of renowned leaders in science, public policy and communications, including four Nobel Laureates. Together with their peers, they will meet with policymakers to make the case for an increased U.S. investment in global health research.

“These ambassadors will be exceptional leaders in advocacy. Their example will serve as an inspiration for every global health researcher,” said the John Edward Porter, chair of the Rogers Society Advisory Council and Research!America board. “Paul Rogers’ spirit lives on through the work of each of these ambassadors. As he often said, without research, there is no hope.”

Dr. Norris is the second Rogers Society ambassador from Charles Drew University. Dr. Eric Bing, CDU’s director of International HIV programs, served in the same capacity two years ago.

“I see our nation reasserting itself as a global leader in unity with other nations through the promotion of health and wellness,” Dr. Norris said. “Ultimately, it is service informed by research and driven by passion that will be the key to our success.”

Dr. Norris is board certified by the American Boards of Internal Medicine and Nephrology and certified as a specialist in clinical hypertension by the American Society of Hypertension. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American Society of Nephrology and an active member of the National Kidney Foundation. He is also a member of the National Institutes of Health Study Sections (NCRR & NIDDK) and the NIH-NCRR Clinical Research Working Group.

Dr. Norris’ research interests focus on the prevention and early treatment of chronic kidney disease, with an emphasis on improving outcomes for African-American and Latino populations. Other areas include the role of vitamin D in chronic kidney disease, calcium management in end-stage renal disease and hypertension. He is currently a principal investigator on four National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants and co-investigator on several others.

“Dr. Norris is an exceptional individual,” said Dr. Susan Kelly, CDU’s President and CEO. “He is a strong advocate for affordable health care for the poor both nationally and internationally.”

CDU is a private nonprofit, nonsectarian, minority-serving medical and health sciences institution. Located in the Watts-Willowbrook area of South Los Angeles, CDU has graduated over 550 medical doctors, 2,500 post-graduate physicians, more than 2,000 physician assistants and hundreds of other health professionals.  The only dually designated Historically Black Graduate Institution and Hispanic Serving Health Professions School in the U.S. CDU is recognized as a leader in health inequities and translational research, specifically with respect to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, mental health, and HIV/AIDS. The University is among the top 7% of National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded institutions and rated one of the top 50 private universities in research in the U.S.  Recently, the CDU/UCLA medical program was named the “best performer” in the University of California System with respect to producing outstanding underrepresented minority physicians. For more information, visit

The Society was established in 2006 by Research!America with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Research!America works with the Ambassadors to maximize the effectiveness of their outreach to policy makers, opinion leaders and the media.
Research!America is the nation’s largest not-for-profit public education and advocacy alliance working to make research to improve health a higher national priority. Founded in 1989, it is supported by 500 member organizations, which represent more than 125 million Americans. For more information, visit


Linda H. Aiken, PhD, RN
Director, Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing

Michele Barry, MD
Professor of Medicine and Public Health
Yale University School of Medicine

Barry Beaty, PhD
University Distinguished Professor
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David Bloom, PhD
Chair, Department of Global Health and Population
Harvard School of Public Health

Jacquelyn Campbell, PhD, RN
Anna D. Wolf Chair and Professor
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Daniel G. Colley, PhD
Professor and Director
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Frank H. Collins, PhD
Clark Professor of Biology
University of Notre Dame

Walter R. Dowdle, PhD
Director, Poliovirus Antivirals Initiative
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Cyril O. Enwonwu, ScD, MDS, PhD
Professor of Biomedical Sciences, School of Dentistry
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Pierce Gardner, MD
Professor of Medicine and Public Health
Stony Brook University School of Medicine

Anne Goldfeld, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Immune Disease Institute
Harvard Medical School

Patricia Hibberd, MD, PhD
Director, Center for Global Health Research
Tufts University

Adnan A. Hyder, MD, PhD, MPH
Associate Professor
Johns Hopkins University
Bloomberg School of Public Health

James W. Kazura, MD
Director and Professor, Center for Global Health and Diseases
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

Kelli Kuhen, PhD
Senior Research Investigator
Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation

Richard R. Love, MD
Professor of Internal Medicine and Public Health
The Ohio State University College of Medicine

Carole D. Mitnick, ScD
Instructor in Global Health & Social Medicine
Harvard Medical School

Keith Norris, MD
Executive Vice President for Research and Health Affairs
Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science

Richard Parker, PhD
Professor and Chair, Department of Sociomedical Sciences
Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

Mark Rasenick, PhD
Director, Biomedical Neuroscience Training Program
University of Illinois Chicago College of Medicine

Scott Ratzan, MD
Vice President, Global Health
Johnson & Johnson

Steven G. Reed, PhD
Founder, Head of Research and Development
Infectious Disease Research Institute

Lee Reichman, MD, MPH
Executive Director, Global Tuberculosis Institute
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Mark L. Rosenberg, MD
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Mathuram Santosham, MD, MPH
Health Systems Program and Center for American Indian Health
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