Claire Fraser-Liggett Inducted In Maryland Women's Hall of Fame
Claire Fraser-Liggett, PhD, director of the Institute for Genome Sciences at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, is one of six trailblazing women who were inducted into the Maryland Women's Hall of Fame at an event in Annapolis on March 18.
The Maryland Women's Hall of Fame, established by the Maryland Commission for Women and the Women Legislators of Maryland in 1985, honors Maryland women who have made unique and lasting contributions to the economic, political, cultural, and social life of the state.
This event took place during National Women's History Month, a period to recognize and celebrate women's historic achievements as well as an opportunity to honor women within our families and communities.
The other inductees were Anne Catherine Hoof Green, entrepreneur, teacher, and publisher; Irene Morgan Kirkaldy, civil rights activist; Almira Hart Lincoln Phelps, pioneer for women's education; Bernice R. Sandler, EdD,MA, sometimes referred to as the "Godmother of Title IX," and Lillie Shockney, RN, MAS, a leader in the field of breast cancer treatment.
Fraser-Liggett was presented with the award by E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, acting president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore, (UMB) and dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Reece nominated her.
The annual event was held in the President's Conference Room East in the Miller Senate Office Building and is free and open to the public. Helen Holton, chair of the Maryland Commission for Women, officiated. Afterward, First Lady Katie O'Malley, JD, hosted a reception at Government House.
"I am truly humbled to be part of this most prestigious tradition. Scientists often focus on the global impacts of our research, but to be successful, we need to be working in an environment that nurtures our work. I am very fortunate that our Institute is part of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, a place that encourages innovative thinking and fosters women's leadership," said Fraser-Liggett, who serves as a faculty member in the departments of Medicine and Microbiology/Immunology at the School.
A Maryland resident for more than 25 years, Fraser-Liggett is a leader and pioneer in genomic medicine. Genomics, a term coined only 15 years ago, is the study not just of single genes, but also of the functions and interactions of all the genes in the genome.
In 2007, Fraser-Liggett launched the Institute for Genome Sciences at the UMB campus. She is also one of the most highly cited investigators in microbiology.
In 1995, Fraser-Liggett published the first complete genome sequence of a free-living organism, Haemophilus influenzae. This groundbreaking publication launched the field of microbial genomics.
She and her team also helped identify the source of the deadly 2001 anthrax attack in one of the biggest investigations conducted by federal law enforcement agencies.
Her work with infectious diseases and orphan diseases has significantly helped to improve the health of people in developing countries.