May 06, 2015
Communications and Marketing
F. Marc LaForce, a member of the Class of 1960, received the 2015 Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Humanitarian Award. on Tuesday, May 6 in Bethesda, Md.
The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) selected the Saint Anselm chemistry alumnus for the award, which is presented annually to an individual who has had a positive impact on the health of humankind.
Previous recipients include Bill and Melinda Gates, former president Bill Clinton, John D. Rockefeller IV, Ted Turner, and General Colin Powell. Former president Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, were the first recipients, when the award was established in 1997.
According to the NFID, LaForce is recognized for being an outstanding leader in fighting national and global infectious diseases. He is recognized for "...his vision, tenacity, clinical and scientific expertise, and diplomacy in the development and implementation of the group A meningococcal vaccine in Africa."
Marc LaForce has battled some of the world's most serious human health challenges. As director of the Meningitis Vaccine Project at PATH (Program for Appropriate Technology for Health), he guided an international effort to eradicate one of Africa's most devastating epidemics, meningitis A. Presently, he is director of technical services for the Serum Institute of India, Ltd. He earned his medical degree at Seton Hall College of Medicine and Dentistry.
In 2012, LaForce was awarded the Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal Award in recognition of his contributions to improving world health.
LaForce was photographed by distinguished photographer Annie Leibovitz in a portrait titled "Vaccine Heroes" for The Art of Saving a Life. The Art of Saving a Life is sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
From Portraits Magazine: The Right to Decent Health
In a career that is in its fifth decade, Marc LaForce has been a malaria tracker, a "smallpox warrior," a professor, clinician, researcher, administrator, and fund raiser. His work has taken him from New Mexico to the Mekong River to remote African villages, as well as to the halls of academe and the World Health Organization (WHO). These days, he is likely to be found at the podium addressing an international meningitis conference in London or teaching an advanced level vaccinology course in India.
Read our 2011 profile of Dr. LaForce on the Portraits Magazine blog.