The University of Cincinnati College of Medicine has awarded its highest honor, the Daniel Drake Medal, to two members of the Cincinnati Children’s family.

The Daniel Drake Medal, established in 1985, is given annually to living faculty or alumni for their outstanding and unique contributions to medical education, scholarship and research. This year’s recipients are Uma Kotagal, MBBS, MSc, executive director of the James M. Anderson Center for Health Systems Excellence at Cincinnati Children’s and UC professor of pediatrics; and Fred Finkelman, MD, professor of medicine and pediatrics and investigator and clinician at the Cincinnati Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center and researcher at Cincinnati Children’s.

Uma Kotagal, MBBS, MSc

Kotagal received her medical degree from the University of Bombay in 1971 and served as an intern, resident and neonatal fellow at Detroit General Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Michigan. She joined the faculty of the UC College of Medicine Department of Pediatrics in 1977 following two years at UC and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center as a postdoctoral trainee. Currently executive director of the James M. Anderson Center for Health Systems Excellence, Kotagal is an internationally recognized leader in improving child health. A member of the Institute of Medicine, she pioneered early demonstrations and experiments in closing health care gaps and led the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Pursuing Perfection initiative at Cincinnati Children’s.

Fred Finkelman, MD

Finkelman earned his medical degree from Yale University in 1971 and completed his residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Following an appointment with the Public Health Service and a fellowship in Dallas, he served for 18 years with Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda. In 1995, Finkelman was named McDonald Professor of Medicine and director of the UC Division of Immunology, Allergy and Rheumatology, a position he held for 10 years. He is an investigator and clinician at the Cincinnati Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He also has an appointment at Cincinnati Children’s. A fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Finkelman has made critical contributions to our understanding of B lymphocyte activation, immunoglobulin isotype switching, host defense, antigen presentation, and anaphylaxis and food allergy.

Finkelman and Kotagal received their medals May 23. Their names, along with biographies and photos, have been added to the Daniel Drake Medal exhibit in the Medical Sciences Building on UC’s medical campus.