James Gavin III

Harold Amos retiring NPO Director James Gavin III.

Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program: Going Strong at 30 Years

The Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program (AMFDP) observed its 30th anniversary in 2013. Formerly known as the Minority Medical Faculty Development Program, AMFDP was created to increase the number of faculty from historically disadvantaged backgrounds who can achieve senior rank in academic medicine or dentistry, and who will foster the development of succeeding classes of such physicians and dentists.

Since AMFDP opened its doors in 1983, approximately 250 scholars have completed the four-year fellowship, many going on to make significant contributions to medical science and advancing to leadership positions at major medical institutions across the country.

The program has grown and prospered under the exemplary leadership of Harold Amos, PhD, and James R. Gavin III, MD, PhD. Dr. Gavin formally stepped down in 2013 after serving as the national program director for 20 years. He "passes the torch" to David S. Wilkes, MD, a Harold Amos Program alumnus (1991) and executive associate dean for research affairs and August M. Watanabe Professor of Medical Research at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

30th Anniversary Celebration

30th Anniversary Celebration

Program Highlights

  • Following their time in the program, more than three-quarters of Harold Amos scholars remain in academic medicine, including 57 professors, 76 associate professors, and 56 assistant professors. (Read about Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa and Selwyn Vickers.)
  • Many program alumni have earned professional honors and become influential leaders in the health care field. For example, three alumni are directors at the National Institutes of Health, and ten have been elected to the Institute of Medicine. (Read about NIH directors Gary Gibbons, Griffin Rodgers, and Roderic Pettigrew.)
  • Alumni have received hundreds of awards and honors, including a MacArthur Fellowship "Genius" award and the NIH Director's New Innovator Award. (Read about Lisa Cooper and Levi Garraway.)
  • Alumni have assumed positions of influence and leadership in academia that enable them to help correct the underrepresentation of minorities in the health professions and address health disparities.
  • Alumni are officers of professional societies and members of editorial boards of academic journals.
  • A significant number of AMFDP alumni have been cited by Black Enterprise as "leading black doctors in the country."
Vanessa Grubbs, MD

Vanessa Grubbs, MD
AMFDP Scholar (2011)

"The Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program has allowed me to launch my research program and exposes me to wide network of academic leaders and mentors."


Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa, MD

Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa, MD
AMFDP Alumnus (2007)

"As a member of the Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program, I have had to opportunity to collaborate with many brilliant minds. The program’s support for my research at the Brain Tumor Stem Cell Research Laboratory has been invaluable and has helped us on our quest to find the end for brain cancer. It has been a true honor and privilege to be part of such a wonderful program."


Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, PhD, MD

Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, PhD, MD
AMFDP Alumna (2003)

"What an amazing gift to be included in such a wonderfully talented group of junior faculty from across the country engaged in the same career path! The peer mentorship and support is such an invaluable aspect of this program, as is the access to the extraordinary depth of knowledge, commitment and support from the very wise members of the program's national advisory committee."