ATS Member News


In June, Scott D. Halpern, MD, PhD, received the 2011 Alice S. Hersh New Investigator Award from Academy Health, at the organization’s annual research meeting. Since 1986, the organization has given the award to a health services scholar in the early stages of his or her research career who exhibits extraordinary potential for new discoveries. He is the first pulmonary and critical care physician to win this prestigious award. 

AcademyHealth recognized Dr. Halpern for his more than 50 research publications, many of which appeared in The New England Journal of Medicine, Annals of Internal Medicine and Journal of the American Medical Association. His work as a consultant to the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and several advisory committees to the Department of Health and Human Services was also cited.

An ATS member since 2006, Dr. Halpern is assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology at the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He also serves as deputy director of the Leonard David Institute Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics.

His research interests include the fair allocation of scarce healthcare resources, developing and testing innovative randomized clinical trial designs, and behavioral economic approaches to help patients make better decisions, including those regarding end-of-life care. Dr. Halpern’s work has been supported by the National Cancer Institute, Greenwall Foundation, National Institute on Aging, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and Society for Critical Care Medicine. He received the ATS Fellows Research award in 2008 and the ATS/Pfizer Research Grant in Pulmonary Hypertension in 2010, both of which supported his work exploring ways to improve the efficiency of randomized clinical trials of PAH therapies.



In June, David H. Roberts, MD, was appointed associate director of the Academy at Harvard Medical School, an institution that strives to advance physician and scientist education throughout the communities involved with Harvard Medical School. In this role, Dr. Roberts oversees outreach to hospital-based centers for education, develops mini-symposia and interhospital collaborative sessions, and directs a program focused on the peer observation of teaching. He also helps to supervise the Academy’s fellowship in medical education.

Dr. Roberts is assistant professor of medicine and clinical director of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), where he serves as an attending on the pulmonary consult and critical care services and in the pulmonary ambulatory clinic. At the Shapiro Institute for Medical Education and Research at BIDMC, where he is associate director, Dr. Roberts leads the BIDMC Academy for Medical Educators. At Harvard Medical School, he directs the respiratory pathophysiology section of the second-year human systems course, as well as BIDMC’s third-year principal clinical experience.

Dr. Roberts completed his undergraduate work in biochemistry at Cornell University in 1991 and earned his medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1995. He completed a residency in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care in the Combined Harvard Program. He was a Rabkin Fellow in Medical Education at BIDMC from 2003 to 2004 and a scholar in the Harvard Macy Program in 2008.

As a clinician-educator, Dr. Roberts studies the factors that motivate students to learn and designs new curricula to enhance students’ critical thinking skills. He has received a number of teaching excellence awards from his students at Harvard. An ATS member since 1998, Dr. Roberts currently serves as a member of both the ATS Education Committee and Patient and Family Education Committee.