David Edwards

2007 Staff Recipient

David Edwards is the 2007 co-recipient of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award from Duke University. This award seeks to perpetuate the excellence of character and humanitarian service of Algernon Sydney Sullivan by recognizing and honoring such qualities in others.

Was it working for months with the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta that motivated David to envision a lifelong career helping the poor and underserved? Or it may have been the sight of emaciated, chronically ill individuals in India that propelled David into the pursuit of medicine. But it was in washing and powdering these weakened, fragile men in preparation for burial that he became aware of the importance of a warm, human touch. David has worked tirelessly and continuously to improve the wellbeing of citizens locally and in the global community. In New Mexico upon return from India he volunteered in an emergency room, at clinics for the homeless, and in the HIV positive population. He began his studies at the University of New Mexico learning about art, literature, ethics, public health, as well as hard sciences. And he did this well graduating Phi Beta Kappa before matriculating at the Duke University School of Medicine.

At Duke, David continued to impress people with his academic prowess and more so with his unflagging desire to influence the care of those in need. In his unusual, extended medical school career, David completed a Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship (2003-2004) a Fogarty-Ellison Research Fellowship (2004-2005), and obtained a Masters in Public Health degree in Epidemiology from UNC (2006). Somewhere in between these activities he spent two months at the World Health Organization in Geneva as a Duke Global Health Policy Fellow. Much of his focus has been in the field of infectious diseases and he has concentrated particularly on HIV and tuberculosis while doing medical missions in Haiti, Venezuela, South Africa, and Thailand.

David has been a great resource and role model for other students following him. He continues to be generous with his time and talent in both counseling and service activities. Duke University is pleased to add the Algernon Sydney Sullivan award to the list of prestigious honors (including notice recently that he is a Fulbright scholar) that have recognized his drive and talent to care for the poor and underserved of our global community.