The Student Assembly Public Health Mentoring Award, which recognizes the essential role of mentoring in public health and leadership development, was given to Lora Fleming, MD, PhD, MPH, MSc.
She is a board certified occupational and environmental health physician and epidemiologist with more than two decades of experience in environmental and occupational exposures and human health. As professor in both the Miller School of Medicine and the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences of the University of Miami, she has mentored many undergraduate and graduate students in occupational and environmental health research and training. Dr. Fleming is now a professor and Director of the European Centre of Environment and Human Health, and chair of Oceans, Epidemiology and Human Health at the University of Exeter Medical School in Truro, Cornwall, the United Kingdom.
As a physician and epidemiologist, Fleming works in the areas of oceans and human health, and in healthy and sustainable workplaces. She has performed research with colleagues in the human health exposures and effects of harmful algal bloom toxins and microbial pollution, and on health disparities in the workplace. She also has created outreach and education materials concerning the human health effects of marine and freshwater natural toxins and occupational health issues.
Fleming is a member of the European Science Foundation Marine Board Oceans and Human Health White Paper Group, the Scottish Association for Marine Sciences Board, and the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Scientific Advisory Board to the NIEHS Gulf Oil Study.
Graduate student Tainya Clarke MPH MS of the University of Miami summed up Fleming’s professional influence on students this way: “The old adage, ‘if you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime’ best captures the essence of Dr. Fleming’s mentorship approach. And not only does Dr. Fleming teach you how to fish, she makes sure you have the ‘pole and bait’ to get started.” Funded by the National Cancer Institute, Clarke is using the National Health Interview Survey (NHS) to portray cancer disparities among working survivors in the United States.
Said postdoctoral research fellow Alberto Caban-Martinez, DO, PhD, MPH, CPH, of the Harvard School of Public Health, “Whether advising federal commissions on issues related to occupational health, counseling a public health student on career options, or baking cookies to help our public health graduate students raise money for organizational programming, Dr. Fleming has been there for us graduate students.”