Robert Suskind & Leslie Lewinter-Suskind Faculty & Medical Student Global Health Award, 2024

 Please join us for a celebration as we honor Dr.Thirumurthy and Papa K. Morgan-Asiedu

photo of Harsha and Papa



The Annual Robert Suskind, C’59, M’63 and Leslie Lewinter-Suskind Faculty & Medical Student Prize in Global Health

In 2013, Penn alum Robert Suskind, MD (C’59, M’63) and his wife, Leslie Lewinter-Suskind, MSS, MFA, generously endowed an annual award recognizing the graduating medical student who demonstrates a commitment to addressing critical global health challenges in their medical career. To complement this prize, in 2021, Bob and Leslie endowed another prize for a PSOM faculty member who exemplifies their lifelong commitment to improving global health and access to care through training partnerships, research, or clinical work.

A celebration for this year’s recipients will be held on Thursday, May 16 at 12:00 PM EDT in 253 Biomedical Research Medical Building (BRB), with a virtual option. We are thrilled that Bob and Leslie will be in attendance with us this year!

Meet the 2024 Winners!

RSVP here.


Harsha Thirumurthy, PhD

Dr. Thirumurthy is a Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the Perelman School of Medicine, Interim Division Chief of Health Policy, Associate Director, Center for Health Incentives & Behavioral Economics (CHIBE), Co-Director, Penn Research Development Initiative (PDRI) and Co-Director, Behavioral Economics and Global Health Insights (BEGIN) Lab. His commitment to improving lives around the world by applying principles of behavioral economics to critical global health challenges, such as improving HIV and malaria outcomes through low-cost and innovative interventions, spans his entire career. From his time as a doctoral student through his interdisciplinary research today, Dr. Thirumurthy has had a tremendous, big-picture impact on two of the historically largest burdens of infectious disease areas in multiple lower-resourced countries (LMICs). Commendably, he has begun applying his expertise to the areas of environmental health and non-communicable disease in LMICs at a time when there is an opportunity to mitigate disastrous consequences from these rapidly increasing global health threats. 

His impressive research collaborations spanning clinicians, epidemiologists, partner country researchers, and multilateral and bilateral organizations as well as policymakers exemplify the change-making power of rich interdisciplinary engagement. His approach serves as a model for us all and embodies the Penn spirit of combining collaborative innovation with global citizenry. Critically, his devotion to training Penn and LMIC students and junior researchers will continue to elevate the role that health and behavioral economics play in improving global health outcomes for generations to come.


Papa Kwadwo Morgan-Asiedu, MD(c), MPH

Having grown up in Accra Ghana, Papa came to medical school with a very strong interest in global health. Between his 3rd and 4th year, Papa earned an MPH from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. At Harvard Papa worked as a fellow of the Global Surgery Foundation, a UN affiliate that partners with governments to strengthen surgical systems. He also served as a research affiliate of the Harvard Global Orthopedics Collaborative. In Papa’s first years at Penn, he was the president of the Penn Global Surgery Group and was a member of the Global Health Student Advisory Council. Before coming to Penn, Papa spent 2 years working with the Duke Human Vaccine Institute; work which he was able to continue into his first 2 years of medical school. A published researcher, Papa plans to train in orthopedic surgery and hopes to continue to work toward improving the standard of pediatric and surgical care on his home continent.

About Bob Suskind and Leslie Lewinter-Suskind

Robert Suskind and Leslie Lewinter met in 1962, during Bob’s third year of medical school when, as a Smith-Klein-French fellow, he was to spend the summer in Cameroon. Since the beginning of their marriage, which they spent in the Peace Corps in Senegal, they have lived, worked and traveled together on every continent except Antarctica (so far!), including taking their four children out of school for a year to travel the globe, observing medical care internationally.

Robert Suskind, MD graduated from the University of Pennsylvania College/Wharton ('59) and Medical School ('63). After pediatric residency at Johns Hopkins, he became Field Director of MALAN, an NIH-funded project in Chiang Mai, Thailand, initiating his research on malnutrition's effect on the immune system and the optimal treatment of the malnourished child. His MIT-Boston Children's PhD program in clinical nutrition for pediatricians was pivotal in raising awareness of nutrition’s importance in clinical medicine. Dr. Suskind’s international experiences include Director of the ICDDRB in Bangladesh and advisor to the Patan Academy of Health Sciences in Kathmandu, Nepal. He has been a Chairman of Pediatrics for twenty years and Dean of three medical schools.

Leslie Lewinter-Suskind received her BS from Penn State, an MSS from Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research and an MFA from UNO. After Senegal, she directed an inner-city program under the OEO ("War on Poverty"), followed by a study determining the need for infant care centers in the barriadas of Lima, Peru for Johns Hopkins. As Director of Applied Nutrition at MALAN, she set up follow-up, etiology and intervention studies in childhood malnutrition in the villages surrounding Chiang Mai. At LSU, she directed the International Program for the Departments of Psychiatry and Pediatrics.