Distinguished York Alum to Address Class of 2023

Deborah Persaud MD, an internationally-known Pediatric AIDS Researcher and member of the Class of 1981, will be this year’s speaker. She will also be presented with the Presidential Medal of Honor, by Dr. Berenecea Johnson Eanes, president.

A professor of pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Dr. Persaud’s research interests include HIV/AIDS drug development and mother-to-child HIV transmission. She holds joint appointments in international health and molecular microbiology. She is also chair of the Scientific Committee of the International, Pediatric Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials (IMPAACT) group.

The York Chemistry graduate specializes in the study and treatment of HIV-1 infection in children and directs the pediatric infectious diseases fellowship program at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. For her groundbreaking work, Dr. Persaud was awarded the Elizabeth Glaser Scientist Award for HIV research; and recognized by “Nature” magazine in 2013 as “One of Ten People Who Mattered This Year,” and in “Time” magazine’s “100 Most Influential People of 2013” for her pediatric HIV treatment research.”

As an undergraduate, Dr. Persaud was primarily mentored by the late Chemistry Professor Paul Young and conducted a semester’s worth of research in the microbiology lab of Dr. Leslie Lewis. The science scholar went on to earn her medical degree from the New York University School of Medicine and trained in pediatrics at Babies Hospital/Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City, where she was chief resident.

York College is excited to have this distinguished member of its alumni community return to encourage the Class of 2023. We look forward to hosting Dr. Persaud at UBS Arena, where the Commencement exercises will be held.