Internationally known for her research on the immune system’s response to vaccinations, Anne De Groot, who earned her medical degree from the University of Chicago, has used the genome-to-vaccine approach to solve some of the world’s biggest infectious disease problems. Her biotech company EpiVax and her academic Institute for Immunology and Informatics are collaborating on vaccines for tuberculosis, HIV-AIDS, hepatitis C, dengue fever, cervical cancer, and smallpox. First at Brown University and, currently at the University of Rhode Island, she has introduced the next generation of researchers to the field. In addition to founding EpiVax, De Groot has dedicated her medical and research skills to expanding the availability of vaccines by founding the Global Alliance to Immunize Against AIDS Vaccine Foundation, which collaborates with clinics and laboratories in Mali, West Africa, and she co-founded the Clinica Esperanza (Hope Clinic), a community health center that offers free medical care and preventive health services to Rhode Island residents.
The Smith College Medal, designed by art professor Elliot Offner in 1988, depicts the Grécourt Gates and the Smith College motto, To Virtue, Knowledge.