On Monday, January 21, M.P.H. candidate Sonya Reid-Lawrence, M.D. received the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award. This award is given to a faculty or staff member in the School of Medicine, School of Nursing, or Vanderbilt University Medical Center who emulates the principles of King through his or her work. The award was presented to Dr. Reid-Lawrence at the Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Lecture during the annual MLK celebration by Jana Lauderdale, Ph.D., R.N. on the basis of her commitment to diversity and inclusion on and off campus. Sonya was chosen to receive this award because she represents the principles and virtues of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and seeks to improve the economic and health status of individuals.  

Dr. Reid-Lawrence is a Vanderbilt Master of Public Health student in the Global Health track, a clinical fellow in hematology/oncology, and a Level 4 Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Molecular and Genetic Epidemiology of Cancer (MAGEC) training program within the Department of Medicine, Divisions of Epidemiology and Hematology/Oncology. During her time in Nashville, she completed an internal medical residency and chief residency at Meharry Medical College. She has since come to Vanderbilt to further her training and research experience.  

Sonya is passionate and dedicated to improving health disparities in Nashville and Jamaica, where she grew up. Sonya is a first generation college graduate and the first physician in her family. She wishes to improve health disparities in oncology, particularly for young black women with breast cancer. Her research interests include breast cancer genomic and health care delivery for African American women with breast cancer.