Felicia Marie Knaul First Economist Admitted to Mexican National Academy of Medicine

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Academy Vice President Teresita Corona, left, and President Armando Mancilla Olivares, right, formally induct Felica Marie Knaul into the Mexican National Academy of Medicine.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (July 6, 2017)—The University of Miami’s first lady, Felicia Marie Knaul, one of the hemisphere’s leading health care researchers, scholars, and advocates, has been selected for membership into the prestigious Mexican National Academy of Medicine.


Knaul, the director of the University of Miami Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas and professor at the Miller School of Medicine, is the first economist admitted to the academy, which was founded in 1864 to improve the health and needs of the Mexican population. She joins her husband, UM President Julio Frenk, the former health minister of Mexico, who was admitted to the academy in 1989. In addition, Knaul’s father-in-law, Dr. Silvestre Frenk, is an honorary academy member and served as its president in 1976.

This highly selective academy has admitted just over 1,100 members through its 150 years of existence. Knaul’s nomination, which represents a great honor and opportunity to serve and participate in the objectives of the health system in Mexico, acknowledges her professional trajectory, as well as her academic and research contributions, both in Mexico and globally, and opens new opportunities for collaboration between UM and Mexican researchers and clinicians.

An international health and social sector economist who has worked extensively in Latin America, Knaul has produced more than 190 academic and policy publications, including several papers on Mexico and health reform in The Lancet, where she co-authored the Commission Report on Women and Health. She currently chairs the Lancet Commission on Global Access to Palliative Care and Pain Control, which is slated to publish a major report in late 2017.

Knaul has strong ties and dedication to the health sector of Mexico. She founded the Mexican nonprofit Cáncer de Mama: Tómatelo a Pecho, which undertakes policy-oriented research and promotes advocacy, awareness, early detection and palliative care initiatives for breast cancer throughout Latin America. Since 1993, she has led a group of researchers anchored at the Mexican Health Foundation focused on health systems and health economics. She is also Honorary Research Professor of Medical Sciences at the National Institute of Public Health of Mexico (INSP).

“I am honored to have been inducted into the National Academy of Medicine of Mexico and reaffirm my commitment to advancing health research and advocating for health in the Americas,” Knaul said. “I look forward to forging even stronger links between the University of Miami and the stellar research community dedicated to health and health care in Mexico. ”

The induction ceremony for new members took place on June 28 in Mexico City.