ISPOR Marilyn Dix Smith Leadership Award

Karen Rascati

Karen Rascati, PhD, RPh
Professor, University of Texas College of Pharmacy
Austin, TX, USA

About Award

Marilyn Dix Smith, the Founding Executive Director of ISPOR, conceived of and built the society using personal funds, credit cards, and immense vision, with support from a modest number of persons committed to pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research.  ISPOR is a multinational Society that serves as a scientific platform for discussion and exchange among academics, policy makers, industry, governmental bodies, health care providers, payers and the public. One of the defining characteristics of ISPOR is its commitment to being a “self-governed” organization that identifies and encourages leadership from its members, providing a wide range of leadership opportunities across a number of organizational tasks.  These opportunities can provide its members with new experiences in leadership that foster career growth and build a sense of ownership to the Society.  This idea--that ISPOR would identify, support, and develop leadership--was one of the core principles of Marilyn’s vision.  In recognition of this vision, and in honor of Marilyn’s skills in developing ISPOR into its current status as the premier international Society supporting pharmacoeconomics, outcomes research, and related disciplines, the Marilyn Dix Smith Leadership Award recognizes one individual each year that has provided extraordinary leadership to the Society. 

The ISPOR Marilyn Dix Smith Leadership Award is international in scope and stature. The Award recognizes one individual each year that has provided extraordinary leadership to the Society.  It will be presented on a frequency determined by the ISPOR Marilyn Dix Smith Leadership Award Committee, but not more than one time per year.

The recipient of this award will have shown consistent, broad, and meaningful direction to ISPOR in a leadership role. Current and past Presidents are not eligible for leadership activities during their term as president-elect, president, and past-president. In addition to their service, this individual will have gone beyond the requirements of their position(s), showing true vision and commitment that has made a lasting and positive impact on the Society.  Current and future members of ISPOR will have a richer experience as a result of this individual’s actions. Nominees must be a member of ISPOR in good standing for at least 5 years. Self-nominations are discouraged.  Deceased persons are not eligible for the Award.  However, should the recipient die prior to receiving the Award, it may be presented posthumously.

A candidate may only be nominated for one major ISPOR award in a year.

Nomination Process:
A call for nominations will be advertised in the Value & Outcomes Spotlight, on the ISPOR website, and any other appropriate journal/newsletter. Nominations may be made by any ISPOR member.  Members may nominate more than one person. All nominations must include:

  • a letter of recommendation indicating the reason for nomination
  • the nominee’s contribution to the Society and its mission
  • the nominee's curriculum vitae

Selection Process:
The Awards Committee Chair selects the Marilyn Dix Smith Leadership Award Committee (MDSLAC) Chair. ISPOR members are asked to volunteer for MDSLAC. The MDSLAC Chair will select several volunteers. The MDSLAC selects the recipient by reviewing the materials submitted for each nominee and determining the overall impact of his or her contributions to the Society.  The MDSL Award is targeted towards demonstrated value to the Society and its mission rather than primarily academic achievement. The Committee will then recommend the recipient of the Award to the Board of Directors with supporting documentation.

Nature of the Award
The Award will be announced and presented to the chosen individual at either the ISPOR International Meeting or the ISPOR European Congress, as appropriate.  The Award recipient will receive a complimentary registration and travel expenses to the ISPOR Annual International Meeting or ISPOR European Congress at which the Award is presented.  The recipient will also have the opportunity to address the general assembly or alternatively address the membership of ISPOR through a commentary in Value in Health or Value & Outcomes Spotlight.

Nominations for the Marilyn Dix Smith Leadership Award require a letter of recommendation for the nominee, nominee’s leadership contributions to the Society and nominee's CV. Nominations are sent to:

ISPOR Marilyn Dix Smith Leadership Award Recipients

Finn Børlum Kristensen, PhD, MD Finn Børlum Kristensen, PhD, MD
Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences,
University of Southern Denmark
Odense, Denmark

Finn Børlum Kristensen, PhD, MD, has been a professor in Health Services Research and HTA at Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southern Denmark since 1999. Finn headed the Coordinating Secretariat of the European Network for HTA, EUnetHTA ( from its inception in 2006 and was Chairman of the EUnetHTA Executive Committee until 2016. Finn was head of Danish Centre for HTA (DACEHTA) at the Danish Health Authority from its establishment 1997-2009. His PhD is in Epidemiology and he is a medical specialist in public health. He also worked as a primary care physician for several years. He publishes frequently in scientific journals and was Editor of a Health Technology Assessment Handbook. Dr. Kristensen was Chairman of International Network of Agencies for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) 2003-06 and was elected to the ISPOR Board of Directors from 2011-13 and has chaired the ISPOR HTA Council since 2013.

C. Daniel Mullins, PhD
Professor & Chair Pharmaceutical Health Services Research
University of Maryland School of Pharmacy
Baltimore, MD, USA

C. Daniel Mullins, PhD, is a professor and chair of the Pharmaceutical Health Services Research Department at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. He directs the University of Maryland PATient-centered Involvement in Evaluating effectiveNess of TreatmentS (PATIENTS) Program, which is an infrastructure to support patient-centered outcomes research and related training activities. He has received funding as a principal investigator from the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute on Aging and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. Dan was also the Shared Resources Core Director for the NIH-sponsored University of Maryland Center for Health Disparities Research, Training, and Outreach. He has served as a regular member of AHRQ and National Cancer Institute’s study sections and has chaired PCORI study sections. Dan is one of the Co-Editors-in-Chief for Value in Health and is author/co-author of more than 200 peer-reviewed articles. He has received an Outstanding Service Award from the Drug Information Association and two Service Awards from the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR). In 2007, he received the Dr. Patricia Sokolove Outstanding Mentor Award from the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus-wide Graduate Student Association. In 2013, he was the recipient of the Dr. Daniel D. Savage Memorial Science Award, the Association of Black Cardiologists’ most prestigious annual award. Also in 2013, he was awarded a University System of Maryland Wilson H. Elkins Professorship. He was named Researcher of the Year in 2014 and received the Martin Luther King Faculty Diversity Award in 2017 for the University of Maryland Baltimore campus.

Chief Scientist at Evidera

Jaime Caro is Chief Scientist at Evidera, where he advances Evidera's leadership in developing and applying novel techniques in Modeling, Health Economics, Comparative Effectiveness, Epidemiology, and Outcomes Research. Dr. Caro trained at McGill University, where he practiced internal medicine and continues as adjunct Professor of Medicine, as well as of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. He established the graduate-level course in pharmacoeconomics, which he continues to direct and also lends his teaching ability to other academic institutions such as Thomas Jefferson University School of Population Health and the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

Dr. Caro continues to pioneer new methodologies. Recently, he has developed a new modeling technique, DICE simulation, tailored to problems in Health Technology Assessment. Previously, Dr. Caro adapted an engineering technique – discrete event simulation – to model diseases and their treatment. This innovation has been extended further to simulate the design of clinical trials and other types of studies. This has been particularly effective in helping design pragmatic clinical trials. He has also applied the technique to provide comparative effectiveness information in the absence of head-to-head trials in a new method called Simulated Treatment Comparison. On behalf of the German government, he proposed an innovative approach to the assessment of health technologies. This method, involving the efficiency frontier provides an alternative to the well-known cost per QALY technique and avoids many of the latter’s problems.

Given this trailblazing experience in modeling methods, Dr. Caro was asked to lead the Modeling Task Force, jointly sponsored by ISPOR and the Society for Medical Decision Making, to produce the new guidelines for good modeling practices. This has resulted in 7 papers covering topics from the design, through the building and populating, to the validation of models. In addition, he is the Chair of the ISPOR/AMCP/NPC Task Force that produced a tool for the quality assessment of models. Dr. Caro has been helping the World Bank Institute and the InterAmerican Court for Human Rights address the growing problem of Supreme Courts overriding health care system decisions and ordering them to provide treatments that had been considered unwarranted. He has also been assisting governments in Latin America and elsewhere with implementation of HTA processes, bringing to bear newer techniques such as MCDA.

Zeba Khan Zeba M. Khan, RPh, PhD
Vice President, Celgene Corporation
Summit, New Jersey, USA

Dr. Zeba Khan joined Celgene Corporation as Vice President of Global Pricing and Market Access and established the function in 2008. She led the development and implementation of pricing, health economics, outcomes research, and market access strategies and policies for all therapeutic areas. In 2012, she established the public policy function and is currently Vice President of Corporate Responsibility. Prior to joining Celgene, Zeba held various leadership positions at Novartis including Global Head of Pricing and Health Economics, CVM in Basel, Switzerland, and Head of U.S. Pricing Strategy and Policy in East Hanover, New Jersey, as well as Healthcare Management/Managed Markets and Health Economics and Outcomes Research at GlaxoSmithKline.

Zeba has a reputation of outstanding leadership and dedicated service to ISPOR for nearly 20 years. She was instrumental in the formation of the ISPOR Student Network, was the first ISPOR Student Network Faculty Advisor since its inception in 2000, and has continued to serve in this capacity for nearly 15 years. She served as a co-chair of the ISPOR Short Course Committee from 2004 to 2010 and past chair from 2010 to 2012. Zeba has served on the ISPOR Board of Directors from 2008 to 2010, re-joined the Board in 2013, and is currently ISPOR Treasurer. She is chair of the ISPOR Finance Committee and member of the Audit Committee. Zeba is a member of the ISPOR Rare Diseases Special Interest Group and co-chair of the ISPOR Defining Rare Diseases and Challenges Working Group. She has served on the ISPOR Vision 2005 Committee, Vision 2020 Education Workgroup, Program and Planning Committee, Fellowship Committee, and Awards Committee, and is an active member of the ISPOR Institutional Council. Zeba's dedication, service, and leadership to ISPOR have been recognized with numerous Distinguished Service awards.

Zeba serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for the New Jersey Crossroads Chapter of the American Red Cross and is an adjunct assistant professor at the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers University.

Karen L Rascati, PhD Karen L Rascati, PhD
Eckerd/Turley Centennial Professor of Pharmacy
The University of Texas College of Pharmacy

Karen L Rascati, PhD, is the Eckerd/Turley Centennial Professor of Pharmacy at The University of Texas College of Pharmacy.  Dr. Rascati has supervised 42 MS and 25 PhD graduate student projects, and has authored or co-authored more than 100 publications (including five textbook chapters and two editions of her textbook Essentials of Pharmacoeconomics) and over 200 national/international meeting presentations.  Dr. Rascati started (and continues to serve as faculty advisor for) the first ISPOR student chapter at The University of Texas in 1998 and was chair of the ISPOR Faculty Advisory Committee from 2011 to 2013.  She served on the Board of Directors from 1991-2001, then transitioned to Chair of the Education Committee from 2001 to 2006.  In 2007 she was selected as Treasurer of ISPOR, serving two 3-year terms through 2013.  In addition, she served on three ISPOR vision committees.  

ISPOR Service Awards