AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – The American Medical Women’s Association awards a local physician scientist a distinguished award.

“I am just so honored to have been chosen,” said Dr. Betty Sue Pace, Professor of Pediatrics and Francis J. Tedesco Distinguished Chair at The Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.

Dr. Betty Sue Pace has been chosen as the 2023 Woman in Science awardee for her exceptional contributions to medical science. 

Trained as a medical doctor, her work as a physician scientist has been focused on sickle cell research and treatment.

“About a hundred thousand people are addicted with sickle cell disease in the United States,” said Dr. Pace. “And, so, there are very limited treatments.”

Dr. Pace tells us that there are nearly 300,000 babies born with sickle cell disease each year around the world. Most of those infants are in Africa and India.

“And most of those children do not survive to five years of age- compared to the United States, where we do much better and most children survive into adulthood,” said Dr. Pace.

Throughout her three decades of sickle cell research, Dr. Pace says one of her greatest accomplishments is training the next generation.

“I’ve dedicated my career to training young investigators,” said Dr. Pace. “We have a NIH-funded training program called the PRIDE Program. And we’ve trained over a hundred and fourteen junior faculty- young people- who want to practice hematology, who want to do research in sickle cell disease.”

Dr. Pace tells us that her work as a researcher has helped her build strong bonds with her patients. 

She says she hopes to inspire more people to become physician scientists.

“I’m just honored to be among those that they felt are leaders in the field and contributing something that is actually making a difference,” said Dr. Pace.

Dr. Pace will receive her award this weekend at the 108th annual American Medical Women’s Association meeting in Philadelphia.