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Diana Bianchi, MD, to Receive Ellen M. Zane Award for Visionary Leadership at Working Wonders 2019

Diana Bianchi, MD 2017Tufts Medical Center announced today that Diana W. Bianchi, MD, Director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will be honored with this year’s Ellen M. Zane Award for Visionary Leadership for her transformational impact in the Boston region and beyond. Dr. Bianchi previously spent 23 years at Tufts Medical Center where she was the founding executive director of the Mother Infant Research Institute (MIRI). While at MIRI, Dr. Bianchi was widely recognized for her leadership and translational research, which have had a positive impact on the health of mothers and infants throughout the world. Dr. Bianchi will be presented the award at the 2019 Working Wonders benefit evening on Thursday, April 4 at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. Working Wonders is Tufts Medical Center's signature fundraising event.

“During her tenure at Tufts Medical Center, Dr. Bianchi made a significant, positive impact on the health of a new generation of mothers and babies, by developing safer, noninvasive techniques of prenatal diagnosis and new approaches to fetal treatment,” said Michael Apkon, MD, PhD, President and CEO of Tufts Medical Center. “But her leadership and influence on the research and advancement of genetics and newborn care extends far beyond the Boston community. We are proud to honor and recognize Dr. Bianchi for her indispensable and far-reaching contributions to global health.”

The Ellen M. Zane Award for Visionary Leadership is named in honor of Tufts Medical Center CEO Emeritus Ellen M. Zane and is inspired by her influence and foresight during her tenure as President and CEO from 2004-2011. The award is presented annually at Working Wonders to an individual who exemplifies visionary and transformational leadership. Past recipients include Gloria Cordes Larson, Esq., President of Bentley University; Martin “Marty” Baron, Executive Editor of The Washington Post; Kevin Starr, Robert Tepper, MD and Mark Levin, Third Rock Ventures Co-Founders; Governor Deval Patrick and Thomas F. Shields, Chairman and CEO of Shields Health Care Group.

The 2019 Working Wonders for Tufts Medical Center annual benefit evening will take place on April 4, 2019 at 6:00 pm at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Jim Braude, Anchor of Greater Boston and Co-host of Boston Public Radio on WGBH, will be the emcee for the evening. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit or call 617-636-7656.

Lead Sponsors for the evening include Brewster Ambulance Service and Eascare Ambulance Service, Elika and Adam Portnoy and Jeffrey Shames.

About Diana W. Bianchi, MD
Diana W. Bianchi is the Director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. She is also an investigator in the National Human Genome Research Institute. Formerly, she was the Executive Director of the Mother Infant Research Institute at Tufts Medical Center and the Natalie V. Zucker Professor of Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology at Tufts University School of Medicine. She was also Vice Chair for Pediatric Research at the Tufts Medical Center, Boston.

Dr. Bianchi is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. She received her M.D. from Stanford University School of Medicine and her postgraduate training in Pediatrics, Medical Genetics and Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. She is board-certified in all three specialties. Her clinical expertise is in prenatal and neonatal genetics and genomics.

Dr. Bianchi’s research focuses on noninvasive prenatal diagnosis using fetal and placental DNA sequencing and using information from fetal gene expression to develop novel fetal therapies for genetic disorders such as Down syndrome. Dr. Bianchi has published over 300 peer-reviewed articles and is one of four authors of the book Fetology: Diagnosis and Management of the Fetal Patient, which won the Association of American Publishers award for best textbook in clinical medicine in 2000. She is also Editor-in-Chief of the International Society for Prenatal Diagnosis’ (ISPD) official journal, Prenatal Diagnosis. 

She has held multiple leadership positions in professional societies, including President of the ISPD and the Perinatal Research Society, council membership in the Society for Pediatric Research and the American Pediatric Society, and as a Director in the American Society for Human Genetics. Dr. Bianchi has received multiple awards, including the Christopher Columbus Spirit of Discovery Award and the Distinguished Faculty Award, both from Tufts University, the 2015 Neonatal Landmark Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the 2016 Maureen Andrew Award for Mentorship from the Society for Pediatric Research, and the 2017 Colonel Harland Sanders Award for lifetime achievement in Medical Genetics from the March of Dimes. In 2013 she was elected to the Institute of Medicine (now National Academy of Medicine). She is a past member of the National Advisory Council of the NICHD.

About the Ellen M. Zane Award for Visionary Leadership
Ellen M. Zane served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Tufts Medical Center from 2004 to 2011. Over the course of her tenure, Zane returned the Medical Center to financial stability. She strengthened its relationship with Tufts University, established its community physician network, which now includes more than 1,800 doctors, and launched its Distributed Academic Medical Center™ model, a partnership with community affiliates designed to keep more care in the community.

Under her leadership, the hallmark of Tufts Medical Center became the high-quality care it provides to its patients, among the most medically complex patient population of any full service acute-care hospital in the Commonwealth. Zane was the first woman and first non-physician to serve as CEO in the 223-year history of the Medical Center. Because of her transformative vision, Tufts Medical Center have brighter futures.

About Tufts Medical Center
Tufts Medical Center is an exceptional, not-for-profit, 415-bed academic medical center that is home to both a full-service hospital for adults and Tufts Medical Center. Conveniently located in downtown Boston, the Medical Center is the principal teaching hospital for Tufts University School of Medicine. The Medical Center features a level one trauma center with rooftop helipad, the largest heart transplant center in New England and a renowned research program, ranking among the top 10 percent of independent hospitals to receive federal research funding. A physician network of 1,800 New England Quality Care Alliance doctors represents our strong commitment to health in the community. Tufts Medical Center is a founding member of Wellforce. For more information, visit