Research Horizons


Farrell Awarded Drake Medal

The University of Cincinnati College of Medicine has awarded its highest honor — the Daniel Drake Medal — to Michael Farrell, MD, former long-time Chief-of-Staff at Cincinnati Children’s.

Medals also were awarded to two long-time UC faculty members: Melanie Cushion, PhD, and Bruce Giffin, PhD.

“Drs Cushion, Farrell and Giffin have made impressive contributions to medical research, education and patient care during their extraordinary careers. They have had a tremendous impact on our college and the health of our community, greatly expanded scientific knowledge and have been for decades wonderful mentors and role models for multiple generations of medical and graduate students and young physicians,” says Andrew T. Filak Jr., MD, senior vice president for health affairs and Christian R. Holmes Professor and Dean and a 2018 recipient of the Drake Medal.

Farrell received his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. He came to Cincinnati Children’s as a resident in 1974 and then completed fellowships in ambulatory and emergency pediatrics and pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition.

Farrell joined the College of Medicine faculty in 1979 and has held numerous leadership positions at Cincinnati Children’s, including Pediatric Residency Program director (1979 to 2001), medical director of home health care (1988 to 2017), chief of staff (1993 to 2015) and associate chair of clinical affairs for the Department of Pediatrics (1993 to 2015).

He has specialized in treating gastrointestinal and nutritional diseases of children with special needs. His research has focused on parenteral and enteral nutrition and he was among the first to study the relationship between infantile apnea and gastroesophageal reflux.

Farrell also helped define the hepatobiliary complications associated with parenteral nutrition and participated in important studies defining vitamin D, calcium and phosphorus requirements in infant parenteral nutrition solutions.

A highly admired and inspirational mentor and teacher, Farrell has impacted hundreds of young physicians in training. He developed many combined residency programs at Cincinnati Children’s and the College of Medicine, including medicine and pediatrics, pediatrics and physical medicine and rehabilitation, pediatrics and genetics, and a triple-board-certified program in pediatrics, psychiatry and child psychiatry.

Farrell also has impacted medical education nationwide through his leadership roles in several national organizations. More than 30 years ago, Farrell and colleagues engaged Cincinnati pediatricians as teachers and developed office-based rotations in the community for additional learning opportunities for young physicians in training.

Farrell’s lengthy career and interest in medical history led him to serve as chair of the History Committee of Cincinnati Children’s and also as a member of the UC Winkler Center for the History of the Health Professions Advisory Board.

About the Drake Medal

The Drake Medal is given annually to living faculty or alumni for their outstanding and unique contributions to medical education, scholarship and research. The award was established in 1985 to honor the 200th birthday of Daniel Drake, MD, the founder of the Medical College of Ohio, the forerunner of the College of Medicine, and one of the most influential physicians, educators and scientists of 19th century America.

Since then, with this year’s medalists, 94 people have been honored with Drake Medals. The 2022 medalists will be honored by the College of Medicine at a dinner event on Oct. 21.

Read more about all the recipients