Dr. Martha Lipson Lepow began her educational journey with a Bachelor of Arts from Oberlin College in 1948. Inspired by her father Harry Aaron Lipson, a primary care doctor, she then continued her studies at Case Western Reserve University, graduating with an MD in 1952. Her pediatric residency was at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland from 1952 to 1953. While on medical leave, Dr. Lepow spent her time working on the Salk polio vaccine under the mentorship of Dr. Frederick C. Robbins before going onto her fellowship in pediatric infectious disease at Cleveland City Hospital in 1956.
Dr. Lepow began her professional career in medicine and education as an assistant professor of pediatrics for Case Western Reserve University in 1958. She then moved to the University of Connecticut in Farmington with her husband, Irwin H. Lepow, PhD, MD. In just 11 years, Dr. Lepow established the Department of Pediatrics and the Division of Pediatric Infectious Disease at McCook Hospital, which was originally in Hartford, but moved to Farmington in 1975, leading to her rise from an associate professor to a full professor.
In the early 1960s, Dr. Lepow served as a special fellow with the U.S. Public Health Service in Oxford, England. After returning to the United States, she worked on the development of the meningococcal vaccine and worked with medical students on the prevention of lead poisoning in Hartford children.
Dr. Lepow came to Albany, New York, in 1978 as a professor of pediatrics at Albany Medical College. Over the next 40 years, she was the head of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, the director of the Clinical Studies Center, the vice chairman of pediatrics, the chairman of pediatrics and the director of the pediatric HIV program. Despite retiring in 2018, Dr. Lepow retains her professional alignment with several medical societies, continues her work as a consultant to community medical facilities and direct patient care, and still teaches medical students at Albany Medical College.
A talented writer, Dr. Lepow has contributed to almost 100 articles in peer-reviewed medical journals, such as “Pediatric Immunizations and Adverse Effects” from the August 1991 issue of Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases and “Pediatric AIDS: The Challenge of HIV Infection in Infants, Children and Adolescents” from the June 1991 issue of the Journal of Pediatrics.
For her outstanding work in medicine, Dr. Lepow was recognized with the Lifelong Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2012, and with the Best Doctor Award in 2013 and 2014. She plans to continue serving her community as an advocate for excellent medical care for children in the foreseeable future.