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Marianne J. Legato, MD, FACP

picture of Marianne Legato, MD

Marianne J. Legato, MD, FACP

Founder, The Partnership for Women's Health at Columbia University

WHF Liaison to Gender Studies on Heart Disease

Marianne J. Legato, M.D., F.A.C.P. is an internationally known academic physician, author, lecturer and specialist in women's health. She is a Professor Emerita of Clinical Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and the Founder and Director of the Partnership for Women's Health at Columbia. She is a practicing internist in New York City.

Doctor Legato founded the Partnership for Women's Health at Columbia in 1997. It is the first collaboration between academic medicine and the private sector focused solely on gender-specific medicine. Gender specific medicine is the science of how normal human biology differs between men and women and of how the diagnosis and treatment of disease differs as a function of gender.

Widely sought after by professional and lay groups alike, Dr. Legato has been featured on the national ABC program “"20/20"”in a segment dealing with gender prejudice in women's health care. She has made multiple appearances on local and national television and radio programs, including NBC's “"Good Morning America"., Good Day New York, the Joan Hamburg Show, The Today Show and the Oprah Winfrey Show. She has been an invited speaker at over 100 lectures and conferences throughout the United States over the past two years.

Dr. Legato has received several awards for her leadership role in women's health, among them the Heart of Gold award of the Long Island Heart Council and the 1994 Leadership in Action Award from the Women's Action Alliance. She is listed in the June, 1994 issue of Mirabella magazine's “"1,000 Women for the Nineties"”, and appeared in the New York Times list of twelve health care professionals accomplished in the area of women's health in June, 1997. She was named an “American Health Hero” by American Health for Women in 1997 and received the Women's Medical Society of New York's annual Woman in Science Award in 1997.

Dr. Legato has spent her research career doing cardiovascular research on the structure and function of the cardiac cell. Her work was supported by the American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health. She won the J. Murray Steele Award, the Martha Lyon Slater Fellowship and a four year Senior Investigator Award from the American Heart Association, New York Affiliate. She won a coveted Research Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health and sat on the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute's study section on cardiovascular disease. Most recently, she has served as a charter member of the Advisory Board of the Office of Research on Women's Health of the National Institutes of Health. She is co-chair of a task force authoring a report from that Office which will draft a five year agenda in the field of women's health.

In 1992, Dr. Legato won the American Heart Association's Blakeslee Award for the best book written for the lay public on cardiovascular disease with her publication of THE FEMALE HEART: The Truth About Women and Heart Disease, published by Simon and Schuster. Her film, “Shattering the Myths: Women and Heart Disease” won first prize in the category of Women's Health at The 1995 International Health and Medical Film Festival. She published a new book: What Women Need to Know, (Simon and Schuster) in 1997.

Dr. Legato is the editor of The Journal of Gender Specific Medicine published for the scientific community and of Gender and Health, published for the lay public. She is on the editorial board of Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Prevention Magazine. She writes continuously for both the scientific and lay communities, and is a consultant in health for the Ladies Home Journal and MORE Magazine. She is a consultant for several multinational corporations and provides expertise in the area of women's health.


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1999-2000; updates: 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007 Women's Heart Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited. The information contained in this Women's Heart Foundation (WHF) Web site is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment, and WHF recommends consultation with your doctor or health care professional.