News

Honoring the Life of Floyd J. Malveaux, M.D., Ph.D.

Dear Howard University Community,

It saddens me to announce the death of public servant, scientist, educator, son of Howard and my former professor, Floyd J. Malveaux, M.D., Ph.D. Born on Jan. 11, 1940, and raised in southwest Louisiana, Dr. Malveaux was inspired by his mother, a math and science teacher. His father, a laborer, likewise supported his son's aspirations for higher education.

After earning his Ph.D. from Michigan State University in 1968, Dr. Malveaux became an assistant professor of microbiology at Howard University College of Medicine (HUCM). By 1970, he decided that in addition to educating medical students, he wanted to add a clinical component to his research. He earned his medical degree at Howard University College of Medicine in 1974 while continuing to teach and advise graduate students.

Dr. Malveaux honored the University by serving in several administrative roles across the University enterprise, including chair of the microbiology department, emeritus dean of Howard University College of Medicine, interim vice president for health affairs and vice provost for health affairs.

In the spring of 2001, Dr. Malveaux oversaw the establishment of the National Human Genome Center at Howard University, the only such research center at a predominately black school. The center focuses on genetic variations and their relationships to the causes, preventions and treatments of disease among African Americans.

He was always someone I admired from afar, in terms of how he carried himself and how he interacted with his patients, as well as how proud he was of his family and children. He was a model of why I wanted to become a physician and the type of physician I wanted to become. I am only one of the countless professionals and physicians who drew inspiration from Dr. Malveaux’s life and commitment to alma mater. A nationally recognized expert on asthma and allergies, Dr. Malveaux, who personally suffered with childhood asthma, worked extensively to address health disparities and improve the quality of health care and health outcomes, especially among low-income, urban and underserved populations. He crowned a trailblazing career as a physician, educator and public health servant with the establishment of The Floyd J. Malveaux, M.D., Ph.D. Endowed Chair in Public Health.

“Howard University has a rich history of advancing civil rights, social justice and improving healthcare for all. It stands as a beacon of hope,” said Dr. Malveaux. He was a champion of Howard University and of interprofessional approaches to addressing health concerns faced by the African American community. The Floyd J. Malveaux, M.D., Ph.D. Endowed Chair in Public Health and the faculty members who hold this position embody Dr. Malveaux’s sustained commitment to teaching, service and research in the field.

On behalf of the entire Howard University community, I extend my deepest sympathy and gratitude to the Malveaux family for sharing an extraordinary public servant with us. Dr. Malveaux’s life’s work and commitment to the global health community required time spent away from those who loved him most—an example of his selflessness and personification of the University’s motto: Truth and Service.

May his memory be blessed and a constant reminder that living on purpose requires that we discover our mission and approach it with boldness and fierceness, ever confident that the torch will one day be made to burn even brighter once it is passed to the next generation.

Excellence in Truth and Service,

Wayne A. I. Frederick, M.D., MBA
President