About Dr. Lawrence Zollicoffer

Dr. Lawrence Zollicoffer, MD, (1930-1976) was the fourth African-American graduate of the UNC School of Medicine and founder of the Garywn Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland.

Dr. Zollicoffer graduated from NC A&T State University at age 17, the youngest to do so. He then earned his medical degree in 1962 from the UNC School of Medicine after waiting nearly a decade for its doors to open to students of color.

A supporter and activist for civil and human rights, Dr. Zollicoffer dedicated his life to the health care of the community in which he practiced. Throughout his life, he exemplified qualities which students admire and hope to emulate as future physicians.

Zollicoffer-Merrimon Lectureship

The Zollicoffer Lectureship was established in 1981 by members of the UNC chapter of the Student National Medical Association with the support of the Dean Bondurant of the UNC School of Medicine. It is named in honor of Lawrence Zollicoffer, MD. By means of the lecture, we hope to increase the awareness of minority health issues and introduce the student body to dynamic minority role models in the field of medicine. In 2004, the Merrimon Family joined in providing support to this program.

Past Zollicoffer Speakers


2019 Donald E. Wesson, MD, MBA, FACP, FASN

President, Diabetes Health and Wellness Institute
at Baylor Scott & White Health

Ronny A. Bell, PhD

Director, Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity
Professor, Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Epidemiology and Prevention
Wake Forest School of Medicine

Click here to view recording of his lecture on February 21, 2014

2018 Lynn Weaver, MD, FACP, FACS

Chief of Surgery
Fayetteville, NC
Veterans Admin Medical Center
2013 Brenda Armstrong, MD

Associate Dean of Medical Education
Dean of Admissions
Duke University School of Medicine

Frederick D. Burroughs, MD

Founder, Burroughs Pediatrics &
Co-founder, Sunnybrook Multispecialty Medical Center

Marie A. Bernard, MD

Deputy Director of the National Institute on Aging
National Institutes of Health
 No formal speaker this year
2011 Elijah Saunders, MD, FACC, FACP, FAHA

Professor of Medicine
Head of the Hypertension Section in the Division of Cardiology
University of Maryland School of Medicine
Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine
Meharry Medical College
Vice President for Graduate Medical Education and Affiliations

University of Maryland Hospital

2015 Herman Taylor, MD, MPH, FCCC, FAHA

Shirley Chair for the Study of Health Disparities
Professor of Medicine
University of Mississippi Medical Center
2010 Wanda Nicholson, MD, MPH, MBA

Associate Professor in the Departments of Gynecology and Obstetrics and Family Health Sciences
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health


2009 Sandra Hooker-Harris, PhD

Vice President and Senior Associate Dean for Research Affairs
Professor in the Department of Pathology
Morehouse School of Medicine
2004 James W. Collins, MD, MPH

Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Feinberg School of Medicine
Northwestern University
2008 Valerie Montgomery Rice, MD

Dean School of Medicine
Senior Vice President of Health Affairs
Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Meharry Medical School

Lynt B. Johnson, MD

Associate Professor of Surgery and Chief of the Division of Transplant Surgery

Georgetown University Medical Center

2007 Edward E. Cornwell III, MD, FACS, FCCM

Director of the Adult Trauma Service
Johns Hopkins Hospital
Professor of Surgery
Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine
Johns Hopkins University

Marcus L. Martin, MD, FACEP

Professor and Chair of Emergency Medicine

University of Virginia


Valerie E. Stone, MD, MPH

Director of the Primary Care
Residency Program and Associate Chief in the General Medicine Unit
Massachusetts General Hospital
2001 L. D. Britt, MD, MPH, FACS, FCCM

Brickhouse Professor
Chairman of the Department of Surgery
Eastern Virginia Medical School

Lisa A. Cooper, MD, MPH

Associate Professor of Medicine
Epidemiology and Health Policy and Management

Johns Hopkins University, Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research


Dennis McBride, MD, MPH

State Health Director
Assistant Secretary of Health

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services


1999 Edward G. Helm, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Associate Dean of Community and Minority Health Education
Associate Professor of Clinical Surgery
Head, Section of Surgical Endoscopy
Louisiana State University School of Medicine
1994 Deborah Prothrow-Stith, MD

Assistant Dean, Government and Community Programs
Harvard School of Public Health
1998 Vanessa Northington Gamble, MD, PhD

Director, Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in Medicine
Associate Professor, Department of the History of Medicine, History of Science and Family Medicine
The University of Wisconsin at Madison
1993 Ezra C. Davidson, Jr., MD

Professor and Chair, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
1997 Eddie L. Hoover, MD

Professor and Chair, Department of Surgery
Chief, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery
State University of New York at Buffalo
1992 Haile T. Debas, MD

Professor and Chair, Department of Surgery
University of California at San Francisco
1996 Reed V. Tuckson, MD

Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
1991 Janice Douglas, MD

Professor of Medicine
University Hospital & Case Western Reserve University
1995 Mark D. Smith, MD, MBA

Executive Vice-President, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine
University of California, San Francisco
1990 James R. Gavin, MD, PhD

Professor for Diabetes Studies and Medicine
University of Oklahoma Health Services


1989 Richard A. Williams, MD

Professor of Medicine
University of California at Los Angeles
1984 Vivian W. Pinn, MD

Professor and Chair, Department of Pathology
Howard University College of Medicine
1988 Festus O. Adelbonojo, MD

Professor and Chair, Department of Pediatrics
Meharry Medical College
1983 William W. Funderbunk, MD

Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery
Howard University College of Medicine
1987 Claude H. Organ, Jr., MD

Professor of Surgery
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
1982 Alvin F. Poussaint, MD

Associate Professor of Psychiatry
Harvard University College of Medicine
1986 Jean Spurloch, MD

Deputy Medical Director
American Psychiatry Association
1981 Louis W. Sullivan, MD

Secretary of Health and Human Services
1985 Donald L. Wilson, MD

Professor and Chair, Department of Medicine
State University of New York
Downstate Medical Center