The Power List 2016
Dean Emeritus, Bloomberg School of Public Health, and University Distinguished Service Professor, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
Sommer is an ophthalmologist and epidemiologist who identified one of the most cost-effective health interventions in the world: vitamin A supplementation. His work in the 1970s and 1980s revealed that dosing severely vitamin A deficient children with an inexpensive, large-dose vitamin A capsule twice a year reduces child mortality by as much as 34 percent, and cut the incidence of measles-associated pediatric blindness. He has been described as a “global health champion”. His long-term, continuing research involves the cause, magnitude, consequences, and control of vitamin A deficiency and, most recently, those of related micronutrients.