A pediatric endocrinologist, Ora Hirsch Pescovitz won national acclaim in the 1990s for her research on children's metabolic diseases and puberty disorders. Most of her research has been on the physiologic and molecular mechanisms responsible for disorders of growth and puberty with a focus on development of novel therapies for these conditions. She has published more than 180 scientific papers and has served as president of both the Society for Pediatric Research and the Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society.
Pescovitz's career at Indiana University spanned 20 years. She was executive associate dean for Research Affairs at Indiana University School of Medicine (2000-2009), president and CEO of Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis (2004-2009), and interim Vice President for Research Administration at Indiana University (2007-2009). She remains an adjunct faculty member of the IU School of Medicine.
In 2009, Pescovitz became the University of Michigan's first female executive vice president for Medical Affairs and Health System Chief Executive Officer. In this role, she has led the U-M Health System, with responsibility for a $3 billion, 22,000-person clinical, research and educational enterprise that is one of the nation's largest and most highly regarded academic medical centers. She was recently elected to the board of directors of the Association of Academic Health Centers.
Pescovitz has published 180 papers and books, and received numerous awards for her research and teaching. Most recently, the Endocine Society named her the 2011 recipient of its prestigious Robert H. Williams Distinguished Leadership Award for her exceptional contributions to endocrinology through her leadership, teaching and research and her mentorship of trainees and associates.
Pescovitz has served as president of the Society for Pediatric Research, the nation's largest pediatric research organization, president of the Lawson Wilkins (North American) Pediatric Endocrine Society, chair of the March of Dimes Grants Review Committee, and a member of the Ad-Hoc Group for Medical Research Funding, the board of the Hormone Foundation, the board of the National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI), and is currently on the board of the Children's Miracle Network. Pescovitz received her B.M.Sc. in the Honors Program in Medical Education at Northwestern University and her M.D. at Northwestern University Medical School.
Pescovitz received the IU Bicentennial Medal in September 2019 in recognition of her distinguished service as interim vice president for research administration at Indiana University.