Professor Elizabeth Russell, CBE FRSE, was Professor of Social Medicine at the University of Aberdeen until 2001 and, over three decades, played a leading role in the development of public health and health services research. She was the first woman professor in the Faculty of Medicine. Professor Russell was Medical Director of the project in 1974 that led to the establishment of the University's Health Economics Research Unit. Professor Russell also created and became Co-Director of the Health Services Research Unit in 1987. These Units have been instrumental in creating and developing “evidence-based medicine”. In 1987 she set up the first B.Sc. in Health Sciences in the University. She continues to contribute to research in public health issues in Scotland.
Professor Russell made a significant contribution to research ethics, and confidentiality and privacy of patient data and so the research prize for the Master of Public Health project was dedicated in her name.