Dr. Henry L. Dorkin, MD ‘70

Co-Director, Cystic Fibrosis Center, Boston Children's Hospital and Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School


The son of Jerry Dorkin ‘41 and grandson of David Dorkin ‘19, Hank graduated Tau Beta Pi from Lehigh University’s College of Engineering. After receiving his MD from Johns Hopkins (where he stayed for a pediatric residency), he became a Pulmonary Fellow at Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) and Harvard Medical School (HMS). He then joined the Tufts University School of Medicine/Floating Hospital for Children in Boston where he created the Division of Respiratory Diseases and rose to full professor. While there, he was also Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Center Director and an ICU Attending. He is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics (elected Pulmonology Section Chair in 1992) and has served on the American Board of Pediatrics sub-board for Pulmonology and the National Board of Medical Examiners. 

During his fellowship/early faculty years, Hank’s research (in collaboration with the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University) was in the application of airway impedance measurements to detect respiratory disease in children. At the same time, he started a career in clinical trials research.

Active in organized medicine, he continues a long history of activity in Massachusetts medical issues, including public health advocacy and testimony at both the State and Federal levels. Hank was elected Vice President, President-Elect and then President (2017-18) of the Massachusetts Medical Society as well as Chairman of its Board of Trustees. Currently he is a member of the House of Delegates (HOD) of the AMA and the Organization of State Medical Association Presidents/Past Presidents. Hank has served in numerous leadership roles for the CF Foundation (CFF), including the Medical Advisory Council. 

In 2002 he moved to Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)/HMS as Associate Professor of Pediatrics. There he served as the Joey O’Donnell CF Center Director and launched a CFF Therapeutics Development Center. In 2008 he was asked to return to Children’s as Clinical Chief of the Division of Pulmonary Medicine and as a consequence CF Center Director and TDN Co-Director. He expanded the Clinical Trials Program and made it independent of the Division's finances. Eventually the Program ranked number 1 among all American CF TDN Centers in recruitment/enrollment for complex clinical trials. While Director of Clinical Research, he expanded areas of the Program into Asthma, Interstitial Lung Disease, Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia, Pulmonary Artery Hypertension and Lung Transplantation. 

In addition to remaining a Delegate to the HOD of both the MMS and the AMA, he is a member of the Committee on Publications of the MMS (Publishers of the New England Journal of Medicine) and Associate Editor of Pediatric Pulmonology. In 2021 Boston Children’s Hospital honored him by creating, for a rising mid-career faculty member, the Henry Dorkin Chair in Pulmonary Health Outcomes Research.

Hank lives in Newton, Massachusetts with his wife Kathleen (Radcliffe College, Harvard University ’69, Curtis Institute of Music ’73). Their daughter Dr. Molly Dorkin lives in the United Kingdom with her husband Barry and daughter Margot. Their son Dr. Robert Dorkin lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.