National Academy of Medicine Elects 80 New Members

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The National Academy of Medicine elected 80 members during its annual meeting, including at least 17 whose work focuses on cancer treatment and research.

“Our newly elected members represent the brightest, most influential, and passionate people in health, science, and medicine in our nation and internationally,” said Victor Dzau, president of the academy, formerly known as the Institute of Medicine.

“They are at the top of their fields and are committed to service. The expertise they bring to the organization will help us respond to today’s most pressing health-related challenges and inform the future of health, science, and medicine. It is my privilege to welcome these distinguished individuals to the National Academy of Medicine.”

Election to the academy is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. This was the inaugural annual meeting as the National Academy of Medicine and the 45th year since the establishment of the Institute of Medicine.

The 70 new members and 10 new international members were elected by current active members, recognizing individuals who have made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care, and public health.

A diversity of talent among NAM’s membership is assured by its Articles of Organization, which stipulate that at least one-quarter of the membership is selected from fields outside the health professions—for example, fields as law, engineering, social sciences, and the humanities.

The newly elected members raise NAM’s total active membership to 1,826 and the number of international members to 137.

The full list of new members is available here.

The newly elected members whose work focuses on cancer are listed below:

Christopher Austin, director of the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. Austin joined NIH in 2002 as the senior advisor to the director for translational research at the National Human Genome Research Institute. He helped found and then directed the NIH Chemical Genomics Center (now the NCATS Chemical Genomics Center), the Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases program, Toxicology in the 21st Century initiative, and NIH Center for Translational Therapeutics.

Otis Webb Brawley, professor of hematology, medical oncology, medicine, and epidemiology at Emory University; and chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society. Previously, Brawley was medical director of the Georgia Cancer Center for Excellence at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, and deputy director for cancer control at Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University. He also previously served as a member of the ACS’s Prostate Cancer Committee; co-chaired the U.S. Surgeon General’s Task Force on Cancer Health Disparities; and filled a variety of capacities at the NCI. Brawley is also a member of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Breast Cancer in Young Women, has served as a member of the FDA’s Oncologic Drug Advisory Committee, and chaired the NIH Consensus Panel on the Treatment of Sickle Cell Disease.

Amato Giaccia, Jack, Lulu, and Sam Willson Professor of Cancer Biology in the department of radiation oncology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Giaccia is also director of the university’s Cancer Biology Interdisciplinary Graduate Program. Giaccia was awarded an American Cancer Society Junior Faculty Research Award and the Michael Fry Award from the Radiation Research Society for his contributions on the molecular mechanisms of resistance promoted by the tumor microenvironment. Additionally, he was the recipient of the 2013 ASTRO Gold Medal.

D. Gary Gilliland, president and director of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. He was also an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and previously was director of the leukemia program at the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. He was also senior vice president and global oncology franchise head at Merck Research Laboratories.

Christopher Glass, professor of cellular and molecular medicine, professor of medicine, and Ben and Wanda Hildyard Chair in Hereditary Diseases at the University of California, San Diego. Glass’s laboratory focuses on the biochemical and biological roles of transcription factors and their associated co-regulators in controlling macrophage differentiation and function and the pathogenesis of inflammatory diseases.

Michael Green, an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute; director of the cancer center and professor and chair of the department of molecular, cell, and cancer biology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Green’s research has focused on regulation mechanisms of gene expression in eukaryotes, and the role of gene expression in various human diseases. He also uses transcriptionbased approaches and functional screens to identify new genes and regulatory pathways involved in cancer.

Murat Günel, the Nixdorff-German Professor, chairman of the department of neurosurgery, and professor of neurobiology and genetics at the Yale School of Medicine; and chief of the department of neurosurgery at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Günel’s research interest is in treating brain aneurysms and vascular malformations with special emphasis on arterio-venous malformations and cavernous malformations. He also has expertise in occlusive vascular disorders such as carotid disease and gamma knife radiosurgery.

Beth Karlan, professor of obstetrics and gynecology; director of the Women’s Cancer Program at the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute; and director of the division of gynecologic oncology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Karlan also serves as the director of the Gilda Radner Ovarian Detection Program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Kenneth Kinzler, professor of oncology, director of the Ludwig Center, and associate director of basic research at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University. His research interests include the molecular genetics of cancer, APC and other genetic alterations in colon and rectal cancer, and experimental therapeutics. He has received the NCI MERIT Award, AACR Team Science awards in both brain and pancreatic cancer research, and the NCI Director’s Service Award.

Vivian Lee, senior vice president for health sciences at the University of Utah, dean of the university’s school of medicine, and CEO of University of Utah Health Care. Lee is a fellow and past president of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, and was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation.

Vasant Narasimhan, global head of development at Novartis Pharmaceuticals, in Basel, Switzerland. Narasimhan previously served as global head of development at Novartis Vaccines.

Nikola Pavletich, an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute; and Stephen and Barbara Friedman Chair of the structural biology program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Pavletich’s research has focused on the structural biology of oncogenes and tumor suppressors, as well as the structures and mechanisms of proteins that sense, signal, and repair DNA damage and on the cell cycle and associated growth regulatory pathways.

Alexander Rudensky, an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute; and chairman of the immunology program, and director of the Ludwig Center for Cancer Immunotherapy at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Rudensky’s lab is focused on the molecular mechanisms governing the differentiation and function of CD4 T lymphocytes and their role in immunity and tolerance. Rudensky received a Searle Scholar Award and a PharMingen Investigator Award from the American Association of Immunologists.

Richard Scheller, chief scientific officer of 23andMe Inc. Scheller is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and received the NAS Award in Molecular Biology. His research has focused on the cellular and molecular mechanisms of membrane organization and transport in eukaryotic cells.

Kevin Struhl, David Wesley Gaiser Professor of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School. His research areas include Chromatin and other DNA-protein interactions; oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes; signal transduction; and transcription and gene regulation.

Richard Leo Wahl, Elizabeth E. Mallinckrodt Professor, chair of radiology, and director of the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at the Washington University School of Medicine, in St. Louis. Wahl’s work has focused on the development of FDG PET imaging in oncology in both preclinical and clinical studies. He helped develop anatometabolic image fusion—fusion of PET with CT, SPECT or MRI—into hybrid images of cancer. He also is one of the inventors of radioimmunotherapy of lymphoma with anti-CD20 antibodies. He has also been an inventor of medical devices such as radionuclide-guided biopsy.

Nahum Sonenberg, elected as an international member, is the James McGill Professor in the department of biochemistry at the Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Research Centre of McGill University, in Montreal, Canada. He is a Howard Hughes International Scholar, recipient of the Robert L. Noble Prize of the National Cancer Institute of Canada, and recipient of the Killiam Prize for Health Sciences. His research focuses on identification and characterization of the various translation factors involved in translation initiation; elucidation of the signaling pathways impinging upon translation; and discovery of physiological consequences of translational control.