From Cancer Screenings to How the Brain Remembers, Institute of Medicine Adds New Members


Being elected into The Institute of Medicine (IOM) is considered one of the highest honors in the field of health and medicine. It recognizes those who’ve demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.

Earlier this month the IOM announced the names of 65 new members and five foreign associates who’ve made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care and public health. What’s especially interesting is that in order to assure diversity, they required that at least one-quarter of those selected be from outside of the health professions. They were chosen from such fields as the natural, social and behavioral sciences; law, engineering and the humanities.

We think that’s very “eco”.

This year, five of those selected are from the University of Southern California:

  • Deborah Grady, MD, MPH is an international expert on menopause and the risks and benefits of postmenopausal hormone therapy. Grady has trained and mentored over 40 young researchers interested in women’s health. With colleagues at UCSF, she designed and conducted the Heart and Estrogen/progestin Replacement Study (HERS), a clinical trial of 2800 women with known coronary disease.
  • Lawrence W. Green, DrPH specializes in population science research in cancer and other chronic diseases. In a current project, he’s looking at screening for colorectal cancer in the context of flu vaccine clinics. Once director of the Office of Health Promotion in the Carter Administration, he participated in the early development of the Healthy People Initiative, which since 1979 has continued to contribute to programs in health promotion and disease prevention. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, he led international programs in tobacco control and national programs in community-based participatory research.
  • Sam Hawgood, MBBS is the dean and vice chancellor for medical affairs, UCSF School of Medicine. Hawgood has led the school in expanding research, fostering patient-centered care and furthering global health. He also directs a major NIH grant supporting a range of projects that seek a new understanding of lung biology and pulmonary diseases.
  • Roger Nicoll, MD is a professor of cellular and molecular pharmacology and physiology. He’s renowned for his pioneering discoveries about the way the brain learns and remembers. Over several decades he’s shown that learning and memory occur when neural connections between nerve cells in the brain are strengthened. Nicoll’s research focuses on the brain’s hippocampus, which is severely damaged in Alzheimer’s disease. Understanding the chemistry of thought could enhance drug design for Alzheimer’s and other degenerative diseases of the brain.

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