9 Elected to National Academy of Medicine

HMS faculty honored for contributions in immunotherapy to clinical safety to novel treatments in psychiatry

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Nine HMS physicians and scientists are among 90 regular members and 10 international members elected to the National Academy of Medicine. Recognizing individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service, election to NAM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine.

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Listed below are the new NAM regular members from HMS and their election citations:

Elizabeth Engle, HMS professor of neurology and of ophthalmology at Boston Children’s Hospital

For seminal research that has defined a new category of developmental brain disorder of the human central nervous system, especially the brain stem and cranial nerves, manifesting as congenital ocular or facial dysmotility, and often accompanied by motor and cognitive dysfunction as well as non-neurological birth defects. Engle is an investigator in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute; senior associate in neurology, ophthalmology and genetics at Boston Children's; and an associate member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

Tejal Kanti Gandhi, HMS associate professor of medicine, part-time, at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

For leadership in the fields of patient safety and quality, as well as wide-ranging influence in the field through thought leadership, research and educational efforts. Gandhi is chief clinical and safety officer at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. 

Daphne Haas-Kogan, HMS professor of radiation oncology and chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children’s Hospital.

For research on the study of genetic abnormalities of brain tumors and successfully translating laboratory discoveries to the treatment of cancer, which led to a multitude of successful clinical trials that have helped shape targeted therapies for adult and pediatric malignancies.

Scott Rauch, HMS professor of psychiatry and head of the Department of Psychiatry at McLean Hospital.

For elucidating the neurocircuitry of anxiety disorders including PTSD and obsessive-compulsive disorder, which has been instrumental in the development of novel treatments. Rauch is president, psychiatrist-in-chief and the Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo Endowed Chair of Psychiatry at McLean Hospital. 

Peter Slavin,  professor of health care policy in the Department of Health Care Policy in the Blavatnik Institute at Harvard Medical School.

For being an influential voice for academic medical centers in the changing health care landscape, and for his focus on systems innovations to improve quality and value, and the inclusion of community health and diversity, as inextricable components of the academic mission. Slavin is president of Massachusetts General Hospital. 

Benjamin Sommers, HMS associate professor of medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

For his health policy expertise on Medicaid and the health care safety net, as well as for research and policy advocacy that have influenced the implementation and debate on the future of the Affordable Care Act.  Sommers is professor of health policy and economics at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public.

Beth Stevens, HMS associate professor of neurology at Boston Children’s Hospital

For redefining our understanding of how the wiring in the brain occurs in early life and shedding new light on how the nervous and immune systems interact in the brain, in health and disease. Stevens is an investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and an institute member at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

Mehmet Toner, the HMS Helen Andrus Benedict Professor of Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital

For creating microfluidic devices with “real life” clinical applications in cancer diagnosis, prenatal diagnosis, regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. Toner is founding co-director of the Institute for Bioengineering and Biotechnology and director of the BioMEMS Center at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Catherine Wu, HMS professor of medicine at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

For pioneering the design and implementation of personalized genomics-guided cancer immunotherapy that focused on vaccination strategies to address the challenges of cancer heterogeneity and evolution. Wu is chief of the Division of Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapies, Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. 

“These newly elected members represent the most exceptional scholars and leaders whose remarkable work has advanced science, medicine, and health in the U.S. and around the globe,” said National Academy of Medicine President Victor Dzau. “Their expertise will be vital to addressing today’s most pressing health and scientific challenges and informing the future of health and medicine for the benefit of us all. I am honored to welcome these esteemed individuals to the National Academy of Medicine.”

The National Academy of Medicine, established in 1970 as the Institute of Medicine, addresses critical issues in health, science, medicine, and related policy and inspires positive actions across sectors. It works alongside the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding. With their election, NAM members make a commitment to volunteer their service in National Academies activities.

Adapted from a  National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine news release.