Three UCLA medical school faculty elected to National Academy of Medicine

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Three faculty members of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA have been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, among the highest honors in the fields of medicine and health.

New members are elected by their peers through a process that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.

The three medical school faculty elected this year are:

  • Helena Hansen, MD, PhD, professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences. She co-chairs the medical school's Research Theme in Health Equity and Translational Social Science, which cultivates research collaborations between social and biomedical scientists in order to understand the mechanisms by which social determinants cause health inequalities.

    Hansen was as recognized for "leadership in the intersection of opioid addiction, race and ethnicity, social determinants of health, and social medicine; and for co-developing structural competency as clinical redress for institutional drivers of health inequalities."

    "I am gratified to be elected a member of the National Academy of Medicine based on bridging social sciences with medicine to intervene on structural racism and other systemic inequalities as they impact health," said Hansen, a psychiatrist and anthropologist. "This is a unique moment in American history to harness the rigor of social scholarship to create positive change."

  • Keith C. Norris, MD, PhD, professor and executive vice chair for equity, diversity and inclusion in the Department of Medicine. He is co-director of the UCLA Clinical and Translational Science Institute's community engagement research program.

    Norris was recognized for "making substantive intellectual, scientific, and policy contributions to the areas of chronic kidney disease and health disparities in under-resourced minority communities; developing transformative methods for community-partnered research; and developing and implementing innovative programs that have successfully increased diversity in the biomedical/health workforce."

    "I am honored to be elected into the National Academy of Medicine," he said. "This would not have been possible without the many outstanding colleagues and collaborators who inspire me every day to advance health equity and center my work on marginalized communities that our nation has left behind."

  • Peter Tontonoz, MD, PhD, the Francis and Albert Piansky Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.

    Tontonoz was recognized as "a pioneer in molecular lipid metabolism, defining basic physiology and revealing connections to human disease."

    "I am honored to be elected to the National Academy of Medicine, and I am grateful to UCLA for providing such a dynamic environment for medical research," he said. "I share this honor with the members of my research group, past and present, who have been driven to better understand metabolism and its connections to medicine."

Steven M. Dubinett, MD, interim dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and UCLA associate vice chancellor for research, congratulated the faculty members.

"The election of Drs. Hansen, Norris and Tontonoz to the National Academy of Medicine reflect the deep and broad excellence of our medical school faculty and our shared commitment to service and impactful research that advances equitable health care," Dubinett said.

Hansen, Norris and Tontonoz join 41 other UCLA faculty previously elected to the National Academy of MedicineEstablished originally as the Institute of Medicine in 1970, the National Academy of Medicine addresses critical issues in health, science, medicine and related policy. NAM works alongside the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions.

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