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Six at Yale named to Institute of Medicine

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2006 - Spring


Top honor goes to experts in drug development, diabetes, obesity, neuroscience and genetics.

Six Yale researchers, five from the School of Medicine and one from the School of Nursing, were elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies in October. Their election brings the number of Yale scholars in the IOM to 37, including two at the School of Management and one at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

“It is unprecedented in recent memory that so many from our institution have been elected in a single year,” said Dean Robert J. Alpern, M.D., Ensign Professor of Medicine. Previously, according to IOM records, no more than three Yale scientists had been elected in one year. These elections, Alpern said, give Yale one of the highest concentrations of members of any institution in the nation.

The six were honored at a reception in the Medical Historical Library in December.

Elected this year are Kelly D. Brownell, Ph.D., chair and professor of psychology, professor of epidemiology and director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity; Pietro De Camilli, M.D., FW ’79, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Cell Biology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator; Margaret Grey, R.N., Dr.Ph., the Annie Goodrich Professor of Nursing and dean of the School of Nursing; Joseph Schlessinger, Ph.D., the William H. Prusoff Professor of Pharmacology and chair of pharmacology; Gerald I. Shulman, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine and of cellular and molecular physiology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator; and Joan A. Steitz, Ph.D., Sterling Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry.

Brownell is perhaps best known for his efforts to curb obesity, which form part of his studies of the intersections of behavior, environment and health. De Camilli is a cell biologist interested in understanding molecular mechanisms in presynaptic function and the role of phosphoinositide metabolism in the regulation of membrane traffic. Schlessinger’s lab studies the mode of action of growth factor receptors and the intracellular signaling pathways that are activated by growth factor stimulation. Shulman is an expert on the mechanisms of insulin resistance, the role of the liver and muscle in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes and the benefits of exercise in diabetes management. Steitz discovered snRNPs, small particles in cells that are necessary to convert genetic information into active proteins. Grey is renowned for her studies of adaptation to chronic illness in childhood, particularly in children with type 1 diabetes mellitus.

The Yale researchers are among 64 new members elected to the IOM in 2005. The IOM was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to honor professional achievement in the health sciences and to serve as a national resource for independent analysis and recommendations on issues related to medicine, biomedical sciences and health.

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