Harvard Professors Elected to the National Academy of Medicine
Thirteen Harvard faculty members were elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) this week, including half a dozen whose work has been profiled in Harvard Magazine:
- Dan Barouch began developing a vaccine for SARS CoV-2 in January. The vaccine was first tested in monkeys and hamsters; phase three human trials are now underway. He previously developed a vaccine against the Zika virus, and a vaccine to fight HIV is in trials.
- Marc Lipsitch worked on the first SARS outbreak and been a leading voice among epidemiologists during the current pandemic.
- David Liu has pioneered methods for accelerating evolution in the laboratory, and has developed precise methods for chemically altering the letters used to write genetic code.
- Paul Ridker has been a leader in the study of inflammation and its relationship to numerous diseases.
- Pardis Sabeti is a polymath, an evolutionary geneticist whose work in computational biology has aided the fight against numerous infectious diseases; and
- Xiaowei Zhuang has led advances in optical microscopy that have shed new light on life itself.
The NAM (formerly the Institute of Medicine) provides authoritative scientific information and advice on issues in health and medicine to policymakers, leaders, and professionals around the globe. Current members elect new members to the organization annually.
Citations accompanying the election of the Harvard faculty members follow.
Dan H. Barouch ’93, M.D. ’99, Ph.D., Castle professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School (HMS); and director, Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For being an international leader in virology and immunology and developing novel vaccines and cure strategies for viruses of global importance, including working on one of the first COVID-19 vaccine candidates, the first Zika virus vaccine, and the first global mosaic HIV-1 vaccine, as well as defining immunotherapeutic HIV-1 cure strategies.
Myles Brown, M.D., Frei professor of medicine, HMS; and director, Center for Functional Cancer Epigenetics, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. For his leadership in oncology and endocrinology, whose seminal contributions have fundamentally reformulated the mechanistic understanding of hormone dependence of breast and prostate cancers, enabling the development of new therapies for these diseases.
Yolonda Lorig Colson, M.D., Ph.D., chief of Division of Thoracic Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospita (MGH)l; and Grillo professor of surgery in the field of thoracic surgery, HMS. For contributions to the fields of thoracic surgery, polymer-mediated chemotherapy release, and lymphatic drug delivery, and for leading a national paradigm shift to improve maintenance of certification for surgeons.
Merit Cudkowicz, M.D. ’89, S.M. ’96, chief of neurology and director, Sean M. Healey and AMG Center for ALS, MGH; and Dorn professor of neurology, HMS. For leading the first neuroscience antisense oligonucleotide therapy trial, establishing the first platform trial in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), helping to develop a successful treatment for sporadic ALS, AMX0035, and creating global networks to accelerate treatment development for many disorders.
David E. Fisher, Ph.D., M.D., Wigglesworth professor of dermatology, HMS; and chief, department of dermatology, MGH. For elucidating the ultraviolet (UV) pigmentation pathway, UV-seeking endorphin response, skin cancer prevention strategies, and hair graying mechanism; discovering melanoma and sarcoma oncogenes; and developing a routinely used melanoma diagnostic.
Joel N. Hirschhorn ’86, M.D. ’90, Ph.D. ’95, chief, Division of Endocrinology, Boston Children’s Hospital; Concordia professor of pediatrics and professor of genetics, HMS; and member, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. For his development of methods and standards for performing and interpreting genome-wide association studies. He leads the Genetic Investigation of ANthropometric Traits (GIANT) consortium, which identified most currently known loci associated with stature and obesity.
Aaron S. Kesselheim ’96, M.D., J.D., M.P.H. ’07, professor of medicine, HMS; and faculty member, Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics, department of medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital. For his national leadership in studying how prescription drugs and medical devices interact with regulatory practices and the law to affect patient health outcomes. Blending rigorous empirical and policy analysis, his research shapes the understanding of how to improve the safety, effectiveness, and affordability of medical products.
Judy Lieberman ’69, Ph.D., M.D. ’81, chair of cellular and molecular medicine and professor of pediatrics, Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital and HMS. For uncovering the molecular basis for mammalian and microbial cell death by cytotoxic lymphocytes and during inflammation/sepsis triggered by pathogens and danger signals. She pioneered harnessing ribonucleic acid (RNA) interference for therapy and gene discovery and was the first to show that small RNAs could be used as drugs in vivo.
Marc Lipsitch, D.Phil., professor, departments of epidemiology and immunology and infectious diseases, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. For making major immunologic, genomic, and evolutionary advances in understanding pneumococcal biology; contributing to defining influenza seasonality mechanisms; and making large contributions to computational/statistical methods for vaccine evaluation.
David R. Liu ’94, Ph.D., Merkin professor and vice chair of the faculty, Broad Institute; Cabot professor of the natural sciences and professor of chemistry and chemical biology, Harvard University; and investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute. For creatively using principles of evolution to study biology and medicine, including the development of base editing and prime editing to modify genomes with unprecedented precision, the development of DNA‐templated and DNA‐encoded synthesis to facilitate drug discovery, and the development of phage‐assisted continuous evolution to speed protein evolution dramatically.
Paul M. Ridker, M.D. ’85, M.P.H. ’92, Braunwald professor of medicine, HMS; and director, Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, Brigham and Women’s Hospital. For his paradigm-shifting work that has not only provided proof-of-principle for the inflammation hypothesis of atherothrombosis but also provided clinicians with the first Food and Drug Administration-approved diagnostic test for vascular inflammation and the first proven anti-inflammatory treatment for atherosclerosis.
Pardis C. Sabeti, M.D. ’04, D.Phil., M.Sc., professor, departments of organismic and evolutionary biology and immunology and infectious disease, Harvard University; member, Broad Institute; and investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute. For her leadership in generating and releasing the first viral genome data during the 2013-2016 West African Ebola outbreak to advance countermeasures in the response. Her team’s work in genomics, information theory, diagnostics, rural surveillance, and education have further contributed to efforts to combat Zika, Lassa, Ebola, malaria, and many other infectious diseases.
Xiaowei Zhuang, Ph.D., Arnold professor of science, Harvard University. For pioneering super-resolution imaging and imaging-based single-cell genomics, and for using these methods to uncover novel structures in cells, novel spatial and functional organization of cells in tissues, and examples of how misregulation may cause disorders.