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Institute of Medicine honors Vanderbilt’s Clayton

Oct. 21, 2013, 8:43 AM

Ellen Wright Clayton, M.D., J.D., the Craig-Weaver Professor of Pediatrics and professor of Law at Vanderbilt University, has won the David Rall Medal from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) for “exemplary” service to the institute.

Ellen Wright Clayton, M.D., J.D.

Clayton currently is a member of the Executive Committee of the IOM Council and the Report Review Committee, as well as chair of the IOM’s Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice (BPH). She has served on 10 report committees, chairing four.

“Working with incredibly smart people with a wide range of knowledge to help address our nation’s pressing problems has been one of the most satisfying and exciting parts of my career,” she said.

The IOM is the health arm of the National Academies, which also includes the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering and National Research Council.

An internationally respected leader in the field of law and genetics, Clayton also is co-founder of the Vanderbilt Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society.

She was elected to the IOM in 2006 and to the IOM Council in 2009. In 2012, she was appointed to a three-year term as chair of the BPH, which studies issues such as vaccine safety, health disparities and reducing environmental and occupational hazards.

A graduate of Duke University, Clayton received a master’s degree from Stanford, her law degree from Yale and her M.D. from Harvard.

She joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 1988, has published two books and 150 scholarly articles and chapters on the intersection of law, medicine and public health, and teaches interdisciplinary courses to medical and law students.

She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and recently was elected to the American Pediatric Society.

Clayton has advised the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other federal and international bodies including the Human Genome Organisation on topics ranging from children’s health to the ethical conduct of research involving human subjects.

Her IOM award is named for the late David Rall, M.D., Ph.D., former director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the NIH. Past recipients include Nobel laureates Joshua Lederberg, Ph.D., and Torsten Wiesel, M.D.

Clayton is among 20 current Vanderbilt faculty members elected to the IOM. Bill Stead, M.D., associate vice chancellor for Health Affairs and Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Chief Strategy and Information Officer, also serves on the IOM’s 21-member council.

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