October 18, 2021

Barkin elected to the National Academy of Medicine

Vanderbilt’s Shari Barkin, MD, MSHS, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine.


by Rachel Vitolo

Shari Barkin, MD, MSHS

Shari Barkin, MD, MSHS, chief of the Division of General Pediatrics and William K. Warren Foundation Professor of Pediatrics, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), the organization announced Oct. 18.

Operating under the 1863 Congressional charter of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (the National Academies) are private, nonprofit institutions that work outside of government to provide objective advice on matters of science, technology and health. The NAM elects 90 regular members and 10 international members annually, and membership reflects the height of professional achievement and commitment to service.

“I am deeply honored to join this remarkable group of scientists and leaders,” said Barkin. “The mission of NAM is aligned with my personal reason for waking up every day: to improve health for all by advancing science and accelerating health equity while informing national and global initiatives.”

The NAM (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was founded in 1970. With more than 2,200 members, NAM provides independent, authoritative and trusted advice nationally and globally.

Barkin is internationally known in the field of behavioral interventions for her work on two of the most critical public health problems facing children — youth violence and obesity. Her research focuses on changing early growth trajectories in childhood, applying the ecologic model that considers the child in the context of their family and the family in the context of their community. She received her medical degree from the University of Cincinnati, completed her pediatric residency at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, and a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars fellowship in Health Services Research at UCLA. Barkin joined the faculty at Vanderbilt in 2006 from Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

She is currently working with Head Start, Metro Nashville Parks and Recreation and the Nashville Food Project to test the health and educational benefits of whole, unprocessed foods in preschool and after-school programs. Ultimately, this data will inform policy guidelines in Nashville Metro Schools.

Her other research endeavors include assessing drivers of telehealth access for diverse pediatric populations and studying the effectiveness, reach and maintenance of firearm injury prevention counseling for pediatric patients using the Safer Training Platform, which Barkin developed in 2020.

With the announcement of Barkin’s membership, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine has 19 current and emeritus faculty members who have been elected to the NAM.

“I am thrilled that Dr. Barkin has been elected to this prestigious institution,” said Steven Webber, MBChB, MRCP, chair of the Department of Pediatrics, pediatrician-in-chief of Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and the James C. Overall Professor. “Her commitment to improving the health and well-being of our patients here at Children’s Hospital, in the community of Nashville, and around the world is deeply deserving of this recognition.”

Barkin has previously served as president of the Society for Pediatric Research, as well as chair of the NIH’s Childhood Obesity Prevention and Treatment Research Consortium. She was named Pediatrician of the Year by the Tennessee Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2018 and received the 2019 Academic Pediatric Association (APA) Research Award.