November 13, 2009

Barkin to serve on NAS children’s health board

Barkin to serve on NAS children’s health board

Shari Barkin, M.D., professor of Pediatrics and director of the Division of General Pediatrics, has been selected to serve on the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Board of Children, Youth and Families.

The board works to produce guidelines and reports, often in collaboration with the Institute of Medicine, to influence the public, health care providers and policymakers. Barkin begins her three-year term in January.

“Shari's selection to this National Academy of Sciences board reflects the importance and visibility her own efforts have had for children's health and health policy,” said Louis Muglia, M.D., Ph.D., vice chair for

Shari Barkin, M.D.

Shari Barkin, M.D.

Among the board's recent publications are “Depression in parents, parenting and children,” “Adolescent health services,” “Preventing mental, emotional and behavioral disorders among young people — progress and possibilities."

“These evidence-based probes often lead to recommendations and publications that are considered by national policymakers," Barkin said.

“That's exactly where we want to be. At Vanderbilt, we want to take excellent science and develop actions that result in improved health for children.”

Barkin also hopes to serve on a committee of the board that will look at developing biomarkers in children. She has been active in similar work as the chair-elect of the National Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Consortium Child Health Oversight Committee, working with the 43 CTSA sites across the country.

“Biomarkers might include, for example, cytokines associated with the risk of chronic ailments such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease. The committee will conduct an evidence-based probe to examine potential markers and their effective use to understand healthy development over the lifespan,” Barkin said.

Barkin will attend NAS Board of Children, Youth and Families meetings several times a year in Washington, D.C. She said she hopes to bring a Vanderbilt voice to national policymaking regarding the health of children based on the cutting edge research done here.