October 18, 2002

Jacobson elected to Institute of Medicine

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Jacobson elected to Institute of Medicine

Dr. Harry R. Jacobson, vice chancellor for Health Affairs, has been elected into the prestigious Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, the organization announced this week.

Jacobson joins an elite group of 1,472 individuals who have been elected into the IOM on the basis of professional achievement and of demonstrated interest, concern and involvement with problems and critical issues that affect the health of the public. Election to the IOM comes by a vote of its current members and the competition is great.

“I am extremely honored to have been elected into such a prestigious organization,” Jacobson said. “It’s a high honor that means a great deal to me because it represents the opinions of my peers in medicine. But the honor is not for me alone. Vanderbilt, through the opportunities afforded to me and through its remarkable faculty and staff with whom I have worked, rightfully shares in this recognition.”

The IOM was established in 1970 as a unit of the National Academy of Sciences. It is broadly based in biomedical sciences and health professions as well as related aspects of the behavioral and social sciences, administration, law, the physical sciences and engineering. It is concerned with the protection and advancement of the health professions and sciences, the promotion of research and development pertinent to health, and the improvement of health care. It is expected that the members of the Institute will maintain and exemplify the highest standard of scientific integrity.

In the pursuit of its mission, the Institute conducts studies of specific problems. Through election or appointment to advisory, steering or governing committees, members contribute their knowledge and professional judgment to the development of findings and the formulation of recommendations, most of which relate to public policy.

"This is a remarkable recognition of Dr. Jacobson’s lifelong contributions to nephrology and medicine in general," said Dr. Steven G. Gabbe, dean of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and a fellow IOM member. "But it also represents the Institute’s belief that Harry Jacobson will continue to contribute to the improvement of medicine in this country."

“To be elected into the Institute of Medicine is indeed one of the highest honors a physician-scientist can achieve,” said Vanderbilt Chancellor Gordon Gee. “Harry not only has the admiration of those of us who work with him day to day, but with this election, that of his peers. He is providing extraordinary vision and leadership to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, so it is no surprise that he has been recognized by the most senior science organization in the country. Harry’s commitment to an interdisciplinary approach to research, patient care and education is elevating Vanderbilt to a new level.”

Jacobson, 55, was named vice chancellor for Health Affairs in 1997. A product of the Chicago public school system, Jacobson earned a bachelor of science degree from the University of Illinois in 1969. He attended medical school at the University of Illinois Abraham Lincoln School of Medicine where he was a member of Alpha Omega Alpha, the national medical honor society. After his graduation from medical school, he served his internship and residency in Medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, followed by a fellowship in Nephrology at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Dallas. Jacobson served two years as chief of the renal section for the U.S. Army Surgical Research Center at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. In 1978, his military service completed, he returned to Dallas as assistant professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center. He was promoted to associate professor in 1982.

In 1985, Jacobson left Dallas to accept a position as professor of Medicine and director of the Nephrology division at Vanderbilt. By that time, Jacobson had also distinguished himself in the field of nephrology research where he had interests in kidney physiology and the mechanisms of underlying kidney disease. His productive research continued at VUMC where he held more than $1.5 million in active grant support before his growing management responsibilities necessitated turning his research over to other investigators.

His impact on medicine and the field of nephrology reaches far beyond VUMC and Nashville, where he also served as staff physician and a nephrologist at Veteran’s Administration Hospital. He has served on numerous national committees and chaired two National Institutes of Health committees on issues in nephrology. He has contributed sections or chapters to 10 medical textbooks, has published more than 100 peer-reviewed original publications, has had editorial duties with a half-dozen medical and scientific journals, and is the co-editor of a major textbook on kidney disease, “The Principles and Practice of Nephrology,” now in its second edition. Jacobson is the co-founder of Renal Care Group, Inc., a nephrology practice/dialysis company.

Jacobson is also a leader in the field of technology transfer. He chairs the board of the Vanderbilt University Technology Corporation and is founding director of EBM Solutions, a leading provider of evidence-based guidelines and care management applications used to improve quality of care, reduce unwarranted medical practice variability, lower unnecessary costs and manage consumer adherence.

Jacobson becomes the 11th Vanderbilt faculty member to be elected to the Institute. Others are James F. Blumstein, professor of Law and director of the Center for Health Policy Studies; Dr. William W. Stead, associate vice chancellor for Health Affairs, professor of Medicine and Biomedical Informatics, assistant to the chancellor for Informatics and chief information officer for Vanderbilt University; Dr. Steven G. Gabbe, dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine; Dr. John A. Oates, Thomas F. Frist Sr. Professor of Medicine; Dr. Mildred T. Stahlman, professor of Pediatrics and Pathology; Brigid L. M. Hogan, Ph.D., Hortense B. Ingram Professor of Molecular Oncology; Colleen Conway-Welch, Ph.D., dean of the School of Nursing; H. Carl Haywood, Ph.D., professor of Psychology, Emeritus; Larry R. Churchill, Ph.D., professor of Medicine; and George C. Hill, Ph.D., Levi Watkins Jr. Professor and associate dean for Diversity in Medical Education, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.