October 13, 2006

Three elected to Institute of Medicine

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Three elected to Institute of Medicine

Vanderbilt University Medical Center faculty members Ellen Wright Clayton, M.D., J.D., and Randolph (Randy) Miller, M.D., and professor emeritus of Medicine Alastair J.J. Wood, M.B., Ch.B., have been elected to the prestigious Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies, the organization announced this week.

Comprised of top health experts and life scientists, the IOM serves as an adviser to the nation to improve health. Clayton, Miller and Wood join some 1,584 IOM members, including 13 other Vanderbilt faculty members. Members are elected by a vote of current members.

“My congratulations go out to these three highly deserving colleagues, each of whom will be a credit to the Institute of Medicine,” said Harry Jacobson, M.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs, who is a member of the IOM.

“Of course, an honor of this sort, now bestowed on three more of our faculty members, also reflects on our institution and its standing among the world's top academic medical centers, and helps confirm that Vanderbilt is a place where top minds and talents can do their best work.”

"Becoming a member of the IOM represents recognition by your peers that you have made major contributions to medicine. I join Vice Chancellor Jacobson and all of our faculty in congratulating Ellen, Randy and Alastair for this well-deserved honor,” said Steven Gabbe, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine and also a member of the IOM.

Clayton, a pediatrician, law professor and health policy expert, is the Rosalind E. Franklin Professor of Genetics and Health Policy, professor of Pediatrics and Law and co-director of Vanderbilt's Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society. She is a 1985 graduate of Harvard Medical School and a 1979 graduate of Yale Law School. She has a master's from Stanford University (1976) and a bachelor's from Duke University (1974).

“This is a wonderful honor and I'm just thrilled,” Clayton said. “A large part of my career has been dedicated to trying to help the country make better policy choices, and the IOM has a long tradition of service in that area. It's a privilege to get to work with great people on important problems facing our nation.”

Miller, an internist and a leading authority in biomedical informatics, is the Donald A.B. and Mary M. Lindberg Professor of Biomedical Informatics, professor of Medicine and Nursing, and from 1994 to 2004 was the founding chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics. He is a 1976 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and holds a bachelor's from Princeton University (1971).

“This is indeed an honor,” Miller said. “The IOM has, especially in the last decade, had a substantial impact on clinical practice in the U.S., and I look forward to contributing to its activities. I would like to thank [Informatics Center Director] Bill Stead for providing an environment that encourages people to live up to their potential, and to thank Vanderbilt for encouraging progress through highly collaborative work among faculty and staff.”

An internationally known expert on drug metabolism, Wood currently is a managing director of Symphony Capital LLC, a biopharmaceutical investment firm in New York City.

He received his medical degree from St. Andrew's University and Dundee Medical School in Scotland, and joined the Vanderbilt faculty in Clinical Pharmacology in 1978. Wood later served as assistant vice chancellor for Research and as associate dean for external affairs.

Wood has served on the editorial boards of four major journals, on National Institutes of Health study sections, and on Food and Drug Administration advisory committees. In 2001 he was a candidate for the FDA commissioner's post.

About his election to the IOM, Wood said, “Although these awards are given to individuals, they reflect the success of the research environment at an institution like Vanderbilt, and really should be viewed as recognition of the entire research group.”

Other members of the IOM among Vanderbilt’s faculty include: James Blumstein, LL.B.; Peter Buerhaus, Ph.D., R.N.; Colleen Conway-Welch, Ph.D., R.N.; Larry Churchill, Ph.D.; Steven Gabbe, M.D.; Carl Haywood, Ph.D. (emeritus); George C. Hill, Ph.D.; Harry Jacobson, M.D.; Dan Masys, M.D.; Harold Moses, M.D.; John Oates, M.D.; Mildred Stahlman, M.D.; and Bill Stead, M.D.