Two UC Berkeley faculty named to Institute of Medicine

Two University of California, Berkeley, faculty members — Barbara Abrams and Carolyn Bertozzi — have been named to the prestigious Institute of Medicine (IOM), one of the highest national honors in the fields of health and medicine.

They are among 65 new members elected to the IOM today (Monday, Oct. 17) in recognition of their outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.

The IOM is unique in its structure as both an honorific membership organization and an advisory organization. Established in 1970 as the health branch of the National Academy of Sciences, the IOM has become recognized as a national resource for independent, scientifically informed analysis and recommendations on health issues.

Barbara Abrams is a professor of epidemiology, maternal and child health, and public health nutrition at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health. Her research focuses on the role of nutrition and social/behavioral factors in human health, particularly for women, mothers and children.

Carolyn R. Bertozzi is the T.Z. and Irmgard Chu Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and professor of molecular and cellular biology at UC Berkeley. She is also an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and a senior faculty scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Her lab focuses on profiling changes in the cell surface associated with cancer, inflammation and bacterial infection, and on exploiting this information for development of diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.

With the election of Abrams and Bertozzi, UC Berkeley now counts 13 IOM members among its faculty.

“It is a great pleasure to welcome these distinguished and accomplished individuals to the Institute of Medicine,” said IOM President Harvey V. Fineberg in a press release. “Each of them stands out as a professional whose research, knowledge and skills have significantly advanced health and medicine, and their achievements are an inspiration.”

With their election, members make a commitment to volunteer their service on IOM committees, boards and other activities. Projects during the past year include studies on calculating people’s vitamin D and calcium needs; improving the process for clearing medical devices for the market; preventing obesity among infants and toddlers; improving American’s access to oral health care; preparing for the future of HIV/AIDS in Africa; ensuring the health of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people; and enhancing nurses’ roles in improving health care.

New IOM members are elected by current active members through a highly selective process that recognizes individuals who have made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care and public health. The newly elected members raise IOM’s total active membership to 1,688, and the number of foreign associates to 102.

Also: Q&As with professors Carolyn Bertozzi and Barbara Abrams