Emory Report
November 8, 2004
Volume 57, Number 11


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November 8, 2004
IOM elects three Emory faculty as new members

BY Holly Korschun

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has elected three Emory faculty members and two adjunct/clinical faculty members to its new class of 65 top national health scientists, bringing Emory’s total IOM membership to 18 (including adjunct professors) only a decade after the University could claim just one member.

Emory also claimed another distinction at the IOM’s annual meeting, held Oct. 18–19 in Washington; Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing Dean Marla Salmon was the only registered nurse to speak at the event and the first to speak to the IOM in quite some time. Salmon spoke about nursing as a key element in elder care; the confluence of an aging baby boomer population and the national nursing shortage could create a significant problem in elder care. Salmon theorized that perhaps nursing could be “hybridized” with other disciplines in the future.

Election to the IOM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of medicine and health. Current active members elect new members from among candidates nominated for their professional achievement and commitment to service.

Ruth Berkelman, Rollins Professor and director of the Center for Public Health Preparedness and Research in the Rollins School of Public Health; Mahlon DeLong, William P. Timmie Professor of Neurology and director of the Comprehensive Neuroscience Center in the School of Medicine (SOM); and Stephen Warren, William P. Timmie Professor and chair of human genetics in the SOM, are newly elected IOM members.

CDC Director Julie Gerberding, clinical associate professor of medicine in the SOM and adjunct professor of epidemiology; and James Marks, a CDC scientist and adjunct associate professor of epidemiology, also were elected to membership.

Berkelman is a public health leader who long has been at the forefront of efforts to prepare for the threat of emerging infectious diseases. She has been a member of the public health faculty since 2001, with a joint SOM appointment. She is former assistant surgeon general of the U.S. Public Health Service and deputy director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases. She recently was appointed chair of the American Society of Microbiology’s Public and Scientific Affairs Board, and she is a member of IOM’s Forum on Emerging Infections and a member of the National Academies’ Board of Life Science.

DeLong is internationally recognized for his pioneering research in Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. An SOM faculty member since 1990, he established Emory’s National Institutes of Health-funded Parkinson’s Disease Center for Excaellence, one of the nation’s most comprehensive and successful Parkinson’s research and treatment programs. DeLong’s research led to a new understanding of the mechanisms behind Parkinson’s and opened the door to an era of medical and surgical treatment advances that have dramatically improved the quality of life for thousands of patients.

Warren, who joined the SOM faculty in 1985, is renowned for leading an international research team that identified the gene responsible for fragile X syndrome, the most common inherited form of mental retardation. This groundbreaking discovery also led to the uncovering of “triplet repeat expansion,” the unique mutational mechanism present in more than a dozen genetic disorders, including Huntington’s Disease. This year Warren was chosen president-elect of the American Society of Human Genetics. In 2003 the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development selected him for its Hall of Honor. He has served as editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Human Genetics since 1999.