Friday, October 15, 2010

MGH researchers elected to Institute of Medicine




Two MGH physician-researchers were elected to the prestigious Institute of Medicine (IOM) during its 40th annual meeting on Oct. 11. Membership in the IOM is one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.

The two new MGH members are David M. Altshuler, MD, PhD, of the Center for Human Genetic Research, the Diabetes Unit in the Department of Medicine and the Department of Molecular Biology, and Bruce Rosen, MD, PhD, of the Department of Imaging and director of the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging. Gary Gottlieb, MD, MBA, president and chief executive officer of Partners HealthCare, was also among the 65 new members and five foreign associates named as new members this year. The IOM's total membership is 1,817.

Founded in 1970, the IOM is a source for independent, scientifically informed analysis and recommendations on health issues. Topics addressed by the IOM in the past year include the cardiovascular effects of secondhand smoke, nutrition standards for the federal school meals program, prevention and control of viral hepatitis, and strategies to decrease Americans' sodium intake and reduce rates of hypertension. IOM membership recognizes individuals who have made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care and public health.

"I'm tremendously grateful to the MGH for its support over the last 16 years," says Altshuler. My work has only been possible because of the MGH's unique combination of excellence in clinical medicine, commitment to letting each investigator follow his or her own nose, and amazing colleagues and trainees." Altshuler's research focuses on studies of human genome sequence variation to understand the inherited basis of common human diseases, such as type 2 diabetes.

Rosen's research addresses how advanced imaging tools, such as functional MRI, can be applied to solve specific biological and clinical problems. "It is certainly a great honor to have been nominated, let alone elected to the IOM," says Rosen. "It is an opportunity to put forward perspectives on the importance of the kind of translational research the MGH is famous for facilitating and in using those advances to improve health."

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