UT School of Public Health dean elected to Institute of Medicine
HOUSTON - (Oct. 12, 2009) - Roberta B. Ness, M.D., M.P.H., dean of The University of Texas School of Public Health, has been elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies, a nonprofit organization that serves as an adviser to the nation to improve health.
"This recognition by the IOM members of Dr. Ness's outstanding leadership, scientific accomplishment and significant contributions to medicine is a singular honor and well deserved," said Larry R. Kaiser, M.D., president of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and fellow member of the IOM. "I congratulate her personally and on behalf of the university. We are so fortunate to have her as a leader at UT Houston."
The IOM today announced Ness as one of 65 new members and five foreign associates elected on the basis of professional achievement and commitment to service. Election to the IOM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine. She is among fewer than 1,800 experts in their fields who volunteer service to the IOM to provide unbiased, evidence-based and authoritative information and advice concerning health and science to policymakers, professionals and the community at large.
"I am both honored and humbled to be chosen," said Ness, who will be formally inducted next year at the IOM's annual meeting in Washington, D.C. Ness is one of only three in Texas to be elected this year.
"It is a great pleasure to welcome these distinguished and accomplished individuals to the Institute of Medicine," said IOM President Harvey V. Fineberg, M.D., Ph.D. "Each of these new members stands out as a professional whose research, knowledge, and skills have significantly advanced health and medicine and who has served as a model for others. The Institute of Medicine is greatly enriched by the addition of our newly elected colleagues."
The honorific membership will allow Ness to continue her work on standing IOM committees while furthering the UT School of Public Health's mission of improving and sustaining the health of people by providing the highest quality graduate education, research and community service for Texas, the nation and internationally.
Since 2005, Ness has served on multiple IOM committees to provide policymakers with objective, scientifically sound advice on research of chronic disease risk, HIPAA's impact on biomedical research and asbestos' role in the causation of gastrointestinal cancers.
Ness, the M. David Low Chair of Public Health and co-director of the university's Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences, is a recognized expert in women's health research and was one of the first to propose the research paradigm now termed "gender-based biology" in her book "Health and Disease among Women" (Oxford University Press, 1999).
In 250 peer-reviewed publications and more than 20 federally funded grants, Ness has explored the epidemiology of ovarian cancer, pre-eclampsia and pelvic inflammatory disease; adverse pregnancy and perinatal outcomes; links between reproductive history and cardiovascular disease; and bacterial sexually transmitted diseases.
In addition to her contributions to several IOM reports, Ness is a frequent adviser to the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the U.S. Department of Defense.
Ness is one of seven faculty members at the UT Health Science Center at Houston who are among fewer than 40 in Texas elected to serve the IOM. Fellow IOM members include UT System Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., and Kenneth I. Shine, M.D., the UT System executive vice chancellor for health affairs.
The IOM was chartered in 1970 as a component of the National Academy of Sciences with the mission to provide science-based advice on matters of biomedical science, medicine and health as well as serve as an honorific membership organization. Visit www.iom.edu.
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