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Updated 10:00 AM October 25, 2004




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Three faculty selected for IOM membership

Three faculty members are among 65 new members of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies.

Paula Allen-Meares, Rowena Matthews and Dr. Michael Mulholland bring the University's total of IOM members to 28.

"It is an individual honor for each of these U-M faculty members to be elected to the IOM, as well as a source of pride for our University," says Dr. Allen Lichter, dean of the Medical School and the Newman Family Professor of Radiation Oncology.

"Recent ground-breaking reports from the IOM on such topics as children's health, cancer prevention/detection, and the plight of the uninsured illustrate the value of an interdisciplinary approach to defining and solving health problems in a medical, social and economic framework."

Allen-Meares is dean of the School of Social Work and Norma Radin Collegiate Professor of Social Work. Her research interests include the tasks and functions of social workers employed in educational settings; psychopathology in children, adolescents and families; adolescent sexuality; premature parenthood; and various aspects of social work practice.
(Photo by Philip Dattilo)

She is the principal investigator of the school's Global Program on Youth, an initiative supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation; and co-principal investigator of the National Institute of Mental Health Social Work Research Center on Poverty, Risk, and Mental Health.

She was appointed to the New York Academy of Medicine, which will study how to move health professions toward more effectively meeting the evolving health care needs of Americans.

Matthews is research professor in the Life Sciences Institute and Biophysics Research Division, and the G. Robert Greenberg Distinguished University Professor of Biological Chemistry.

She is a protein chemist who has studied the mechanisms of enzymes, including methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase. This enzyme catalyzes a critical step in the biochemical chain reaction within cells that converts homocysteine to an essential amino acid called methionine. Her work contributed to the discoveries that folic acid lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease, strokes and birth defects.
(Photo by Martin Vloet, U-M Photo Services)

Matthews also is a leading authority in understanding how vitamin-containing enzymes function in the body. In 2002, she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

Mulholland is the Frederick A. Coller Distinguished Professor and chair, Department of Surgery, and surgeon-in-chief of University Hospital.

Much of Mulholland's clinical interests focus on gastrointestinal surgery, including laparoscopic surgery and surgical endoscopy. Special interests include pancreaticobiliary disease, inflammatory bowel disease, gastric diseases and advanced laparoscopic surgery.

Mulholland's research interests include neurocrine control of digestive activity. Mulholland is the senior editor of the textbook "Surgery: Scientific Principles and Practice," which has become the leading text in the field.
(Photo by Michigan MultiMedia)

Members of IOM are elected through a highly selective process that recognizes people who have made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care and public health.

"Election is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of medicine and health," says IOM President Harvey Fineberg.

With their election, members make a commitment to devote a significant amount of volunteer time as members of IOM committees, which engage in a broad range of studies on health policy issues.

Active members elect new members from among candidates nominated for their professional achievement and commitment to service. A diversity of talent is assured by the institute's charter, which stipulates that at least one-fourth of the membership be selected from outside the health professions, from such fields as the natural, social and behavioral sciences; law; administration; engineering; and the humanities. The institute's total active membership is 1,416, as well as 76 individuals elected to foreign associate membership.

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