Associate head and professor of biology Peter S. Kim and professor of biology Robert A. Weinberg were among 60 new members named to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies last week.
Professors Kim and Weinberg are members of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. Professor Kim also is an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
In addition to the IOM, the National Academies include the National Academy of Science, the National Academy of Engineering and the National Research Council.
The IOM has 613 members. In addition, five people were honored by direct election to senior membership, bringing that total to 711. The number of foreign associates totals 56 with the election of five this year.
Current active members elect new members from among candidates chosen for their major contributions to health and medicine or to related fields such as social and behavioral sciences, law, administration and economics.
Election to the IOM is an honor and also entails an obligation to work on behalf of the organization in its governance and studies. With their election, members make a commitment to devote a significant amount of time as volunteers on committees engaged in a broad range of studies on health policy issues. Current IOM projects include studies on the creation of a medical system to support long-duration space travel beyond Earth orbit, the development of new technologies for the early detection of breast cancer, and the safety and efficacy of the anthrax vaccine used by the US military.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 25, 2000.