Mario Capecchi, Vivian Lee Awarded with Membership in National Academy of Medicine

The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) elected 80 new members on Oct. 19, including two from the U: Mario Capecchi, Nobel laureate, and Vivian Lee, senior vice president of Health Sciences.

Membership is based on achievement in medicine and health. Capecchi is known for his work in allowing scientists to choose which genes are mutated in experiments with mice. He won the Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine in 2007, along with Oliver Smithies and Martin Evans.

vivian lee

Capecchi said being part of NAM is an “enormous honor” and that it “speaks very well” for the U to have two members in the group. As a member of the academy, he will work to write papers and make recommendations to the medical community. He will also decide where emphasis should be on research for the committees studying health improvements in the U.S.

Lee, who also serves as CEO of U Health Care and as dean of the School of Medicine, is a radiologist focusing on MRI research to improve the understanding of disease and physiology. She’s authored more than 150 peer-reviewed research publications.

The NAM nomination, Lee said, is “one of the highest honors.” For her, it reflects two things: It displays the high caliber of research done with MRIs, as well as work across the health sciences. As a member of the academy, Lee will work on reports detailing the challenges facing health care and academic medicine.

NAM also works with the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. The group has 1,826 U.S. members and 136 international members.

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