October 18, 2022 – Three faculty members from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health—Wafaie Fawzi, Vikram Patel, and John Quackenbush—have been elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM). Membership is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievements and commitment to service.
Fawzi, Richard Saltonstall Professor of Population Sciences and professor of nutrition, epidemiology, and global health, was chosen for making outstanding contributions to advancing the science of safety and efficacy of nutritional interventions in the prevention and management of major global health threats, for spurring translation of evidence into policy and programs, and for leading major efforts to train future public health leaders.
Fawzi has focused on interventions to enhance maternal health and child health and development, particularly in developing countries in Africa and Asia. Over the past 25 years, he has led the design and implementation of more than 30 randomized controlled trials, with an emphasis on nutritional factors, as well as observational studies to understand the broader epidemiology of global health challenges.
Patel is professor in the Department of Global Health and Population at Harvard Chan School as well as Pershing Square Professor of Global Health in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He was chosen for his scholarship on the burden and determinants of mental health problems in resource-poor settings, and on the deployment of community resources for their prevention, diagnosis, and care. His efforts were cited for transforming policy and practice globally and for driving the emergence of “global mental health” as a vibrant field of research, training, implementation, and advocacy.
In addition to his Harvard appointments, Patel is also an adjunct professor and joint director of the Centre for Chronic Conditions and Injuries at the Public Health Foundation of India, honorary professor at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (where he co-founded the Center for Global Mental Health in 2008) and is a co-founder of Sangath—an Indian NGO focused on child development, adolescent health, and mental health—which won the MacArthur Foundation’s International Prize for Creative and Effective Institutions in 2008 and the WHO Public Health Champion of India award in 2016.
Quackenbush is Henry Pickering Walcott Professor of Computational Biology and Informatics and chair of the Department of Biostatistics at Harvard Chan School, as well as professor in the Channing Division of Network Medicine, and professor at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He was named to NAM for being a pioneer in computational and systems biology and reproducible research with a record of continuous innovation. His recent work bridges the gap between genetics and gene regulation, giving unprecedented insight into human health and disease, including how a person’s sex influences disease risk and response to therapy.
Analyzing vast bodies of genomic data, Quackenbush’s research group has studied patterns of gene expression in cancer, with the goal of elucidating the networks and pathways involved in the disease’s development and progression.
NAM is one of three academies that make up the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The National Academies are private, nonprofit institutions that work outside of government to provide objective advice on matters of science, technology, and health.
Read the National Academy of Medicine press release: National Academy of Medicine Elects 100 New Members