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Medical School Dean and Leading Neurologist Elected to Elite Institute

Monday, October 13, 2008

Guzick, at left, and Shoulson

David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the director of the University’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute, and Ira Shoulson, M.D., a neurologist who has pioneered research methods that have led to new treatments for Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative illnesses, have been elected to the prestigious Institute of Medicine (IOM), one of the nation’s highest honors in the fields of medicine and health.

According to the bylaws of the IOM, no more than 65 new members are elected annually. The number of active members is about 1,600. The University now has 16 faculty members or emeritus faculty in the institute.

“Election to the Institute of Medicine represents recognition by peers that a person has made major contributions to medicine and can provide important service to the nation,” said University President Joel Seligman. “This is truly a great honor for Dean Guzick and Dr. Shoulson, but also for the University of Rochester as a salute to the quality of our faculty.”

University Provost Ralph W. Kuncl, M.D., Ph.D., also praised the two newly-elected IOM members.

“As dean, David Guzick is leading our School of Medicine and Dentistry to new heights in education and in research. He is responsible for a climbing national reputation,” Kuncl said. “And for more than two decades, Ira Shoulson has worked to ensure that the testing of new medications is not only done rigorously but also with the highest integrity and sophistication. I am certain they will be able to contribute even more through the national work of the Institute of Medicine.”

Bradford C. Berk, M.D., Ph.D., University senior vice president for health services and chief executive officer of the University of Rochester Medical Center, said election to the IOM is a “career highlight.”   “Many aspire to the Institute of Medicine, not only because it represents national recognition by your colleagues, but because the IOM issues reports that determine the direction of future health policy,” Berk said. “David Guzick and Ira Shoulson have the leadership and vision to participate in the planning for future health care and we take great pride in their election.”

Guzick said he is “extremely humbled by this honor, especially because clinical research is always a collaborative effort.”

“My achievements reflect the profound influence of my clinical and research mentors, my collaborators, and the altruism of the many women and men who volunteered to participate in the research studies that my colleagues and I have conducted,” Guzick said.

Shoulson shared a similar reaction to his election.

“I am especially honored because my contributions represent the work of hundreds of colleagues who engage in cooperative clinical research,” said Shoulson, who is the Louis C. Lasagna Professor of Experimental Therapeutics and professor of Neurology, Pharmacology and Medicine at the School of Medicine and Dentistry.

“My election is a fitting recognition of the group, in addition to the individual honor,” Shoulson said. “I am buoyed by the fact that my achievements derive in large part from the dedicated work of my colleagues around the world in the Parkinson Study Group and Huntington Study Group, as well as the thousands of research participants who participate in our multi-center clinical trials.”

The IOM is both an honorific membership organization and a policy research organization. Established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences, the IOM is considered a national resource for independent scientific analysis and recommendations on human health issues. Members commit to devote a significant amount of volunteer time on committees.

The University’s other IOM members include: William H. Bowen, Ph.D., professor emeritus of Microbiology and Immunology; Thomas W. Clarkson, Ph.D., professor emeritus of Environmental Medicine; C. McCollister Evarts, M.D., Distinguished University Professor; Richard G. Farmer, M.D., professor of Medicine; Loretta C. Ford, dean emerita of the School of Nursing; Robert Griggs, M.D., professor of Neurology; Robert J. Haggerty, M.D., chair emeritus of Pediatrics; Caroline Breese Hall, M.D., professor of Pediatrics; Jean E. Johnson, professor emerita of Nursing; Robert J. Joynt, M.D., Ph.D., Distinguished University Professor; Elizabeth R. McAnarney, M.D., professor of Pediatrics and chair emerita of Pediatrics; Charles E. Phelps, Ph.D., University Professor; Seymour I. Schwartz, M.D., Distinguished Alumni Professor; and T. Franklin Williams, M.D., professor emeritus of Medicine.

For more about David S. Guzick, see this background information.

For more about Ira Shoulson, see this background information.

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