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National Academy of Medicine selects 3 UCLA professors for membership

Professor of medicine Dr. Keith Norris was one of three UCLA professors to be elected to the National Academy of Medicine, alongside Dr. Helena Hansen, a professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences, and Dr. Peter Tontonoz, a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine. The National Academy of Medicine elected Norris, Hansen and Tontonoz to the organization on Monday with 97 others based on achievements in medicine and public health. (Courtesy of Keith Norris)

By Constanza Montemayor, Victoria Li, and Christine Tran

Oct. 18, 2021 4:02 p.m.

Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly referred to the National Academy of Sciences as the National Academy of Science.

This post was updated Oct. 19 at 12:24 a.m.

The National Academy of Medicine elected three UCLA professors Monday, according to a NAM press release

At its annual meeting Monday, the NAM announced the election of Dr. Helena Hansen, Dr. Keith Norris and Dr. Peter Tontonoz as three of the 100 new members in its ranks. Individuals are elected annually in recognition of their outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service, according to the press release.

The NAM selected Hansen, a professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine, for her work on opioids and race. Hansen also helped develop the concept of structural competency in medical education, which encourages clinicians to recognize and address the social and economic forces that shape health.

Hansen is also associate director of the Center for Social Medicine and co-chair of the Research Theme in Health Equity and Translational Social Science.

Norris is a professor of medicine in the division of general internal medicine and health services research at the School of Medicine. According to the press release, the NAM selected Norris based on his achievements researching chronic kidney disease and health disparities, advancing community-partnered research in Los Angeles and leading initiatives to increase diversity in the biomedical workforce.

Norris also serves as executive vice chair for equity, diversity and inclusion in the department of medicine and as co-director of the Community Engagement and Research Program at the UCLA Clinical and Translational Science Institute.

“It is truly an honor to be inducted into the National Academy of Medicine,” Norris said in an emailed statement. “This honor really recognizes my many outstanding colleagues and collaborators, including my community partners.”

Tontonoz is a professor and endowed chair of pathology and laboratory medicine at the School of Medicine, who the academy recognized for his research on the control of gene expression by lipids and nuclear receptors in lipid metabolism. 

Tontonoz was previously elected to the National Academy of Sciences in May 2020. He is also an investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at UCLA. 

The NAM – one of the three National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine – is a nonprofit organization founded in 1970 to provide objective advice on topics relating to science, technology and health and to inform public policy. 

Current members of the academy elect new members through a process that recognizes individuals for their contributions to medical science and health care. The NAM has previously recognized 41 UCLA faculty, including Dr. Antoni Ribas, a professor of medicine, surgery and molecular and medical pharmacology, in 2020.

“It is my privilege to welcome this extraordinary class of new members,” said Dr. Victor Dzau, the NAM president, in the press release. “Their contributions to health and medicine are unmatched. They’ve made groundbreaking discoveries, taken bold action against social inequities, and led the response to some of the greatest public health challenges of our time.”

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Constanza Montemayor | Features and student life editor
Montemayor is currently the 2020-2021 features and student life editor. She was previously a News reporter, Photo contributor for the news beat and Arts contributor. She is also a second-year global studies student at UCLA.
Montemayor is currently the 2020-2021 features and student life editor. She was previously a News reporter, Photo contributor for the news beat and Arts contributor. She is also a second-year global studies student at UCLA.
Victoria Li | Science and Health editor
Li is the 2021-2022 science and health editor. She was previously a contributor for the science and health beat. She is also a third-year human biology and society student at UCLA who enjoys writing about research and public health.
Li is the 2021-2022 science and health editor. She was previously a contributor for the science and health beat. She is also a third-year human biology and society student at UCLA who enjoys writing about research and public health.
Christine Tran | National news and higher education editor
Tran is the 2021-2022 national news and higher education editor in addition to being a contributor for Enterprise. She is also a fourth-year political science student at UCLA.
Tran is the 2021-2022 national news and higher education editor in addition to being a contributor for Enterprise. She is also a fourth-year political science student at UCLA.
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