ASGCT News

Congratulations to ASGCT Members Elected to National Academy of Medicine

ASGCT Staff - October 20, 2020

We are proud to announce that Drs. Cynthia Dunbar, David Liu, and Jerry Mendell have been elected to the National Academy of Medicine

Three ASGCT members were among the group of 100 experts in science, medicine, health, and policy elected this week to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM).

ASGCT Past-President Cynthia E. Dunbar, M.D., David R. Liu, Ph.D., and Jerry R. Mendell, M.D., joined 87 regular members and 10 international members whose election was announced during NAM’s annual meeting. Election to the Academy is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service, according to the announcement.

New members are elected by current members through a process that recognizes individuals who have made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care, and public health. The newly elected members bring NAM’s total membership to more than 2,200 and the number of international members to approximately 175.

Here are the election citations for Drs. Dunbar, Liu, and Mendell:

Cynthia E. Dunbar, M.D., NIH Distinguished Investigator and branch chief, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md. Dr. Dunbar has led pioneering genetic marking and therapy trials targeting hematopoietic stem cells, and developed uniquely predictive non-human primate models to successfully improve the safety and efficiency of various gene therapies as well as gain insights into hematopoiesis and immunology.

David R. Liu, Ph.D., Richard Merkin Professor and vice chair of the faculty, Broad Institute; Thomas Dudley Cabot Professor of the Natural Sciences and professor of chemistry and chemical biology, Harvard University; and investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Cambridge, Mass. Dr. Liu has creatively used principles of evolution to study biology and medicine. He developed base editing and prime editing to modify genomes with unprecedented precision. Dr. Liu also developed DNA‐templated and DNA‐encoded synthesis to facilitate drug discovery, as well as phage‐assisted continuous evolution to speed protein evolution dramatically.

Jerry R. Mendell, M.D., Curran-Peters Chair of Pediatric Research, Abigail Wexner Research Institute, Nationwide Children’s Hospital; and professor of pediatrics and neurology, Ohio State University, Columbus. Dr. Mendell has pioneered gene therapy for neuromuscular diseases. He performed one the first in vivo adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene therapy trials in 1999, and expanded the application of gene replacement, showing safety and efficacy for untreatable conditions like spinal muscular atrophy and receiving Food and Drug Administration approval as first systemic AAV delivery.

 

 

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