Two South Asians among 100 new inductees into the National Academy of Medicine

Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee. PHOTO:

Indian American physician and author Siddhartha Mukherjee, of  New York, and Pakistani-American bio-engineer Dr. Rashid Bashir of Illinois, are among the newly elected members of the prestigious National Academy of Medicine (NAM). The organization announced October 9, 2023, during its recent annual meeting, the election of 90 regular members and 10 international members.

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, a press release from NAM noted.

Mukherjee, associate professor of medicine, department of medicine, division of oncology, at Columbia University of Medicine, New York City, was recognized for contributing important research in the immunotherapy of myeloid malignancies, such as acute myeloid leukemia, for establishing international centers for immunotherapy for childhood cancers, and for the discovery of tissue-resident stem cells.

His book, “The Emperor of All Maladies,” won the Pulitzer Prize and was nominated by Time as one of the century’s 100 most influential books, introducing millions to modern cancer research. His 2016 book The Gene: An Intimate History made it to #1 on The New York Times Best Seller list, and was among The New York Times 100 best books of 2016, and a finalist for the Welcome Trust Prize and the Royal Society Prize for Science Books.

After completing secondary school education in India, Mukherjee studied biology at Stanford University, obtained a D.Phil. from University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, and an M.D. from Harvard University. He joined New York–Presbyterian Hospital / Columbia University Medical Center in New York City in 2009.

Mukherjee is among a select group of doctor-writers (such as Oliver Sacks and Atul Gawande) who have “transformed the public discourse on human health” and allowed a generation of readers a rare and intimate glimpse into the life of science and medicine, NAM said.

The Government of India conferred on him its fourth highest civilian award, the Padma Shri, in 2014.

Dr. Rashid Bashir. PHOTO:

Dr. Rashid Bashir, Grainger Distinguished Chair in Engineering, where he is also the dean, professor of bioengineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, was recognized for seminal contributions and visionary leadership in micro and nanoscale biosensors and diagnostics, bioengineering for early detection of infection and sepsis, and education in engineering-based medicine by helping to establish the world’s first engineering-based medical school at UIUC.

Dr. Bashir, who has 50 patents to his name, held numerous senior positions at UIUC since 2013. Prior to joining UIUC, he was at Purdue University from 1998–2007. From 1992 to 1998 he worked at National Semiconductor Corporation in Santa Clara, CA as Sr. Engineering Manager. He graduated with a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University in 1992. Dr. Bashir  authored or co-authored more than 240 journal papers, over 200 conference papers and conference abstracts. He is a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Award winner; a recipient of the 2012 IEEE EMBS Technical Achievement Award; and the Pritzker Lecture Award in 2018.

The new members of NAM are elected by current members based on their major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care, and public health. At least one-quarter of the membership is selected from fields outside the health professions, such as law, engineering, social sciences, and the humanities. The NAM currently has more than 2,400, which includes 198 international members.



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