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Oct. 18, 2004


Three U-M faculty selected for IOM membership

ANN ARBOR, Mich.— Three faculty members from the University of Michigan are among 65 new members of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.

Paula Allen-Meares, Rowena Matthews and Michael Mulholland bring the University’s total of IOM members to 28.

“It is an individual honor for each of these U-M faculty members to be elected to the IOM, as well as a source of pride for our University,” said Dr. Allen Lichter, dean of the U-M Medical School and the Newman Family Professor of Radiation Oncology.

“Recent ground-breaking reports from the IOM on such topics as children’s health, cancer prevention/detection, and the plight of the uninsured illustrate the value of an interdisciplinary approach to defining and solving health problems in a medical, social and economic framework,” Lichter said.

The new U-M members are:

Paula Allen-Meares, Ph.D, dean of the School of Social Work and Norma Radin Collegiate Professor of Social Work. Her research interests include the tasks and functions of social workers employed in educational settings; psychopathology in children, adolescents and families; adolescent sexuality; premature parenthood; and various aspects of social work practice. She is the principal investigator of the School's Global Program on Youth, an initiative supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation; and co-principal investigator of the NIMH Social Work Research Center on Poverty, Risk, and Mental Health. She was appointed to the New York Academy of Medicine, which will study how to move health professions toward more effectively meeting the evolving health care needs of Americans.

For more on Allen-Meares >

Rowena Matthews, Ph.D, research professor in the Life Sciences Institute and Biophysics Research Division and the G. Robert Greenberg Distinguished University Professor of Biological Chemistry. She is a protein chemist who has studied the mechanisms of enzymes, including methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase or MTHFR. This enzyme catalyzes a critical step in the biochemical chain reaction within cells that converts homocysteine to an essential amino acid called methionine. Her work contributed to the discoveries that folic acid lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease, strokes and birth defects. Matthews is also a leading authority in understanding how vitamin-containing enzymes function in the body. In 2002, she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

For more on Matthews >

Michael Mulholland, M.D., Ph.D., the Frederick A. Coller Distinguished Professor, and chair, Department of Surgery, and surgeon-in-chief of University Hospital. Much of Mulholland's clinical interests focus on gastrointestinal surgery, including laparoscopic surgery and surgical endoscopy. Special interests include pancreaticobiliary disease, inflammatory bowel disease, gastric diseases and advanced laparoscopic surgery. Mulholland's research interests include neurocrine control of digestive activity. Mulholland is the senior editor of the textbook “Surgery: Scientific Principles and Practice,” which has become the leading text in the field.

For more on Mullholland >

Members are elected through a highly selective process that recognizes people who have made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care and public health. 

“Election is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of medicine and health," said Harvey Fineberg, IOM president.

With their election, members make a commitment to devote a significant amount of volunteer time as members of IOM committees, which engage in a broad range of studies on health policy issues.

Active members elect new members from among candidates nominated for their professional achievement and commitment to service. A diversity of talent is assured by the institute's charter, which stipulates that at least one-fourth of the membership be selected from outside the health professions, from such fields as the natural, social and behavioral sciences to law, administration, engineering and the humanities. The institute’s total active membership is 1,416, as well as 76 individuals elected to foreign associate membership.         

For additional information on the institute, visit


Contacts: Mary Beth Reilly, (734) 764-2220,

                Jared Wadley, (734) 936-7819,