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M. D. Anderson's Ellen R. Gritz Elected to Institute of Medicine

Election one of the highest honors in the fields of medicine and health

M. D. Anderson News Release 10/10/07

Ellen R. Gritz, Ph.D.

Ellen R. Gritz, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Behavioral Science and Olla S. Stribling Distinguished chair for Cancer Research at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center has been elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM). She is one of 65 new members and four foreign associates announced October 8, 2007. Gritz was previously a member of the Institute of Medicine's National Cancer Policy Board (1997-1999) and the Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice (1995-2005).

Gritz is an established leader in cancer prevention and control research and an internationally known investigator. She has published extensively on cigarette smoking behavior, including prevention, cessation, pharmacologic mechanisms, effects on weight and special issues of concern to women and high-risk groups, including ethnic minorities, youth, cancer patients and people living with HIV/AIDS.

"I am so pleased to be admitted as a member to the IOM. This is a tremendous honor for me, the Department of Behavioral Science, the Division of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences and M. D. Anderson. I have devoted my career to cancer prevention and reducing the tobacco-related burden of morbidity and mortality through smoking prevention and cessation, and I thank my colleagues at M. D. Anderson and our visionary institutional leader, Dr. John Mendelsohn, for supporting and promoting my research and the growth of my department over the past 14 years."

Gritz joins M. D. Anderson President John Mendelsohn, M.D., who was elected a member of the IOM in 1997. "This great honor affirms what we all know is true about Dr. Ellen Gritz. She is a world leader in research on how behavioral modifications and changes in lifestyle can reduce the risk of cancer and prevent it," Mendelsohn said.

The Institute of Medicine is unique for its structure as both an honorific membership organization and an advisory organization. Established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute has become recognized as a national resource for independent, scientifically informed analysis and recommendations on human health issues. 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.

"It is a great pleasure to welcome these distinguished and influential individuals to the Institute of Medicine," said IOM President Harvey V. Fineberg. "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."

Current active members elect new members from among candidates nominated for their professional achievement and commitment to service. An unusual diversity of talent is assured by the Institute's charter, which stipulates that at least one-quarter of the membership be selected from outside the health professions, from such fields as the natural, social and behavioral sciences, as well as law, administration, engineering and the humanities. With the election of the 65 new members, IOM membership increased to 1,692. 10/10/07


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