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Zwelling Selected as Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow

One-Year Fellowship Opens Doors to Policy-Making in Washington, D.C.

M. D. Anderson News Release 08/12/08


Leonard A. Zwelling, M.D., M.B.A., professor of medicine and pharmacology at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, has been chosen as one of eight Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellows.

Beginning next month, Zwelling will spend nearly a year in Washington, D.C. in a unique residency program for mid-career medical professionals. The fellows will participate in the national health policy process, working closely with key legislative committees and leaders.

Zwelling is the first faculty member from M. D. Anderson to be selected for the fellowship.

Fellows are selected for their past professional achievements, potential for leadership in health policy, future growth and career advancement, interpersonal and communications skills and individual plans for incorporating the fellowship experience into future career goals.

"I look forward to leveraging my 23-plus years of experience at M. D. Anderson in laboratory research and research administration, and offering a perspective that is vital to health policy in this nation," said Zwelling. "I am thrilled to be selected for this fellowship and have the opportunity to work on one of the most important issues of our day. Plus, the time that I will be in Washington will be one of tremendous transition both on Capitol Hill and in the White House."

A native of New Haven, Conn., Zwelling received his bachelor's and medical degrees from Duke University and his masters in business administration from The University of Houston. He completed a post-graduate fellowship, internship and residency training at Duke before studying at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in the Medicine Branch of the Clinical Oncology Program and the Developmental Therapeutics Program. He did his research at NCI in the Laboratory of Molecular Pharmacology. He joined M. D. Anderson in 1984. Zwelling has trained young physicians and scientists through his work as co-director of the M.D.-Ph.D. Program at The University of Texas - Houston Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, a joint program of M. D. Anderson and The University of Texas Medical School. He has authored more than 100 scientific articles and 20 book chapters and has delivered more than 80 lectures.

The fellowship program is administered by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences. It consists of a three and one-half month orientation arranged by the IOM in which fellows meet with representatives from congressional and executive branch offices as well as participate in seminars on health economics, federal research programs, and congressional budget office processes. After the orientation, fellows become working members of congressional offices developing legislative proposals, arranging hearings, briefing legislators and staffing House-Senate conferences.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellowship program was established in 1973. Graduates of the fellowship become part of a nationwide alumni network and return to Washington each year for IOM's annual meeting.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health care issues facing the country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more than 35 years, the Foundation has brought experience, commitment and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference. For more information, visit 08/12/08

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