Dr. Michelle A. Williams, dean of faculty at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Dr. Karen M. Emmons, professor and dean for academic affairs, have been elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), the National Academies announced on October 21, 2016. Election to the NAM 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.
[Photo: Dean Michelle A. Williams (left) and Dr. Karen M. Emmons]
Dr. Williams is an internationally renowned epidemiologist and public health scientist, an award-winning educator, and a widely recognized academic leader. Prior to becoming dean on July 1, she was professor and chair of the department of epidemiology at Harvard Chan School and program leader of the population health and health disparities research programs at Harvard’s Clinical and Translational Sciences Center (Harvard Catalyst). Her scientific work focuses on reproductive, perinatal, pediatric, and molecular epidemiology. She has published more than 425 peer-reviewed research papers ranging from studies of modifiable behavioral and environmental determinants of adverse health outcomes, to genetic and genomic studies of common complications of pregnancy and chronic disorders among children and adults.
Dr. Emmons will rejoin the School on November 1. She previously served as vice president for research and director of the Kaiser Foundation Research Institute. Dr. Emmons was a faculty member in the School’s department of social and behavioral sciences from 1994 to 2014, and from 2009 to 2013 was associate dean for research. She has extensive research experience in health disparities and using community-based interventions to improve health equity. As a faculty member and researcher at the Center for Community-Based Research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Dr. Emmons focused on cancer prevention, tobacco control and smoking cessation, cancer disparities, and translating health knowledge into improved health outcomes in under-resourced settings.
NAM, formerly the Institute of Medicine, was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences. With their election, members make a commitment to volunteer a significant amount of time as members of NAM committees, which engage in a broad range of studies on health policy issues.