SAN ANTONIO (Oct. 8, 2007)—The National Academies, independent advisers to the nation on science, engineering and medicine, today announced the election of Amelie G. Ramirez, Dr.P.H., and Cynthia D. Mulrow, M.D., M.Sc., of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies.
Dr. Ramirez, a nationally recognized leader in research of cancer disparities affecting Hispanics and other populations, and Dr. Mulrow, a widely respected leader in evidence synthesis, systematic reviews and practice guidelines in medicine, join Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., president and professor of pediatric and transplantation surgery, and Bettie Sue Siler Masters, Ph.D., the Robert A. Welch Foundation Distinguished Professor in Chemistry, as the four Institute of Medicine members from the U.T. Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Dr. Masters was elected to the IOM in 1996 and President Cigarroa was elected last year. The fifth IOM member from San Antonio is Fernando A. Guerra, M.D., M.P.H., director of the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District.
The National Academies consist of the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering and the National Research Council. Election recognizes those who have made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care and public health.
“I am proud that Amelie and Cindy are part of our team and that they are considered among our nation’s top-tier leaders in their fields,” President Cigarroa said. “To be selected into the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies is one of the highest honors in the world.”
Dr. Amelie Ramirez
Dr. Ramirez is a professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Health Science Center and director of outreach and health care disparities at the Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC). She is founding director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research in the Health Science Center School of Medicine and a member of the executive committee of the San Antonio Cancer Institute, a partnership of the Health Science Center and CTRC.
“Dr. Ramirez recently was awarded a $5.2 million grant by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to establish a national network to reverse obesity among Hispanic children,” said William L. Henrich, M.D., M.A.C.P., dean of the School of Medicine and vice president for medical affairs at the Health Science Center. “Her previous work has raised awareness of breast cancer and other cancers among Latinos. The IOM is recognizing this substantial body of work.”
Addressing cancer, disparities
Since 2000, Dr. Ramirez has served as principal investigator of a major National Cancer Institute (NCI)-supported program, Redes En Acción: The National Latino Cancer Research Network. She has directed numerous research programs focusing on human and organizational communication to reduce chronic disease and cancer health disparities affecting Hispanics and other populations. Her research record places her above the 95th percentile of the distribution of National Institutes of Health grants over the past 25 years.
“I am extremely honored to be recognized by my peers, and I look forward to joining them in their efforts to address and improve the health of U.S. residents,” Dr. Ramirez said. “In particular, I am excited to be able to bring my experience in health disparity and behavioral intervention research to the table to help bridge the gap of health care for those who are at a disadvantage due to race/ethnicity or social determinants, such as education, income or proximity to medical care.”
Dr. Cynthia Mulrow
Dr. Mulrow, clinical professor of medicine at the Health Science Center, is deputy editor of the respected journal Annals of Internal Medicine, and mentors junior faculty at medical schools throughout the country in her role as program director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Generalist Physician Faculty Scholars Program.
“Dr. Mulrow’s leadership is changing the practice of internal medicine, which is important for patients, most of all,” Dr. Henrich said.
Dr. Mulrow is a graduated Senior Career Scientist in the Veterans Affairs Health Science Research and Development program. The themes of her academic work include clinical research methodology, information synthesis, systematic reviews, hypertension and hearing impairment.
The elections of Drs. Cigarroa, Ramirez and Mulrow in successive years are viewed as harbingers of outstanding things to come in San Antonio. “One barometer of a great health science center is the number of faculty who are Institute of Medicine members,” Dr. Henrich said. “We now have four, with many more excellent faculty who are worthy of consideration. This is tangible evidence of the upward trajectory of our institution and this community.”
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is the leading research institution in South Texas and one of the major health sciences universities in the world. With an operating budget of $576 million, the Health Science Center is the chief catalyst for the $14.3 billion biosciences and health care sector in San Antonio’s economy. The Health Science Center has had an estimated $35 billion impact on the region since inception and has expanded to six campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. More than 22,000 graduates (physicians, dentists, nurses, scientists and allied health professionals) serve in their fields, including many in Texas. Health Science Center faculty are international leaders in cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, aging, stroke prevention, kidney disease, orthopaedics, research imaging, transplant surgery, psychiatry and clinical neurosciences, pain management, genetics, nursing, allied health, dentistry and many other fields.