Eva L. Feldman, M.D., Ph.D., the Russell N. DeJong Professor of Neurology at the Medical School and director of the Program for Neurology Research and Discovery, has been elected to the prestigious Institute of Medicine, one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine.
Dr. Feldman, who is also director of the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute, is an internationally renowned expert in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. She has devoted her career to finding new therapies and treatments for neurodegenerative diseases, and is at the forefront of applying stem cell research to human disease.
“This is truly an incredible honor,” Dr. Feldman said. “But more than anything it validates the hard work and dedication of our research and clinic teams at the University of Michigan. They are second to none, and I am fortunate to work with each and every one of them in our quest to understand and treat these confounding neurological disorders.”
As a clinician-scientist, Dr. Feldman treats patients and also directs the Program for Neurology Research and Discovery (www.pnrdfeldman.org), a laboratory staffed by some 30 scientists who are deciphering the mysteries of conditions ranging from diabetic nerve damage to Alzheimer’s disease. She is director of research for the U-M ALS clinic and is the principal investigator of the first-ever FDA-approved human clinical trial of a stem cell therapy for ALS. The second phase of the trial is complete and Dr. Feldman anticipates moving to a broader test of the therapy in 2015. She has more than 23 years of continuous NIH funding and is currently the principal or co-investigator of five major National Institutes of Health research grants and three private foundation grants as well as the author of more than 300 original peer-reviewed articles, 59 book chapters and three books.
Dr. Feldman counts among her greatest accomplishments the training of both scientists and neurologists. Nine scientists have received their Ph.D. degrees under her supervision, she has trained 50 postdoctoral fellows in her laboratory to become neuroscientists, and 40 neurologists have trained under her to specialize in the understanding and treatment of neuromuscular and neurodegenerative diseases. She has served as the recent president of the American Neurological Association and holds many honors and awards in her field.
Dr. Feldman is one of six University of Michigan experts elected to the IOM this year, bringing to 59 the total of U-M faculty members who have been elected to the IOM. Also elected this year:
- Gonçalo R. Abecasis, the Felix E. Moore Collegiate Professor of Biostatistics and chair of the Department of Biostatistics at the School of Public Health.
- Carol R. Bradford, M.D., chair of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the Medical School.
- Charles J. Krause, M.D., Collegiate Professor of Otolaryngology.
- Mark Fendrick, M.D., professor of internal medicine at the Medical School and a professor of health management and policy at the School of Public Health.
- Susan A. Murphy, the H.E. Robbins Distinguished University Professor of Statistics, professor of psychiatry and research professor at the Institute for Social Research.
- Kathleen M. Potempa, dean and professor at the School of Nursing.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) is an independent, nonprofit organization that works outside of government to provide unbiased and authoritative advice to decision makers and the public. Established in 1970, the IOM is the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, which was chartered under President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. Nearly 150 years later, the National Academy of Sciences has expanded into what is collectively known as the National Academies, which comprises the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the National Research Council, and the IOM.
New members are elected by current active members through a selective process that recognizes individuals who have made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care, and public health. A diversity of talent among IOM’s membership is assured by the Institute’s charter, which stipulates that at least one-quarter of the membership is selected from outside the health professions, for example, from such fields as the law, engineering, social sciences, and the humanities. The newly elected members raise IOM’s total active membership to 1,798 and the number of foreign associates to 128. With an additional 86 members holding emeritus status, IOM’s total membership is 2,012.