UT Southwestern president elected to National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine

Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky
Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky

DALLAS — Oct. 12, 2009 — The president of UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, has been elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), a component of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Podolsky was among 65 new national members and five foreign associates announced this week by the organization, which addresses national health issues. With the election of Dr. Podolsky, 19 current UT Southwestern faculty members have been inducted into the institute.

Members of the Institute of Medicine shape policies affecting public health and advise the federal government on issues involving medical care, research and education. Selection is based on international distinction in science, clinical medicine, public health or medical administration. Inductees are elected by incumbent members.

Dr. Podolsky was nominated by Dr. Daniel Foster, a member of the institute since 1989 and a professor and former chairman of internal medicine at UT Southwestern, and Dr. Tadataka Yamada, president of the Global Health Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“Election to the IOM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine,” Dr. Foster said. “We nominated Dr. Podolsky in a category that includes internal medicine to emphasize that he is an outstanding physician-scientist. The UT Southwestern community can be proud that he was recognized by IOM for his scientific and medical achievements and can be equally confident he will be an outstanding president.”

Dr. Podolsky became president of UT Southwestern in September 2008. He holds the Philip O’Bryan Montgomery Jr., M.D., Distinguished Presidential Chair in Academic Administration and the Doris and Bryan Wildenthal Distinguished Chair in Medical Science.

For the three years prior to his move to UT Southwestern, Dr. Podolsky served as chief academic officer at Partners HealthCare, which was founded in 1994 by Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He previously served as chief of gastroenterology at Massachusetts General Hospital for 19 years and founded the Center for the Study of Inflammatory Bowel Disease in 1991.

Dr. Podolsky’s early laboratory work investigating inflammatory bowel diseases focused on intestinal epithelial differentiation and the control of proliferation. While pursuing his research, he discovered how various growth factors affected intestinal epithelial differentiation repair in a variety of disorders including inflammatory bowel disease, infectious diarrhea and peptic ulcer. One of these factors, a peptide known as intestinal trefoil factor that Dr. Podolsky discovered and later characterized, has shown efficacy in early clinical trials. His most recent endeavors have focused on exploring how intestinal cells guide immune responses and the body’s symbiotic relationship between its own intestinal cells and the microflora. Dr. Podolsky is the author of more than 300 original articles, reviews and textbook chapters.

In June, the American Gastroenterological Association recognized Dr. Podolsky with the 2009 Julius Friedenwald Medal for Distinguished Service — the association’s highest honor — for his lifelong contributions to the field of gastroenterology.

Dr. Podolsky received his undergraduate degree summa cum laude from Harvard University and his medical degree magna cum laude from Harvard Medical School, followed by residency training in internal medicine and a fellowship in gastroenterology at Massachusetts General.

Three other Texans also were elected today to the IOM. They are: Dr. Joanne Lupton, Distinguished Professor, Regents Professor and William W. Allen Endowed Chair in Nutrition at Texas A&M University; Dr. Roberta Ness, M. David Low Chair in Public Health and dean of the UT School of Public Health in Houston; and Dr. William Sage, vice provost for health affairs and the James R. Dougherty Chair for Faculty Excellence in Law at UT Austin.

Current Institute of Medicine members at UT Southwestern and the year of their induction are: Dr. Luis Parada (2007), Dr. George Lister (2006), Dr. Ellen Vitetta (2006), Dr. Steven McKnight (2005), Dr. Helen Hobbs (2004), Dr. Norman Gant (2001), Dr. Eric Olson (2001), Dr. Kern Wildenthal (1999), Dr. Carol Tamminga (1998), Dr. Ron Anderson (1997), Dr. Scott Grundy (1995), Dr. Jean Wilson (1994), Dr. Daniel Foster (1989), Dr. Alfred Gilman (1989), Dr. Michael Brown (1987), Dr. Joseph Goldstein (1987), Dr. Ronald Estabrook (1975) and Dr. Donald Seldin (1974).

Deceased members of the UT Southwestern faculty who were members of the Institute of Medicine are Dr. Paul MacDonald (1987), Dr. Charles Sprague (1979) and Dr. Bryan Williams (1970).


Media Contact: Amanda Siegfried

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