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Release: Immediate

UI President, two faculty members elected to Institute of Medicine

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa President Mary Sue Coleman and College of Medicine faculty members Jennifer Niebyl and Michael Welsh have been elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

The Institute's members serve without compensation in the conduct of studies, conferences and other inquiries into matters of national policy for health. Members are chosen on the basis of professional achievement and demonstrated interest, concern and involvement with problems and critical issues that affect public health. New members are elected by the incumbent membership of the Institute.

Niebyl is an internationally renowned authority on pregnancy, fetal development, the effects of drugs on babies and maternal-fetal medicine. She has been professor and chair of the department of obstetrics and gynecology in the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics since 1988, when she joined the UI faculty. Niebyl is currently co-editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Perinatology and associate editor of The Journal of the Society for Gynecologic Investigation Obstetrical and Gynecological Survey. She is also a member of the UI College of Medicine Faculty Practice Plan board of directors, the University Health Plans Advisory Committee, the ad hoc Task Force on Women Faculty, and the Comprehensive Substance Abuse Evaluation and Treatment Program Task Force.

Welsh is among the world's leading researchers on the causes and possible therapies for cystic fibrosis, the most common lethal genetic disease among Caucasians. He is one of three Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators in the UI College of Medicine and is also professor of internal medicine and of physiology and biophysics.

In addition to his research, Welsh teaches clinical medicine and regularly sees patients at UIHC. He is a member of Study Sections for the American Heart Association, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the NIH and the Public Health Service. He is on the editorial board of Receptors and Channels and is the treasurer of the Association of American Physicians. He is a member of the board of directors of the UI Research Foundation and also serves on the UI College of Medicine Research Advisory Council.

In addition to serving as the UI's chief executive, Coleman holds a dual academic appointment as professor of biochemistry in the College of Medicine and of biological sciences in the College of Liberal Arts. Earlier in her career, she served 19 years as a member of the biochemistry faculty and Cancer Center administrator at the University of Kentucky, where her research focused on the immune system and malignancies. Later, she served as vice chancellor for graduate studies and research at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and as provost at the University of New Mexico.

Coleman is a member of the board of governors of the Warren Grant Magnusen Clinical Center at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She has been a member or chair of scientific review panels for the NIH, the National Science Foundation, the Burroughs-Wellcome Fund and the editorial board of The Journal of Biological Chemistry.

The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 as a unit of the National Academy of Sciences but with separate membership. Three-fourths of its members come from the biomedical sciences and health professions. However, to insure that it has the breadth and depth of competency necessary for studies of health problems, one-quarter of its members are selected from other professions, including the natural, social, and behavioral sciences; law, administration, government service, and engineering.

Other UI faculty and administrators who are members of the Institute are

Robert P. Kelch, dean of the College of Medicine; John W. Eckstein, emeritus professor and dean of medicine; Francois M. Abboud, professor and head of internal medicine; Nancy C. Andreasen, professor of psychiatry; James A. Clifton, emeritus professor of internal medicine; Antonio R. Damasio, professor and head of neurology; Myrtle Adelyotte, emeritus professor and dean of the College of Nursing; and John W. Colloton, UI vice president for statewide health services.