David J. Skorton, M.D., President of Cornell University and a member of the Department of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, and Joseph J. Fins, M.D., Chief of Weill Cornell's Division of Medical Ethics and an Attending Physician at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine. Announced yesterday at the IOM's 40th annual meeting in Washington, DC, the election is one of the highest honors in the field of health and medicine. Drs. Skorton and Fins are among 65 new members and four foreign associates elected this year. Membership in the IOM recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to service and made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, healthcare and public health.
Established in 1970 as the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine is an independent, nonprofit organization that works outside of government to provide unbiased and authoritative advice on health issues to policy makers and the public. With this year's election, the institute counts 1,649 active members, 75 emeritus members and 96 foreign associates.
Dr. Skorton became Cornell University's 12th President in 2006. He holds faculty appointments as professor in the Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics at Weill Cornell and in Biomedical Engineering on Cornell's Ithaca Campus. He is a board-certified cardiologist, an Attending Physician at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and a member of the consulting medical staff at Cayuga Medical Center in Ithaca. Dr. Skorton earned his bachelor's degree in psychology and his MD both from Northwestern University and completed his residency and fellowship training at the University of California, Los Angeles. Before joining Cornell, he was president of the University of Iowa for three years and a faculty member for 26 years. His research has focused on congenital heart disease in adolescents and adults, cardiac imaging and computer image processing. He has published numerous articles, reviews and book chapters, and two major textbooks. A national leader in research ethics, Dr. Skorton is former President of the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs; a member of the National Advisory Council for the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering of the National Institutes of Health; a Master of the American College of Cardiology; and a member of numerous other professional organizations and advisory agencies.
Dr. Fins is the author of more than 200 publications in medical ethics and health policy. His current scholarly interests include ethical policy issues in brain injury and disorders of consciousness, palliative care, research ethics in neurology and psychiatry, medical education and methods of ethics case consultation. He received his undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University and his MD from Weill Cornell Medical College. He is Professor of Medicine, of Public Health and of Medicine in Psychiatry at Weill Cornell. He is President-Elect of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities, a Governor of the American College of Physicians and a member of The Hastings Center Board of Trustees. He is an adjunct faculty member at The Rockefeller University and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, The New York Academy of Medicine and The Hastings Center. A recipient of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Award in Health Policy Research, Dr. Fins has also received a Soros Open Society Institute Project on Death in America Faculty Scholars Award, a Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation Visiting Fellowship and support from the Dana and Buster Foundations. He was appointed by President William J. Clinton to the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy and currently serves on the New York State Task Force on Life and the Law by gubernatorial appointment.