EDGE Director honored by National Academy of Medicine

Man standing in front of a building with hands in pockets.

Joel Kaufman elected to the National Academy of Medicine; David Eaton recognized for service

Joel Kaufman is one of three UW School of Public Health faculty members elected recently to the National Academy of Medicine.

A current and former EDGE director are being recognized for their contributions to public health research and service to the field.

Current EDGE Director, Dr. Joel Kaufman, a leading expert on the health effects of air pollution, is elected to the National Academy of Medicine this month.

Kaufman is professor of environmental and occupational health sciences and epidemiology in SPH and professor of general internal medicine in the UW School of Medicine.

The Academy also honored David Eaton, former EDGE Director and DEOHS professor emeritus, for his service and leadership within the Academy.

Internationally recognized researcher

Kaufman is the principal investigator of MESA Air (Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis and Air Pollution), a major epidemiological prospective cohort study of air pollution and cardiovascular disease.

Election to the Academy recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. 

"This is one of the greatest honors in our field, and so well-deserved by each of our faculty being recognized," said UW School of Public Health (SPH) Dean Hilary Godwin.

Kaufman was cited "for his international leadership in understanding the health effects of ambient air pollution. His research integrates the disciplines of epidemiology, clinical investigation, exposure science, and toxicology, and he was among the first to establish and elucidate the surprising link between air pollutants and cardiovascular disease through acceleration of atherosclerosis."

Kaufman is editor-in-chief of the journal Environmental Health Perspectives and served as the SPH interim dean from 2016 to 2018.

"This recognition from the National Academy of Medicine is a tremendous honor, and primarily reflects the opportunities I have had to work with terrific collaborators across many fields of study," Kaufman said.

Service to the Academy

Headshot of Eaton

Professor Emeritus David Eaton

Eaton was honored for his leadership as chair of multiple Academy study committees. Eaton, who is also dean and vice provost emeritus of the UW Graduate School, has been a NAM member since 2011.

Eaton has chaired three consensus study committees, been a member of five others and served as reviewer and review coordinator of several other projects. Under his leadership, the Committee on the Review of the Health Effects of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems authored an impactful report in 2018 on the public health consequences of e-cigarettes that is still cited widely today.

Other SPH faculty honored

Also elected to the Academy this month were SPH faculty members Patrick Heagerty, professor of biostatistics, and Sean Sullivan, dean and professor of the UW School of Pharmacy and professor of health services.

New members are elected by current members through a process that recognizes individuals who have made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care and public health.