Catherine Lord, the DeWitt Senior Scholar and a professor of psychology in psychiatry and of psychology in pediatrics at Weill Cornell, and Michael N. Shadlen a professor of Neuroscience at Columbia University, were elected as new members to the (IOM) on Oct. 20 during the IOM’s 44th annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
Election to the IOM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. 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.
Lord, an APS Fellow, is an internationally renowned expert on autism who has helped develop important diagnostic tools that have become the gold standard for diagnosing autism spectrum disorders. At the 2014 APS Convention in San Francisco, Lord presented on research suggesting that it is possible to diagnose autism reliably at age 2 treatments for young children, and ways of helping parents decide on individual goals for their children.
“It’s a privilege to be elected into the Institute of Medicine, and I couldn’t be more honored,” Lord said. “I’ve spent my career working to transform the way we understand and treat autism spectrum disorders, and membership provides me with an opportunity to have a greater voice for patients and their families around the country.”
As director of the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain, a collaborative program between New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical College, and Columbia University Medical Center, Lord leads an interdisciplinary team that provides cutting-edge research, education, and comprehensive services to people with autism spectrum disorders from infancy through adulthood.
As a member of the DSM-5 Neurodevelopmental Disorders Committee, Lord contributed to developing diagnostic criteria for classifying many communication and related disorders.
Shadlen is a member of Columbia University Medical Center’s Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He has been recognized by the Minerva Foundation as an innovator and pioneer in research on decision making. His research combines microelectrode recording and behavioral experiments in monkeys to better understand the neural basis of cognition and decision making.
In experiments that combine electrophysiological, behavioral, and computational methods, Shadlen seeks to advance knowledge of higher brain functions by measuring the activity of individual neurons in the brains of monkeys as they make decisions about visual stimuli and perform complex tasks.
His research may help improve our understanding of “how factors such as bias, reward expectation, time pressure, and attention affect decisions and the brain cells that underlie them.”
Established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences, IOM is a nonprofit organization that works outside of government to provide unbiased and scientifically informed advice and recommendations on health issues to decision makers and the public. With their election, members make a commitment to volunteer their service on IOM committees, boards, and other activities devoted to answering the nation’s most pressing questions on health care and medicine.