Faculty members elected to National Academy of Medicine

The academy honors three at UW for contributions to research in healthcare equity, neuroscience, and gun violence and prevention.  

Media Contact: Brian Donohue - 206-543-7856, bdonohue@uw.edu

Three professors at the University of Washington have been elected to the National Academy of Medicine in recognition of excellence in the fields of health and medicine, along with a commitment to volunteer service. Election to the academy is considered one of the most prestigious honors in health and medicine.

Dr. Ali Rowhani-Rahbar, a professor of epidemiology and of pediatrics; Dr. Tumaini Rucker Coker, a professor of pediatrics; and Hongkui Zeng, an affiliate professor of biochemistry, were among the 100 new members announced Oct. 9.

“This is a tremendous and well-deserved honor for each of these valued members of the UW community,” UW Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Tricia Serio said. “All three are all visionary leaders in their vital fields, and their commitment to creating a better world through their work exemplifies the impact we strive for at the University of Washington.”

Dr. Rowhani-Rahbar was recognized for his research on gun violence, which the academy said has "deepened our understanding of the risk and consequences of firearm-related harm." His work integrates data from healthcare and criminal-justice systems to better understand risk factors related to gun violence and injury. That research has informed policies and programs aimed at reducing the risk of firearm-related harm, particularly in underserved and overlooked communities.

pictures of Dr. Tumaini Rucker Coker and Hongkui Zeng
Dr. Tumaini Rucker-Coker and Hongkui Zeng were named to the National Academy of Medicine. Zeng photo courtesy of the the Allen Institute for Brain Science  

He is the Bartley Dobb Professor for the Prevention of Violence and interim director of the Firearm Injury & Policy Research Program in the UW School of Medicine.

Coker heads the General Pediatrics division at Seattle Children's Hospital and co-directs the UW Child Health Equity Research Fellowship. Her research focuses on eliminating health and healthcare disparities for Black and Latinx children as well as families in low-income communities. The academy cited her leadership in advancing child health equity and work that has "transformed our understanding of how to deliver child preventive healthcare during the critical early childhood period to achieve equitable health outcomes and reduce disparities."

She is the founder and former director of the Health Equity Research Program at Seattle Children's Center for Diversity and Health Equity.

Zeng is executive vice president and director of the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle. The academy recognized her leadership of a team whose work has led to "transformative understanding of cell type diversity" by generating large-scale, open-access datasets and tools for use in neuroscience research.

Seven UW faculty members have been elected to the academy in the past four years.

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