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Dean Julie Johnson elected to Institute of Medicine

Julie A. Johnson, dean of the University of Florida College of Pharmacy, has been elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.

At its 44th annual meeting Monday at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., the IOM announced 70 new members, including Johnson, who is also a distinguished professor of pharmacy and medicine at UF.

To date, IOM membership has been held by only eight faculty at UF, all men, starting with the university’s seventh president, Dr. Robert Marston, who was elected in 1973. Johnson’s appointment is the first ever for a faculty member in the UF College of Pharmacy. Dr. David S. Guzick, senior vice president for health affairs at UF and president of UF Health, was elected to the IOM in 2008.

“Dr. Johnson’s election to the IOM by its membership reflects her fundamental contributions to our understanding of how drugs affect people differently depending on their genetics,” Guzick said, “which has led to clinical application in the areas of antihypertensive drugs and drugs such as warfarin that are used to prevent clot formation. Because of her extensive knowledge and insights about pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine, she will be of great service to the IOM and the nation.”

Johnson has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health or the American Heart Association since 1990, with a research focus on pharmacogenomics. As director of the UF Health Personalized Medicine Program, she leads studies on interpatient variability in cardiovascular drug response and the influence of race/ethnicity on drug response and pharmacogenomics. She also leads the International Warfarin Pharmacogenetics Consortium, which has more than 40 researchers across the United States and in other countries working in collaboration to advance improved drug therapies for patients who are prescribed the common blood thinner.

Johnson, named dean a year ago in August, joined the college in 1998, serving as chair of the department of pharmacotherapy and translational research from 2002-11. She also served as the V. Ravi Chandran professor of pharmaceutical sciences for nine years. She is a fellow of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, an honorary fellow of the American College of Clinical Pharmacology, and a fellow of the American Heart Association Functional Genomics and Translational Biology Council.

The National Academy of Sciences was established 150 years ago as an independent scientific advisory service to the nation under President Abraham Lincoln. By 1964, the National Research Council and the National Academy of Engineering joined the NAS, and in 1970 the IOM was established. Collectively the four nonprofit member organizations, known as the National Academies, continue to serve as independent advisers to our national government.

More than 2,000 IOM members and foreign associates collectively provide scientific information related to health and medicine to Congress and other policymakers as part of a shared goal of improving health.

Members of the IOM are elected by their peers based on their outstanding research contributions and achievements in medicine and health. Active participation and contribution to the institute’s efforts in conducting research and evaluating policies is required of all members.

Credits

Linda Homewood, 352-273-6873, homewood@ufl.edu

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