October 19, 2021

Michelle Albert elected to National Academy of Medicine, and Chris Cassel receives top NAM award

Dear Colleagues:

The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) is an independent organization made up of eminent professionals from diverse fields related to health and medicine. It provides crucial advice to the national and international community on topics ranging from genetics to health equity to patient safety to climate change. Election to the NAM is considered one of the top honors in healthcare.

Michelle AlbertI’m thrilled to congratulate our own Michelle Albert for her election to the NAM, which was announced today. Michelle, who is Professor in our Division of Cardiology at UCSF Health, also holds the Walter A. Haas-Lucie Stern Chair in Cardiology. She serves as Admissions Dean for UCSF School of Medicine and Director of the CeNter for the StUdy of AdveRsiTy and CardiovascUlaR DiseasE (NURTURE Center). Michelle’s research focuses on developing innovative strategies to lower adversity-related cardiovascular risk, particularly in women and racial and ethnic minorities. In addition to her roles as clinician, researcher, and leader at UCSF, she is currently the President of the Association of Black Cardiologists and is President-Elect of the American Heart Association. Her prior honors include election to the American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI) and receipt of the Haverford College Alumni Award. She joins a group of 22 DOM faculty members who are members of the NAM.

We also extend our congratulations to three other UCSF faculty elected to the NAM this year: Renee Hsia, Professor of Emergency Medicine and Health Policy; Leonnart Mucke, Professor of Neurology and Director of the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease; and Bruce Ovbiagele, Professor of Neurology and Chief of Staff at the SF Veterans Affairs Health Care System. 

Chris CassellThe NAM also announced today that Chris Cassel, UCSF Professor of Medicine and Senior Advisor for Policy and Strategy to the DOM, is this year’s recipient of the Walsh McDermott Medal. The McDermott Medal recognizes distinguished service to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine over an extended period of time. Chris has made major contributions to many areas of healthcare, including quality of care, aging and geriatric medicine, medical ethics, and clinical education. She has served on two dozen NAM committees and was chair or vice-chair of five of them. Most recently, Chris chaired the 2019 report, Taking Action Against Clinician Burnout: A Systems Approach to Professional Well-Being. In her distinguished career, Chris served as founding chair of the Department of Geriatrics at Mt. Sinai, President and CEO of the American Board of Internal Medicine (where she launched the Choosing Wisely initiative), President and CEO of the National Quality Forum, and Planning Dean for Kaiser Permanente’s new medical school.

Please join me in congratulating Michelle Albert and Chris Cassel on these wonderful and well-deserved honors.

Bob's signature




Robert M. Wachter, MD
Professor and Chair, UCSF Department of Medicine
Holly Smith Distinguished Professor in Science and Medicine
Marc and Lynne Benioff Endowed Chair