Five faculty members with diverse backgrounds elected to National Academy of Medicine

October 17, 2022  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees

Earlier today, five U-M professors were elected to the National Academy of Medicine, or the NAM, the highest honorary society in the country for researchers in the fields of health and medicine.

The prestigious group was recognized for their contributions to a broad range of topics, including cardiovascular disease, epidemiology, hepatology, health inequities, and anesthesiology informatics and clinical research.

Katherine A. Gallagher, Michele Heisler, Sachin Kheterpal, Anna Suk-Fong Lok and Bhramar Mukherjee are now a part of a select group of U-M researchers who belong to the National Academy of Medicine.

Katherine A. Gallagher, M.D.

Katherine A. Gallagher, professor of Surgery, professor of microbiology and immunology and the John R. Pfeifer Professor of Surgery at U-M, has been elected to the NAM for her innovative translational research on epigenetic regulation of immune cells during normal and pathologic tissue repair and other cardiovascular disease processes.

Gallagher is also the vice chair of basic and translational science and an exceptionally well-funded researcher supported by multiple R01s and other foundational grants, including the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Wylie Scholars, among others. She is an expert in the molecular pathogenesis of wound repair and has contributed substantially to the understanding of epigenetics in immune cells associated with tissue repair, cardiovascular diseases, sepsis and most recently, COVID-19.

Center/Columbia University Medical Center in 2011.

Michele Heisler, M.D., M.P.A.

A drive to understand and address inequity in medical care and health outcomes, both within the U.S. and in low- and middle-income countries, has powered Michele Heisler’s career as a physician, researcher, and global health and human rights advocate. She pursues these goals through her work with three organizations: as a U-M professor with appointments in both internal medicine at the medical school and health behavior and health education at the U-M School of Public Health; as a research investigator with the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System; and as medical director of the nonprofit health and human rights organization Physicians for Human Rights.

Heisler’s background and continued active practice as a primary care physician underpins her more than two decades of developing, evaluating and implementing innovative programs in safety net health systems, to extend support beyond face-to-face clinic visits and address behavioral and social determinants of health.

Heisler’s innovative clinical trials and implementation studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of diverse peer support models — in which fellow patients, community members, and family members are trained to support patients — to achieve sustained improvements in health and social well-being. She has worked with health systems and plans in the U.S. and overseas to implement these models. Over the course of her career, she has also gained international recognition for her research documenting health consequences of human rights violations and her work conducting and promoting rigorous medico-legal evaluations to document, prosecute, and prevent torture, violence, and discrimination against marginalized groups.

Sachin Kheterpal, M.D., M.B.A.

Sachin Kheterpal, the Kevin K. Tremper Research Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology, was elected to the NAM in recognition of his vision for and international leadership in anesthesiology informatics and clinical research.

Kheterpal’s career has focused on the use of novel information technology and electronic health records (EHR) for patient care, quality improvement and research. Prior to his academic medicine career, he was the lead architect for a commercially available acute care electronic health record used by hospitals across the U.S. Using innovative techniques to integrate administrative, EHR, and registry data across institutions, he established the Multicenter Perioperative Outcomes Group, or MPOG, in 2008 and serves as its principal investigator. Today, MPOG has accumulated more than 16 million patient records with risk-adjusted long-term outcome data and detailed clinical intervention data spanning more than 50 hospitals across dozens of states and multiple countries for outcomes research and quality improvement.

In 2017, Kheterpal was appointed as the associate dean for research information technology at the U-M Medical School, guiding the vision and strategy to effectively use information technology to advance the school’s research mission. He is also the associate chair of strategy and technology and executive director of outcomes research within the Department of Anesthesiology.

Anna Suk-Fong Lok, M.D., MBBS

Anna Suk-Fong Lok was inducted to the NAM for conducting the first systematic study on hepatitis B reactivation among patients receiving chemotherapy. She was a key investigator in interferon and nucleos/tide analogue trials leading to their approval for hepatitis B. She led the first study demonstrating that hepatitis C can be cured by orally administered direct-acting antiviral drugs.

Lok has also made crucial contributions to hepatitis C research, demonstrating that it is possible to cure hepatitis C with interferon-free regimens using a combination of direct-acting antiviral agents. These incredible accomplishments, along with her remarkable energy as a clinician, teacher and mentor, make Lok’s lifelong contributions so significant. Lok’s biggest pride is the success of her mentees. Her dedication to mentoring was honored by a MICHR Distinguished Mentor Award in 2012 and the AGA Distinguished Mentor Award in 2022.

Lok is currently the Alice Lohrman Andrews Research Professor of Hepatology, director of the hepatology program and assistant dean for clinical research at U-M. She was honored by her alma mater with a Doctor of Science in 2017 and by the U-M with a Distinguished University Professorship in 2019. Ever committed to her field, Lok takes part in several organizations to help impact the community at large. She received the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) Distinguished Service Award in 2011 and became AASLD President in 2017.

Bhramar Mukherjee, Ph.D.

Bhramar Mukherjee is the John D. Kalbfleisch Collegiate Professor and chair of the Department of Biostatistics at the U-M School of Public Health. She is also a professor in the Department of Epidemiology and a professor of Global Public Health at the School of Public Health. 

Mukherjee’s research focuses on the development and application of statistical methods in epidemiology, environmental health, cancer research and disease risk assessment.

Mukherjee is known for her pioneering contributions in developing analytical frameworks for integrating data from genes, environment and past disease phenotypes towards improved understanding of disease etiology and future risk, often using observational data sources like electronic health records. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mukherjee and her team have been modeling the SARS-CoV-2 virus trajectory in India and their work has been covered widely by national and international media.

Mukherjee is a research professor and core faculty member for the Michigan Institute of Data Science (MIDAS). She serves as the associate director for quantitative data sciences at the U-M Rogel Cancer Center and served as the associate director of Cancer Control and Population Sciences at Rogel from 2015 to 2018. Mukherjee has had a longstanding collaboration with U-M’s Precision Health Initiative.