Pitt Alumnus Elected to Institute of Medicine

Issue Date: 
November 3, 2008


University of Pittsburgh alumnus Lucile L. Adams-Campbell has been elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), an honor membership organization established in 1970 as a component of the National Academy of Sciences that serves as a national advisory body on matters of health and science policy. Adams-Campbell is associate director for minority health and health disparities research and professor of oncology at Georgetown University Medical Center’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“The election of distinguished Pitt alumnus Lucile Adams-Campbell to the Institute of Medicine is richly deserved recognition for her accomplishments as an internationally respected authority on health disparities,” said Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg. “Dr. Adams-Campbell has been honored by her alma mater as a Distinguished Alumni Fellow and as the recipient of the Graduate School of Public Health Alumni Society’s Distinguished Alumni Award. Having come to know her and her work, I, along with the Pitt community, salute Dr. Adams-Campbell and her groundbreaking research in community health.”

Adams-Campbell is one of only 65 new members and five foreign associates announced at the IOM’s Oct. 13 annual meeting. Current active members elect new members from among candidates nominated for their professional achievement and commitment to service.

“It is a great pleasure to welcome these distinguished and influential individuals to the Institute of Medicine,” said IOM president Harvey V. Fineberg in announcing IOM’s new members and foreign associates. “Members are elected through a highly selective process that recognizes people who have made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care, and public health.”

“To be recognized by the incumbent membership of the Institute of Medicine for my scientific accomplishments in cancer health disparities and public health is incredible and overwhelming,” said Adams-Campbell. “As a member of the IOM and a resident of a city with unparalleled disparities, I will strive to enhance the national focus on health disparities research and prevention education. It is an honor and a privilege to be a part of this phenomenal organization.”

Adams-Campbell, who received her PhD in epidemiology from Pitt in 1983 and completed a National Institutes of Health-funded postdoctoral fellowship here before joining Pitt’s Department of Epidemiology as an adjunct professor of epidemiology, is an internationally recognized expert on health disparities. She specializes in community health research, interventions, and outreach and has played a leading role in the Washington, D.C., cancer and public health community.

Adams-Campbell studies issues that affect populations at the greatest risk for developing cancer with a focus on prevention.  She has participated and led several large cohort studies of African American women and played a leading role in bringing to D.C. the Boston University Black Women’s Health Study, the largest study of African American women.

Much of Adams-Campbell’s research focuses on energy balance involving diet and exercise. Washington, D.C., has higher-than-average rates of obesity, diabetes, cancer, cancer death, and heart disease, all of which may be affected by diet and exercise, she says. Through community-based interventions, she hopes to decrease obesity and mortality from these related diseases.

Prior to joining Lombardi Cancer Center earlier this year, Adams-Campbell served as director of the Howard University Cancer Center.

Adams-Campbell received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Drexel University. She currently serves as a reviewer for or an editorial board member of eight journals and has published more than 100 peer-reviewed research papers.

Among this year’s other IOM honorees is David H. Perlmutter, the Vira I. Heinz Professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics in the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine. (See Oct. 20, 2008, Pitt Chronicle)