David Lewis Named to Institute of Medicine

Issue Date: 
November 12, 2007

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has selected David A. Lewis, professor in Pitt’s Departments of Psychiatry and Neuroscience and director of the Translational Neuroscience Program at the University of Pittsburgh, as one of its newest members for his contributions to the advancement of treating schizophrenia and his efforts to bring the importance of this major public health issue to the forefront.

Lewis is the 19th IOM member from the University of Pittsburgh.

“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. Election is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of medicine and health,” IOM President Harvey V. Fineberg said.

Current active members elect new members from among candidates nominated for their professional achievement and commitment to service. An unusual diversity of talent is assured by the institute’s charter, which stipulates that at least one-quarter of the membership be selected from outside the health professions, from such fields as the natural, social, and behavioral sciences, as well as law, administration, engineering, and the humanities.

“It is a tremendous honor and a privilege to be recognized by these leaders in medicine,” Lewis said. “I look forward to participating in IOM-commissioned activities that affect all aspects of health and medicine. This acknowledges that the research I’ve devoted my career to is viewed as informative and useful, and it also reflects the many opportunities and support that Pitt and UPMC offer in biomedical research.”

Lewis has been involved in schizophrenia research for more than 20 years. His research focuses on the neural circuitry of the prefrontal cortex and related brain regions and the alterations of this circuitry in schizophrenia.

In addition to meeting his academic responsibilities, Lewis also serves as director of Pitt’s National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Conte Center for the Neuroscience of Mental Disorders, which is focused on understanding the role of prefrontal cortical dysfunction in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia.