MUSC Researcher Joins Elite Group

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Dr. Chanita Hughes-Halbert

Chanita A. Hughes-Halbert, Ph.D., has been elected into the National Academy of Medicine, the first woman and first African-American from South Carolina to attain that distinction.

“I just see it as a real honor because I think it places MUSC as an institution among some of the most elite academic centers in the country,” said Hughes-Halbert, who holds the AT&T distinguished endowed chair in cancer equity. “And one of the things I’m most proud of since coming here is the work that’s being done in minority health and health disparities and cancer prevention and control. Several investigators, not just me, are really bringing national attention to MUSC.”

Membership in the NAM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievements and commitment to service.

NAM President Victor Dzau, M.D., in his letter of invitation, wrote: “Your election reflects the high esteem in which your peers and colleagues regard you. As an NAM member, you are now part of a group of truly distinguished individuals who have made important contributions to health, medicine and science.”

The National Academy of Medicine, established in 1970 under the name Institute of Medicine, is an independent organization of eminent professionals from diverse fields including health and medicine; the natural, social, and behavioral sciences; and beyond. Through its domestic and global initiatives, the NAM works to address critical issues in health, medicine, and related policy and inspire positive action across sectors.

“My first introduction to the National Academy of Medicine happened several years ago when I was on one of their committees,” she said. “This committee was charged with examining issues related to the breast cancer and the environment. It was fascinating to be part of that committee because you had an opportunity to interact with other leaders in the field to think in depth about key issues in priority areas and then develop recommendations that ultimately influence the policies that are made for health and health care.”

Being part of the National Academy of Medicine provides an opportunity for an MUSC faculty member to contribute to that policy-making process and identify other priorities and initiatives, she said.

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