UCLA Office of the Vice Chancellor and Dean

Dear Colleagues:

I am delighted to announce three distinguished achievements by faculty in UCLA Health Sciences.  We have two new members of the Institute of Medicine and a new recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship Award, also known as the "genius" grant.

Sherin U. Devaskar, M.D. and Jack Needleman, Ph.D. have been elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies.  According to the National Academies announcement, "Election to the IOM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service."

Dr. Devaskar serves as Distinguished Professor and the Mattel Executive Endowed Chair in Pediatrics, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Physician-in-Chief of Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA, and the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Children's Services for the UCLA Health System.  Dr. Devaskar is a highly accomplished investigator who is world renowned for elucidating mechanisms and processes responsible for fetal and neonatal origins of chronic childhood disorders, including obesity and diabetes.

Dr. Needleman serves as a Full Professor for the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and as Faculty Associate for the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.  Dr. Needleman has directed studies on a wide range of topics, including the impact and economics of nurse staffing and working conditions on patient outcomes in hospitals, the economics of nurse staffing, the quality of care for Medicaid beneficiaries with diabetes, and access to inpatient care for patients with psychiatric conditions and substance abuse.

Elissa Hallem, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics and a member of UCLA's Molecular Biology Institute, was selected as one of 23 new recipients of the MacArthur "genius grant."  The MacArthur fellowship provides $100,000 a year in unrestricted funds over the next five years. Dr. Hallem's laboratory studies the interaction between animal parasites and their hosts and is focusing on the neurobiology, neural circuits, and signaling pathways of host-seeking behavior.

Please join me in congratulating our colleagues on receiving these well-deserved honors, which underscore the breadth and depth of the talent and excellence at UCLA Health Sciences.


A. Eugene Washington
Vice Chancellor & Dean