Oct. 19 2020

Andrea Baccarelli, MD, PhD, Leon Hess Professor and chair of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, was elected to the National Academy of Medicine effective October 1. Baccarelli was named to the Academy for his pioneering work showing that environmental chemicals and lifestyle risk factors adversely affect the human epigenome, thereby producing adverse lifetime health consequences. 

Baccarelli, who also serves as director of the Laboratory of Precision Environmental Biosciences, joined Columbia Mailman in 2016. An epigeneticist and board-certified clinical endocrinologist, he helped develop powerful new tools in environmental epigenetics, not only to document the health risks of a variety of synthetic toxins, but also as an avenue to prevention, and even targeted therapies. His lab has produced numerous publications at the intersection of epigenetics, molecular epidemiology, and environmental health, one of which in 2009 was named Paper of the Year by Environmental Health Perspectives, the leading journal in environmental health research. Over the course of his career, Baccarelli has expanded the vocabulary of epigenetics, showing how environmental damage inscribes itself in the body.

Founded in 1970 as the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) is one of three academies that make up the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (the National Academies) in the United States.

Operating under the 1863 Congressional charter of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academies are private, nonprofit institutions that work outside of government to provide objective advice on matters of science, technology, and health. The NAM has more than 2,000 members elected by their peers in recognition of outstanding achievement. For those at the top of their field, NAM membership reflects the height of professional achievement and commitment to service.

With the election of Dr. Baccarelli, the academy includes 19 members from Columbia Mailman School.