Carrie L. Byington, MD, dean of the Texas A&M College of Medicine, senior vice president of the Texas A&M University Health Science Center and vice chancellor for health services at The Texas A&M University System, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM). She is one of 70 new members, in addition to 10 international members, that the NAM announced today in conjunction with its annual meeting.

Byington, a national leader in pediatrics and infectious disease, came to Texas A&M in January after a 21-year career at the University of Utah Health Science Center.  A respected physician with a strong dedication to increasing access to care, Byington has devoted her career to providing excellent care to underserved populations. A world-class investigator, Byington is internationally recognized for her research on bacterial and viral infections in infants and children. In 2016, she served as the Chair of the Infectious Diseases Advisory Group for the U.S. Olympic Committee and worked with athletes, coaches, and staff to prevent Zika virus infection in those traveling to Brazil for the Games.

“Dr. Byington’s election to the National Academy of Medicine confirms what we knew when she was chosen to lead our wide-ranging health services,” said John Sharp, chancellor of The Texas A&M University System. “Dr. Byington is that rare individual who is an expert in her field, a compassionate medical practitioner and a visionary leader.”

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. Current active members elect new members from among candidates nominated for their accomplishments and contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care and public health. The newly elected members raise NAM’s total active membership to 1,812 and the number of international members to 151.

A federally funded investigator with continuous support as principal or co-investigator totaling about $80 million since 1998, Byington’s research spans the translational spectrum from basic laboratory science to health services research. She has had numerous career accomplishments including awards from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Association of American Medical Colleges, American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institutes of Health. She currently serves as Chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases, which prepares all policies related to pediatric infectious diseases and vaccines and produces the Red Book—a resource used by pediatricians around the world in the treatment of childhood infectious diseases.

“Excellence is a core value and theme of Dr. Carrie Byington’s career and life,” said Michael K. Young, president of Texas A&M University. “From her time as an undergraduate biology student at Texas A&M to her leadership today enhancing the innovative scholarship, research and service that Texas A&M provides to others, Dr. Byington is a deserving member of the National Academy of Medicine and we offer her our heartfelt congratulations!”

The National Academy of Medicine, established in 1970 as the 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. It serves alongside the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering as an adviser to the nation and the international community. 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. The NAM collaborates closely with its peer academies and other divisions within the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

“I’m honored and humbled to have been elected to the National Academy of Medicine,” Byington said. “It is a privilege to serve the Academy and I look forward to collaborating with leading medical professionals in the country to improve the health of our nation.”

Byington received her Bachelor of Science in biology from Texas A&M University and Doctor of Medicine from Baylor College of Medicine, both with honors. She trained in pediatrics at Texas Children’s Hospital and in pediatric infectious diseases at the University of California, San Francisco.

— Christina Sumners

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