By Charlie Powell, College of Veterinary Medicine, and Rob Strenge, WSU News Service
PULLMAN — Dr. Terry McElwain, a professor of pathology and infectious diseases in the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine, has been elected to membership in the National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine (IOM). Election to this prestigious body is one of the highest honors for those in biomedical research and human health care.
The institute announced the election of its new members today at its annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
“Terry McElwain‘s election to the National Academies is a richly deserved acknowledgement of his innovative scientific leadership in disease surveillance and public health,” said WSU President Elson S. Floyd. “His considerable work and expertise stand very much at the heart of our recent successes in the establishment of a new School for Global Animal Health here at WSU. It is altogether fitting that he should be recognized as he has today, with one of the highest honors that can be afforded a scientist.”
“I am deeply honored to receive this recognition, and have many to thank for the support that has been instrumental to my success,” McElwain said. “That includes WSU, the institution that has supported me through almost my entire career. I am humbled by my election to the IOM, which I suppose is natural when one looks at the past and current membership.”
McElwain has been a leader in the development of a coordinated network of animal disease diagnostic laboratories. Together, these laboratories conduct disease surveillance based on shared standards, rapid dissemination of diagnostic surveillance data, and integrating communication with state public health laboratories and the Centers for Disease Control. His work has strengthened the linkages between animal disease surveillance/response networks at state, national and international levels.
He served recently as a member of IOM’s expert committee to provide consensus advice on the challenge of achieving sustainable global capacity for surveillance and response to emerging diseases of zoonotic origin, such as the H5N1 and H1N1 influenzas.
“More than 65 percent of human disease agents originate in domestic or wild animals and Dr. McElwain’s election to the National Academies reflects the critical importance of both his research and service to human health,” said WSU Provost Warwick Bayly.
A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists, McElwain is executive director of the Washington Animal Disease Laboratory, a founding member of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network and Laboratory Response Network for Bioterrorism. He also directs WSU’s Animal Health Research Center and is a member of the board of directors of the World Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians.
The Institute of Medicine is unique for its structure as both an honorific membership organization and an advisory organization. Established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences, the institute has become recognized as a national resource for independent, scientifically informed analysis and recommendations on issues related to human health. With their election, members make a commitment to devote a significant amount of volunteer time as members of IOM study committees.
Click the following link for additional information about the Institute of Medicine
of the National Academy of Sciences.
For additional information about McElwain and the WSU School For Global Animal Health is available online, click here