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Press Release

Jonathan Potts

For immediate release:
October 18, 2004

Carnegie Mellon Health Psychology Pioneer Elected Into National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine

Sheldon Cohen
PITTSBURGH—The Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies has announced that it has elected to its membership Sheldon Cohen, the Robert E. Doherty Professor of Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University. Cohen is one of 65 new members elected this year, bringing the institute's total active membership to 1,416.

"It is a great pleasure to welcome these distinguished and influential individuals to the Institute of Medicine," said IOM President Harvey V. Fineberg. "Members are elected through a highly selective process that recognizes people who have made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care and public health. Election is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of medicine and health."

Cohen, who has been at Carnegie Mellon since 1982, is one of the architects of the university's highly respected health psychology program and has helped turn Pittsburgh into the world's leading center of health psychology research. He is internationally recognized for his trailblazing scientific contributions toward understanding the effects of social and environmental stress on human behavior and health. He was this year's recipient of the American Psychological Association's prestigious Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, and he received the 2002-03 James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award from the American Psychological Society. Cohen also earned a Senior Scientist Award from the National Institute of Mental Health.

"It is an enormous honor to be included among the exceptional health scientists who belong to the Institute of Medicine. It is particularly gratifying as a psychologist to have our contributions to medicine recognized in this way," Cohen said.

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 committees, which engage in a broad range of studies on health policy issues.

The Department of Psychology is one of eight departments in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the second-largest academic unit at Carnegie Mellon. The college emphasizes interdisciplinary study in a technologically rich environment, with an open and forward-thinking stance toward the arts and sciences.


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