October 10 , 2007

CONTACT: Kate Olderman Tavella
(215) 349-8369

Four Penn School of Medicine Faculty Named to Institute of Medicine

PHILADELPHIA – Four professors at the Perelman School of Medicine were elected as members of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), one of the nation’s highest honors in biomedicine. The new members bring Penn’s total to 62, out of over 1600 worldwide. Overall, the IOM named 65 new members this year.

“Penn is privileged and proud that four of our most distinguished physician-scientists have been named to one of America’s premier institutions,” says Arthur H. Rubenstein, MBBCh, Executive Vice President of the University of Pennsylvania for the Health System and Dean of the School of Medicine.
The new Penn IOM members are:

  • David A. Asch, MD, MBA, Robert D. Eilers Professor of Medicine and Health Care Management and Economics at the School of Medicine and the Wharton School; and Executive Director of the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics
  • Katherine A. High, MD, William H. Bennett Professor of Pediatrics, Penn; Director, Center for Cellular and Molecular Therapeutics, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia


David Asch, MD, MBA, is Executive Director of the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the University of  Pennsylvania, where he is the Robert D. Eilers Professor of Medicine and Health Care Management and Economics at the School of Medicine and the Wharton School.  He teaches health policy at the Wharton School, and he practices internal medicine at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center, where he is Co-director of the Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion. He also co-directs the Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholars Program at the University of Pennsylvania.  Dr. Asch’s research aims to understand how physicians and patients make medical choices in clinical, financial, and ethically charged settings, and how health policies affect equity and quality.

Joel D. Cooper, MD, is Professor of Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Chief, Division of Thoracic Surgery, of the University of Pennsylvania Health System. Known for his pioneering contributions to the field of thoracic surgery, he is a recipient of the prestigious Jacobson Innovation Award from the American College of Surgeons and the Scientific Achievement Award from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Dr. Cooper’s special interests include general thoracic, esophageal and tracheal surgery, lung cancer and swallowing disorders. A past president of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, he is recognized for his contributions in the field of airway surgery, esophageal surgery, pulmonary, physiology, lung transplantation and surgery for emphysema. Dr. Cooper is on the editorial board of Clinical Transplantation, the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, Transplantation Proceedings and Transplantation Today.  Dr. Cooper has published almost 400 scientific articles and is a co-editor of the Pearson Textbook of Thoracic Surgery.

Lee A. Fleisher, MD, is the Robert D. Dripps Professor and Chair of Anesthesia and Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.  He is the Chair of the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology Guidelines on Perioperative Cardiovascular Evaluation before Non-Cardiac Surgery.  Dr. Fleisher has published more than 200 articles, chapters, books, and abstracts.  He has edited several books and monographs, including Evidence Based Practice of Anesthesiology and the 5th edition of Anesthesia and Uncommon Diseases; he is also the co-editor of Essence of Anesthesia Practice and the forthcoming Perioperative Medicine: Managing for Outcomes, consulting editor for Anesthesia Clinics of North America, and associate editor of the 6th edition of Anesthesia. He is considered to be one of the world’s authorities on how the heart responds to the stress of surgery.

Katherine A. High, MD, is internationally prominent hematologist and researcher, She is the William H. Bennett Professor of Pediatrics at Penn, the director of the Center for Cellular and Molecular Therapeutics at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. She also is a past president of the American Society of Gene Therapy.  Dr. High's studies of the molecular biology of the bleeding disorder hemophilia led to clinical trials of gene therapy for hemophilia at CHOP. She leads a National Institutes of Health-funded laboratory and has contributed scores of papers to the scientific literature.

The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to honor professional achievement in the health sciences and to serve as a national resource for independent analysis and recommendations on issues related to medicine, biomedical sciences, and health.


PENN Medicine is a $3.5 billion enterprise dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. PENN Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

Penn's School of Medicine is currently ranked #3 in the nation in U.S.News & World Report's survey of top research-oriented medical schools; and, according to most recent data from the National Institutes of Health, received over $379 million in NIH research funds in the 2006 fiscal year. Supporting 1,400 fulltime faculty and 700 students, the School of Medicine is recognized worldwide for its superior education and training of the next generation of physician-scientists and leaders of academic medicine.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System includes three hospitals — its flagship hospital, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, rated one of the nation’s “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S.News & World Report; Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation's first hospital; and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center — a faculty practice plan; a primary-care provider network; two multispecialty satellite facilities; and home care and hospice.

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