VCU professor recognized by institute of medicine

RICHMOND, Va – Dr. Steven H. Woolf, professor and director of research in the Department of Family Practice in the School of Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University, has become VCU's fourth professor elected to the highly prestigious National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine.

Woolf, whose work focuses on health-services research and evidence-based medicine (medicine based on extensive scientific review), was one of 60 new members announced Monday by the Institute of Medicine, bringing its total active membership to 632. He is the author of 60 articles and two books and consults with government agencies and professional organizations on methods for reviewing scientific facts and on matters related to preventive medicine. Woolf also is a member of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, is active nationally in health services research and public policy and has consulted in Europe as a visiting scholar. He received his M.D. from Emory University and underwent residency training in family practice at VCU (Fairfax campus) and in preventive medicine and public health at Johns Hopkins University, where he received his M.P.H. He is board certified in family practice and in preventive medicine and public health.

"Dr. Woolf is an intellectual giant in medicine," said VCU President Eugene P. Trani, Ph.D. "This is a great honor for Dr. Woolf to be elected to the Institute of Medicine and reflects well, once again, on the quality of researchers at VCU."

Added Dr. David Marsland, chair of VCU’s Department of Family Practice, "Dr. Woolf is among the most gifted in family practice in our nation and internationally. He has made major contributions to clinical guidelines for preventive services in primary care practice and to clinical evidence for primary care practice. "

The Institute of Medicine’s mission is to enhance health care by providing objective scientific information about health policy to the public, government and corporations.

Current active members of the institute elect new members from among candidates chosen for their major contributions to health and medicine or related fields, such as social and behavioral sciences, law, administration and economics. Members volunteer for committees engaged in a broad range of studies on health policy issues. Recent reports by the institute have dealt with new technologies for breast-cancer screening, how biochemical differences affect men’s and women’s health and ways to confront mental illness in developing countries. Current projects include a study of the consequences of a large medical population without health insurance, the protection of public health in the 21st century and the safety and effectiveness of the anthrax vaccine for the U.S. military.

In 1982, Dr. Morris Wood, professor emeritus in the department of family practice became VCU's first professor to become a member of the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Harold J. Fallon, former chair of internal medicine was selected in 1989 and Dr. Kenneth S. Kendler, professor of psychiatry and human genetics and co-director of VCU’s Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, became a member in 1999.

About VCU and VCU Medical Center

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 226 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-seven of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University comprise VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. For more, see