The National Academy of Medicine recently elected alumnus and Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC Dean of Research Yang Chai as its newest member.
NAM is a nonprofit institution that provides advisement in fields of science, technology and health.
This year, NAM announced the names of 85 new members during its annual meeting held in Washington D.C. on Monday. Of the newly elected members, Chai, who graduated from USC in 1991 with a doctorate in craniofacial biology and in 1996 with a doctorate in dental surgery, is the only NAM professional in the dentistry field, according to USC News.
“You are now part of a group of truly distinguished individuals who have made important contributions to health, science and medicine,” NAM President Victor Dzau said in a notification letter obtained by USC News.
Membership in the Academy is considered one of the most prestigious offers in the medical field.
“This is an incredible recognition by my peers and for the work we do at USC,” Chai told USC News. “But more importantly, this is an opportunity for me to contribute to the advancement of biomedical science at the national and international level.”
To be eligible for NAM membership, candidates have to demonstrate involvement in health care, disease prevention, education or research, according to the NAM website. In addition, candidates are selected based on professional achievement in the medicine and health fields.
Candidates are also nominated by two current NAM members and must be willing to help NAM in its research.
With the addition of Chai, the University now has nine faculty members who have been elected as NAM members, according to USC News.
“We are so proud of Yang for this distinction,” Ostrow Dean Avishai Sadan told USC News. “The contributions he has made to the research community here at Ostrow, across the University and for the dental profession are legion. I can’t think of a better way to honor him for a lifetime of scientific achievement.”