Nicholas Jewell, UC Berkeley professor of biostatistics and statistics, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, or NAM, in recognition of his research and contributions to the field of medicine.
Jewell, who is in both the department of statistics and the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, is one of the 80 newly appointed regular members to NAM, including 10 new international members.
“Of course, I was delighted to hear the news, and very humbly grateful for all the shoulders that have supported me over the years,” Jewell said in an email. “The award inspires me to keep working to improve the health of all people around the world but especially vulnerable populations.
Jewell has studied HIV and AIDS since 1981, as well as SARS, dengue and Zika infections, among other conditions. He has also written two books — “Statistics for Epidemiology” and “Causal Inference in Statistics: A Primer.”
New members are elected annually after being nominated and voted on by existing members. In a press release, president of NAM Victor J. Dzau said the new members represent “the most exceptional scholars and leaders in science, medicine and health in the U.S. and around the globe.”
Alan Hubbard, a fellow professor of biostatistics at UC Berkeley, has known Jewell for about 24 years and first met him as a doctoral candidate under Jewell’s training.
“It’s not that common for methodologists or biostatisticians to get selected, so … the bar is a little bit higher,” Hubbard said. “It’s incredibly well-deserved and reflects a lifetime of service both of impressive mythologic research and a concentration of real application to important health problems.”
In addition to NAM, Jewell is a fellow of the American Statistical Association, the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which he was elected to in 2007.
“His research is so closely tied to important health issues,” Hubbard said. “His work in HIV was crucial for figuring out … how extensive was the epidemic and what was probably driving the disease.”
Jewell is not the first UC Berkeley professor to become a NAM member — Stefano Bertozzi, dean of the UC Berkeley School of Public Health and professor of health policy and management, was elected in 2016. Bertozzi could not be reached for comment as of press time.
As a member of NAM, Jewell will be responsible for electing new members, as well as contributing to NAM’s routine reports on contemporary health issues that are currently facing the country.
“It’s extremely competitive to get (selected),” Hubbard said. “It raises the prominence of biostatistics at Berkeley because it’s recognized that his work has been important for the field, and by association, our work has also been important.”