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Rachel Morello-Frosch elected to National Academy of Medicine

The National Academy of Medicine announced today that Rachel Morello-Frosch—a professor in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management (ESPM) and the UC Berkeley School of Public Health—will join their ranks as one of 100 newly elected members.

An environmental health scientist and epidemiologist, Morello-Frosch was cited as a “renowned expert on structural determinants of environmental health inequities” and a “leader in the application of community-engaged data science.” Her research examines the question of environmental justice in the context of air pollution, water quality, and climate change, as well as prenatal exposures to environmental chemicals and their effects on developmental outcomes.

Established as the Institute of Medicine in 1970, the National Academy of Medicine addresses critical issues in health, science, medicine, and related policy. Members work alongside the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation. Their work and activities help to solve complex problems and inform policy decisions within the public sphere.

Membership in the National Academy of Medicine recognizes individuals who have made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care, and public health. “Their expertise will be vital to informing the future of health and medicine for the benefit of us all,” NAM President Victor J. Dzau said of the latest inductees. “I am truly honored to welcome these esteemed individuals to the National Academy of Medicine.”

At UC Berkeley, Morello-Frosch leads the Sustainability and Health Equity (S/HE) Lab, a multidisciplinary community of researchers that center on sustainability and equity when pursuing solutions to critical environmental challenges. In particular, the lab focuses on addressing challenges faced by communities of color and low-income communities with high exposures to environmental hazards and the toxic effects of pollution

Since 2019, Morello-Frosch and members of the S/HE Lab have co-led the Toxic Tides project, which examines the inequities and environmental injustices of sea level rise on poor communities and communities of color. She was appointed to the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council in 2021, which provides recommendations and advice to the Biden Administration on how to confront current and historic environmental injustices.

A version of this story first appeared on the UC Berkeley Rausser College of Natural Resources website. Reprinted with permission.