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Medical Honor Society Inducts Pao, Polack

April 22, 2011 | Bill Snyder

William Pao, M.D., Ph.D.

William Pao, M.D., Ph.D., and Fernando Polack, M.D., have been elected into one of the nation’s most respected medical honor societies — the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI).

Pao, the Ingram Associate Professor of Cancer Research, and Polack, the Cesar Milstein Associate Professor of Pediatrics, were among 70 new members introduced at the ASCI annual meeting April 15 in Chicago.

They join 44 current Vanderbilt faculty members who have been elected to the ASCI for “outstanding records of scholarly achievement in biomedical research” early in their careers.

Pao is director of Personalized Cancer Medicine at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center and associate professor of Medicine, Cancer Biology and Pathology.

According to the ASCI, Pao has made “seminal contributions to the understanding of molecular mechanisms in lung cancer pathogenesis … Based on these discoveries, he has developed and successfully tested new anti-cancer therapies in animal models and humans. His work has helped change the standard of care in lung cancer.”

Fernando Polack, M.D.

Polack earned his medical degree from the University of Buenos Aires School of Medicine in Argentina and directs INFANT (the Foundation for Children’s Infectious Disease Research) in Buenos Aires.

He was recognized by the ASCI for research here and in Argentina that aims to reduce the severity of viral respiratory diseases in children. Among his studies: how breast milk can protect infants against respiratory viruses.

More than 2,800 physician-scientists are members of the 103-year-old ASCI. Each year up to 80 new members, age 45 and younger, are selected from several hundred nominations.