Two Weill Cornell Faculty Elected to the Institute of Medicine
Two outstanding physician-scientists at Weill Cornell Medical College have been elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors bestowed by the scientific community. They are Dr. Flint Beal, Chairman and Anne Parish Titzell Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience at Weill Cornell Medical College, and Dr. Jean Pape, Professor of Medicine in the Division of International Medicine and Infectious Diseases at Weill Cornell Medical College and Director of the Cornell University Infectious Diseases Research and Training Unit in Haiti.
The Institute of Medicine, established by the National Academy of Sciences in 1970, is recognized as a national resource for independent, scientifically informed analysis and recommendations on issues related to human health. With their election into the Institute, members make a commitment to devote a significant amount of volunteer time to IOM committees, which engage in a broad range of studies on health-policy issues.
Born in London, England, Dr. Beal has earned international recognition as a specialist in the research and treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. In addition to his academic appointments, Dr. Beal is Neurologist-in-Chief at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. He received his medical degree from the University of Virginia in 1976, and did his internship and first-year residency in Medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital before completing his residency in Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Beal joined the neurology faculty at Harvard in 1983, and was a Professor of Neurology at the Harvard Medical School and Chief of the Neurochemistry Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital before coming to Weill Cornell Medical College in 1998.
Dr. Beal's research has focused on the mechanism of neuronal degeneration in Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). He is the author and co-author of more than 300 scientific articles and over 100 books, book chapters, and reviews. He serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Neurochemistry, the Annals of Neurology, the Journal of Molecular Neuroscience, Experimental Neurology, and Neurobiology of Disease.
Dr. Beal is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honorary Society and was a recipient of the Derek Denny-Brown Neurological Scholar Award of the American Neurological Association. He has served on the Council of the American Neurological Association and on the Science Advisory Committees of the Hereditary Disease Foundation, Huntington's Disease Society of America, Parkinson's Disease Study Group, Parkinson's Disease Foundation, the Bachman-Strauss Foundation, The ALS Foundation, and the American Health Assistance Foundation.
Dr. Jean W. Pape, an internationally recognized infectious disease expert, was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He is a graduate of Columbia (BS, 1971) and Cornell (MD, 1975) Universities. Upon completion of his postdoctoral training, he joined the Cornell faculty and returned to his native Haiti to establish the Cornell University Infectious Diseases Research and Training Unit. Subsequently, he defined the etiology of diarrhea in infants and introduced oral rehydration therapy into Haiti, decreasing the rate of hospital infant mortality from more than 40% to less than 1% within two years. Expansion of the program throughout Haiti resulted in a 50% decrease in national infant mortality.
Dr. Pape's most important scientific accomplishment is the recognition and first comprehensive description of AIDS in the developing world. He assumed an international leadership role and has been unrelenting in his efforts to implement programs for the prevention and control of AIDS and tuberculosis in Haiti and other resource-poor countries.
Dr. Pape established the first study group on AIDS in Haiti in 1982 (GHESKIO) and continues as its Director. Two decades later, GHESKIO provides free testing, counseling, and care for HIV infection and tuberculosis to over 20,000 persons annually. Dr. Pape was a founder of the Haitian National AIDS Commission in 1986.
Despite Haiti's ongoing political turmoil and deteriorating economic conditions, GHESKIO continues to provide uninterrupted care and training, and to conduct translational research. New therapies and management strategies for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and diarrhea have been validated and implemented. A world-class vaccine and clinical trials unit has been established with NIAID support, and major funding from the UN Global Fund will expand the GHESKIO comprehensive care paradigm to 27 sites throughout the country.
Dr. Pape and his team have been credited with slowing the epidemic of AIDS in Haiti and serving as a model for how poor countries with few resources can combat AIDS, tuberculosis, and diarrhea. Dr. Pape was awarded the Legion d'honneur in 2002 by the President of France, Jacques Chirac, for his "contribution to the improvement of the health of the Haitian people and that of people in the world."#