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The past half-century has been an era of astonishing progress for biomedical science, health, and health care in the United States and worldwide. This volume, commissioned to mark the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the U.S. National Academy of Medicine (NAM; formerly the Institute of Medicine [IOM]), tells the story of that progress across five major fields: biomedical science and technology, diseases and conditions, public health, U.S. health care, and global health. Since the NAM was founded in 1970, the nation and the world have seen multitudes of remarkable "firsts"—including the dawn of targeted gene therapies, the near eradication of polio, revolutionary treatments for cancers and cardiovascular disease, and many more. NAM members were the architects of many of these breakthroughs, alongside countless dedicated scientists, clinicians, educators, and public health leaders worldwide. The milestones chronicled in this volume are a testament to their remarkable work, which has saved and improved innumerable lives.

Suggested Citation

National Academy of Medicine. 2022. Transforming Human Health: Celebrating 50 Years of Discovery and Progress. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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Publication Info

156 pages |  11.75 x 9 | 

  • Hardcover:  978-0-309-69395-0
  • Ebook:  978-0-309-69398-1
Chapters skim
Front Matter i-viii
Foreword 1-3
Neuroscience and Neurological Diseases: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Brain 6-9
Genomics and Gene Regulation: Deciphering the Instruction Books of Biology 10-13
Infection, Immunity, and Inflammation: Unraveling and Applying the Capacities of the Immune System 14-17
Metabolism and Bioenergetics: Linking Energy Use to Health 18-21
Diagnostics, Therapeutics, and Imaging: Technologies to Understand, Treat, and Repair the Body 22-25
Scientific and Medical Ethics: Protecting People While Enhancing Autonomy and Justice 26-29
Cardiovascular Disease: Confronting the Leading Cause of Death Worldwide 32-35
HIV and AIDS: Global Collaboration to Combat a Mysterious Pandemic 36-39
Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention of Cancers: Tremendous Progress But Much Left to Learn 40-43
Mental Health: Increased Advocacy, Education, Understanding, and Treatment 44-47
Other Non-Communicable Diseases: Reducing the Global Burden 48-51
Infectious Diseases: Characterizing Pathogens and Preventing Spread 52-55
Environmental Health: A Shared Destiny with Humanity 58-61
Health Disparities and Health Equity: Righting Historic Wrongs and Building a More Equitable Future 62-65
Sexual and Reproductive Health: Equitable Care for Women and LGBTQIA Individuals 66-69
Substance and Alcohol Use Disorders: Toward Better Understanding and Treatments 70-73
Injury and Violence Prevention: Ensuring Protection in the Workplace and Daily Life 74-77
Oral, Eye, and Hearing Health: Assessment, Treatment, and Equity 78-81
Healthy Nutrition and Behavior: Building the Cornerstone for Health 82-85
Health Promotion and Disease Prevention: Measuring Progress to Improve Public Health 86-89
Coverage and Access: Expanding Benefits to More Americans 92-95
Patient Safety and Quality: Improving the Standard of Care for All 96-99
Health and Biomedical Research: Advancing Knowledge and Innovation to Improve Patient Outcomes 100-103
Health Care Workforce Evolution: Expanding and Diversifying the Health Care Team 104-107
Medical and Health Informatics: Applying Digital Technology to Transform Care, Health, and Learning 108-111
Patient and Consumer Leadership in Health Care: Empowering People and Their Loved Ones 112-115
U.S. Leadership in Global Health: Partnerships to Improve Life for People Everywhere 118-121
Global Development: Committing to Universal Progress in Health and Welfare 122-125
Health Security and Disease Surveillance: Responding to Global Health Threats 126-129
Human Rights: Justice as a Foundation for Health 130-134
Into the Future 135-135
Conclusion 136-145

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