U of I scientist becomes first inductee into Idaho National Academy of Medicine

MOSCOW, Idaho (KIFI) – A University of Idaho researcher, internationally recognized for her work in maternal and child nutrition, has become the university’s first inductee into the famed National Academy of Medicine.

Michelle (Shelley) McGuire, director of the Margaret Ritchie School of Family and Consumer Sciences and professor in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, was nominated by colleagues at Yale University and the University of Illinois, who praised his long-term research on human milk.

McGuire is the first faculty member inducted into the academy while employed at an Idaho institution, according to organization records.

For several years, McGuire and her colleagues collected breast milk samples from nine countries to analyze their complex composition. She found that the composition of breast milk varies greatly depending on where the mother lives and thinks these differences likely encourage babies to thrive in their specific environment. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the results of research from McGuire’s team – co-led by Mark McGuire and Janet Williams of the U of I and Courtney Meehan of Washington State University – provided vital advice for mothers who were worried about the potential for the coronavirus to spread via breastfeeding. . McGuire’s team found that breast milk provides infants with antibodies.

As a new member of the academy, McGuire will help inform national health policy and offer advice on human health research priorities. She will also help select future members of the academy and will be given priority to serve on expert panels commissioned by the academy to write reports on pressing scientific issues.

“In the United States, that’s about the best recognition a scientist can get,” McGuire said. “I hope this is the start of a growing number of national academy members at the University of Idaho.”

The National Academy of Medicine is a private, nonprofit organization with more than 2,400 fellows from around the world elected by their peers. It is one of three academies that make up the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine.

“Her time at the academy is a demonstration of what an incredible scientist she is and the incredible scientists we have at the university and at Idaho State,” said Christopher Nomura, vice president of the U of I for research and economic development. “Reputationally, it demonstrates that we have one of the best biomedical faculties on the planet here at the University of Idaho. His work literally has global impacts.

McGuire’s induction will help attract top faculty, postdoctoral researchers and graduate students to the U of I, Nomura said.

The National Academy of Medicine officially announced the 100 members of the class of 2022 at its annual meeting on Monday. The National Academies will hold an induction ceremony honoring the 2022 inductees in the fall of 2023. McGuire’s membership began immediately.

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