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Marylyn D. Ritchie (left) and Sarah A. Tishkoff (right), two faculty members from the Perelman School of Medicine, have been elected to join the National Academy of Medicine. (Photo from Perelman School of Medicine and College of Arts and Sciences)

Two faculty members from the Perelman School of Medicine have been elected to join the National Academy of Medicine, one of the highest honors in the field of health and medicine.

Marylyn D. Ritchie and Sarah A. Tishkoff are among the 100 new members that were elected to join the academy. This is the academy’s most diverse class of new members, Penn Today reported. It is composed of approximately 50% women and 50% racial minorities.

NAM was established in 1970 to provide advice to the general population in matters related to health, science, and technology. The organization has more than 2,200 members elected in recognition of professional achievement and commitment to volunteer service. New members are nominated and voted on by existing members.

Ritchie is a professor in the School of Medicine’s Department of Genetics and the Director of the Center for Translational Bioinformatics, among other positions she holds at the School of Medicine. Her work focuses on the genetic basis of human diseases.

She first earned her bachelor’s degree in biology at the University of Pittsburgh in 1999 and later earned a Ph.D. in statistical genetics at Vanderbilt University in 2004.

Tishkoff is a professor in both the Department of Genetics at the School of Medicine and the Department of Biology in the School of Arts and Sciences. She is also the Director of the Penn Center for Global Genomics and Health Equity. Her work uses field work, laboratory research, and computational methods to examine African population history and better understand how genetic variation affects traits.

She earned her bachelor’s in biology at the University of California, Berkeley in 1989 and earned her Ph.D. in genetics at Yale University in 1996.

“Their contributions to health and medicine are unmatched — they’ve made groundbreaking discoveries, taken bold action against social inequities, and led the response to some of the greatest public health challenges of our time,” National Academy of Medicine President Victor J. Dzau told Penn Today.