UW News

October 18, 2001

Two University of Washington professors are among 60 new members elected to the Institute of Medicine this week.

Dr. Bobbie Berkowitz, professor and chair of the Department of Psychosocial and Community Health in the School of Nursing, and Dr. Cornelius Rosse, professor emeritus and former chair of the Department of Biological Structure in the School of Medicine, join 36 other UW faculty members previously elected to the Institute.

New members are elected by current active members from a list of candidates chosen for their major contributions to health and medicine or to related fields such as social and behavioral sciences, law, administration and economics. At least one-fourth of members are from professions other than health care.

The Institute of Medicine was established in 1971 as a branch of the National Academy of Sciences. With the NAS, the Institute joins the National Academy of Engineering and the National Research Council in forming the National Academies.

Current projects of the Institute of Medicine include studies on improved care for dying children and their families, the protection of public health in the 21st century, the safety and effectiveness of anthrax vaccine, elinination of racial and ethnic disparities in health care, and the consequences of having a large population without health insurance.

Berkowitz has been chair of the Department of Psychosocial and Community Health since July 1998. She is also director of the Turning Point national program office, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine, and has an adjunct appointment there. The goal of that program is to strengthen and transform the public health system throughout the country so that it is more responsive and effective in improving health outcomes. She is also part of the UW’s multidisciplinary Center for Health Workforce Studies.

She was deputy secretary of the Washington State Department of Health from 1993 to 1997, and was chief of nursing services for the Seattle-King County Department of Public Health from 1986 to 1993. She has been a member of the Washington State Board of Health, the Washington Health Care Commission, and the Hanford Environmental Health Foundation, among other policy groups, and was co-chair of the Institute of Medicine’s National Committee on Monitoring and Improving the Health of Communities. She is a member of the American Academy of Nursing and a recipient of the UW School of Nursing’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

Berkowitz earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from the UW and a Ph.D. in nursing science from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. She was a scholar at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Public Health Leadership Institute in 1993-94.

Rosse, a native of Hungary, received his medical degree in 1964 from the University of Bristol, England. The same institution awarded Rosse two additional doctoral degrees in 1974 and 1983 in recognition for his research on blood cell formation and the body’s anticancer mechanisms. He came to the UW in 1967 as an assistant professor of biological structure and served as chair of the department from 1981 to 1993, establishing the department’s Cancer Research Center, Biomolecular Structure Center and the Digital Anatomist Project.

UW medical students elected Rosse Outstanding Teacher in the UW School of Medicine in 1972, 1974, 1976, 1977 and 1980. In 1981 he was named a Teacher Superior in Perpetuity, retiring him from eligibility for future nominations. In 1989 he received the UW’s Distinguished Teacher Award and the Distinguished Teaching Award in the Basic Sciences from the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. Among his many other honors, Rosse was president of the Association of Anatomy Chairmen in 1990, a member of the National Board of Medical Examiners and has served on advisory boards of the Association of American Medical Colleges and the National Library of Medicine.

Rosse has published three textbooks on various aspects of human anatomy. Nearly 20 years ago, he turned his attention to the representation of anatomical knowledge in computer-processable form. Under his leadership, the Digital Anatomist project has pioneered the generation of 3-D computer graphics models of the human body, providing the prototype for the Visible Human image database on the Internet. He is now working with artificial intelligence methods and has developed the “Foundation Model of Anatomy,” which provides a basis for “next-generation” applications.