Skip to main content

Johns Hopkins Researchers Elected to Institute of Medicine


Two pre-eminent Johns Hopkins researchers – and another who is expected to join the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in January – were recognized today for outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service with election to membership in the Institute of Medicine (IOM), one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine.

Chris Beyrer, MD, MPH, and Daniel B. Drachman, MD, are among 70 new members from the United States announced at the organization's 44th annual meeting in Washington, D.C. The newly elected members raise IOM's total active membership to 1,798 and the number of foreign associates to 128.  With an additional 86 members holding emeritus status, IOM's total membership is 2,012

Beyrer is a professor in the departments of Epidemiology, International Health, and Health, Behavior and Society at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Drachman is the W.W. Smith Charitable Trust Endowed Professor of Neuroimmunology.

Also chosen to join the prestigious group: Joshua M. Sharfstein, MD, who will become the Bloomberg School’s new Associate Dean for Public Health Practice and Training in January.

“It is with great enthusiasm that we welcome our esteemed colleagues to the Institute of Medicine,” said IOM President Victor J. Dzau in making the announcement this morning. “These leaders' tremendous achievements have contributed significantly to advancing health and medicine. The expertise and knowledge they bring to the IOM will encourage and enhance its success.”

Chris Beyrer

Beyrer, a global leader in HIV preparedness and prevention research, became president in July of the International AIDS Society. He serves as director of Johns Hopkins University’s HIV Training Program in Epidemiology and Prevention Science, and founded and directs the Johns Hopkins Center for Public Health and Human Rights.

He runs many clinical trials and currently serves as Co-Chair of the Epidemiology and Natural History Planning Group of the Office of AIDS Research of the U.S. NIH.  He has extensive experience in conducting international collaborative research and training programs in HIV/AIDS and other infectious disease epidemiology, in infectious disease prevention research, HIV vaccine preparedness, in health and migration, and in health and human rights. Beyrer has done research on health and human rights concerns in Thailand, Burma, China, India, South Africa, Malawi, Tanzania, Russia, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan and is the author of more than 200 scientific papers. 

Daniel B. Drachman

Drachman is a leading authority on myasthenia gravis and other neuromuscular diseases. He first showed that myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune condition. Using botulism toxin many years before it was introduced for clinical use, he demonstrated that muscles wasted without motor neuron stimulation, a principle important in the pathogenesis of diseases such as ALS and Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

He is a founding member of Johns Hopkins' Department of Neurology, which was established in 1969. An outstanding teacher, mentor and lecturer, he has received many honors and awards including the 2002 Lifetime Achievement Award from the World Federation of Neurology.

Joshua M. Sharfstein

Sharfstein, who will join the Bloomberg School next year, has served as secretary of Maryland’s Department of Mental Health and Hygiene since 2009. As secretary of DHMH, Sharfstein has led efforts to modernize Maryland’s all-payer system for hospital payment. He also serves as a member of the editorial board at the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Prior to joining the state, he was Principal Deputy Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Before that, he was Baltimore City’s Commissioner of Health, where he became lead author of a petition to the FDA that led manufacturers to remove cold-and-cough medications for children under age 4 from the market.

A practicing pediatrician, Sharfstein began working on health and social policy matters as an advisor to longtime California Congressman Henry A. Waxman, where he was responsible for projects related to public health.

# # #

Media contact for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Stephanie Desmon at 410-955-7619 or

Media contact for the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine: Shawna Williams at 410-955-8236 or