Skip to main content

Plowright elected to National Academy of Medicine


Dr. Raina Plowright, recently inducted into the National Academy of Medicine. Photo: Kelly Gorham/Provided

Dr. Raina Plowright, the Rudolf J. and Katharine L. Steffen Professor of Veterinary Medicine in the Department of Public and Ecosystem Health, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM). This is one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine.

Each year, the academy recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. Plowright's induction was announced Oct. 9 in conjunction with NAM's annual meeting.

“I am deeply humbled to receive this recognition from my peers,” Plowright said. “My research involves large teams, so this acknowledgment also honors the collective effort of many exceptional people I have been privileged to work with. I am excited to participate in the National Academy of Medicine and am confident that my work on spillover prevention will help advance its mission to accelerate health equity and provide a healthier future for everyone.”

Plowright, also a Cornell Atkinson Scholar, specializes in the science of pandemic prevention, applying a One Health approach by bridging disease dynamics with effective public health practice and meaningful policy. Her primary areas of inquiry include transmission of pathogens between species, links between land-use change and pathogen spillover, dynamics and drivers of viral pathogens in reservoir host populations, and implementation of science for the protection of ecosystem and human health.

Research published last year in Nature found that preserving and restoring natural habitats could prevent pathogens that originate in wildlife from spilling over into domesticated animals and humans.

Plowright received her B.V.Sc. from the University of Sydney, and her master’s in epidemiology and Ph.D. in ecology from the University of California, Davis. She is a 2022 inductee into the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She was among three Cornell faculty to be inducted by the NAM this year; also inducted were Dr. Lisa Newman, chief of the section of breast surgery at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, and Dr. Jedd D. Wolchok, the Meyer Director of the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medicine, in partnership with NewYork-Presbyterian.

Written by KJ Bannan and Olivia M. Hall

Read the full version of this story on the Cornell Chronicle site here.