October 15, 2002
MEDIA CONTACT: Jessica Collins
PHONE: 410-516-4570

Johns Hopkins Pediatrician Elected To Institute of Medicine 

David Valle, M.D., professor of pediatrics, ophthalmology, and molecular biology and genetics at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine (IOM), a prestigious body that brings together national leaders in the fields of health and medicine, social and behavioral sciences, law, administration and economics to develop solutions to a broad range of health policy issues.

Valle, who is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at Hopkins, also serves as director of the predoctoral training program in human genetics with the Johns Hopkins Institute of Genetic Medicine.

His research interests include identifying the genes responsible for human inborn errors of metabolism and diseases of the retina. He has particular expertise in gyrate atrophy, an inherited disease that usually causes blindness by mid-life. His research team cloned the genetic mutation that causes the disorder, and he led the team at Hopkins that created a mouse model that enabled researchers to further study the biochemistry and proteins involved in the disease process. The work is fundamental to the development of new treatments, but also for understanding similar mechanisms at work in a variety of disorders.

"David Valle has a continuous record of discovery that has unlocked cellular mechanisms, leading us to understand several metabolic disorders," said George J. Dover, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Children's Center and a long-time colleague of Valle's. "His skills in clinical pediatrics have made him an outstanding mentor for students, residents and faculty. Valle's co-editorship of the most important textbook in medical genetics, The Metabolic and Molecular Basis for Inherited Disease, has brought clarity and scientific rigor to countless individuals seeking to understand the complexities of genetic medicine."

Valle completed both his internship and residency in pediatrics at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and conducted his postdoctoral research in metabolism at the National Institutes of Health. In 1976, he was named director of the pediatrics genetics clinic at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, a position he held for more than 20 years.

Valle is president-elect of the American Society of Human Genetics and is a member of numerous professional societies, including the Society for Pediatric Research, the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the Genetics Society of America and the American Pediatrics Society.


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