Pitt Public Health Chair of Epidemiology Elected to Prestigious Medical Association

By: Allison Hydzik


Anne B. Newman, M.D., M.P.H., professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, was elected to the Association of American Physicians at the nonprofit organization’s annual meeting recently held in Chicago.

Dr. Newman was inducted into the association for having “attained excellence” in the “pursuit of medical knowledge, and the advancement through experimentation and discovery of basic and clinical science and their application to clinical medicine.”

“It is a wonderful honor to be elected to the Association of American Physicians,” said Dr. Newman, the Katherine M. Detre Endowed Chair of Population Health Sciences at Pitt Public Health and director of Pitt’s Center for Aging and Population Health. “I look forward to learning from my fellow members and sharing my scientific knowledge and expertise in epidemiology with them, all with the ultimate goal of improving patient care and preventative medicine.”

Dr. Newman’s research focuses on aging, including the determinants of physical and cognitive function, as well as successful aging and longevity. Using non-invasive assessment in multiple organ systems, she has been a leader in developing clinically relevant metrics for healthy aging. Her work on sarcopenia – loss of muscle mass – has shifted the paradigm toward a holistic assessment of body composition.

She is leading several long-term studies and clinical trials in older adults funded by the National Institute on Aging, including the Health, Aging and Body Composition Study, which identified factors for disability in people over 70 years old, showing that physical endurance and muscle strength are critically important. These findings were targeted in the Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders, or LIFE, study, and made international news when that study showed that these risk factors could be successfully modified to prevent disability.

One of the people who nominated Dr. Newman to the Association of American Physicians said she “is well known in geriatric medicine and epidemiology for her key insights into the aging process that have stimulated new thinking about the potential for healthy aging.” Another noted, “She has created metrics for healthy aging currently being used in genomic studies and proposed in novel clinical trials to slow aging.”

The Association of American Physicians was founded for “the advancement of scientific and practical medicine” in 1885 by seven physicians, including Dr. William Osler, who established bedside clinical training for medical students, among other notable accomplishments. It is now composed of over 1,300 active members and approximately 600 emeritus and honorary members from the U.S., Canada and other countries. Members have included Nobel laureates, and members of the National Academy of Science and the Institute of Medicine.