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Nobel Prize Winner Aziz Sancar, MD, PhD and Melina Kibbe, MD join only twelve current and former UNC School of Medicine faculty members in the prestigious National Academy of Medicine.

Melina Kibbe, MD, and Aziz Sancar, MD, PhD

CHAPEL HILL, NC – Melina Kibbe, MD, and Aziz Sancar, MD, PhD, professors at the UNC School of Medicine, have been elected to the National Academy of Medicine in recognition of their outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. Election is considered one of the highest honors in the field of medicine.

Kibbe is the Zach D. Owens Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Surgery. Kibbe is renowned as a clinician and researcher in the field of vascular surgery, and more broadly as an advocate for gender equality in biomedical research.

“When I received word of my election to the National Academy of Medicine, I was completely overwhelmed,” Kibbe said. “It is a huge honor to be recognized along with so many people whose work I admire.”

In addition to her roles at UNC, Kibbe is a respected voice across the surgical community, and serves as editor-in-chief of JAMA Surgery.

“Dr. Kibbe’s scientific work and leadership in the field of academic surgery is tremendous, but I’m most impressed by her vision for how we can provide leading edge care to the people of North Carolina,” said Bruce Cairns, MD, the John Stackhouse Distinguished Professor of Surgery at the UNC School of Medicine, and director of the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center. “She is just the type of energetic, driven, and humble leader that the people of this state deserve.”

Sancar, the Sarah Graham Kenan Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics, has earned international acclaim – including the 2015 Nobel Prize for Chemistry – for his research into the mechanics of DNA repair and the circadian clock. He began his career as a medical doctor in Turkey, where he wanted to delve deeper into the underlying causes of the conditions ailing his patients.

“This is an honor for me,” Sancar said. “And it is gratifying to be elected alongside my UNC colleague Dr. Kibbe and join fellow Tar Heel and Nobel winner Oliver Smithies in this esteemed group.”

Kibbe and Sancar join the 68 other 2016 inductees, and nine international members, who were officially announced on Oct. 17 at the National Academy of Medicine’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

William L. Roper, MD, MPH, CEO of UNC Health Care, Dean of the UNC School of Medicine, and 1990 National Academy of Medicine inductee celebrated Kibbe and Sancar’s election.

“The election of Dr. Kibbe and Dr. Sancar to the National Academy of Medicine underscores UNC’s commitment to being a leader in both research and clinical care. They are both already leaders in their respective fields, and we all look forward to seeing the continued impact of their work,” said Roper.

The National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 to address critical issues in health and medicine. In nearly 50 years, less than 2,000 members have been inducted.

Membership in the National Academy of Medicine is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine, and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievements and commitment to service. The National Academy of Medicine works together with the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation, and conducts other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine.

A full list of UNC’s National Academy of Medicine members is available here.

Media Contact: Jamie Williams, 919-436-6489,