As the work of the African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID) continues to resonate across the world, honour has again come the way of its Centre Director, Professor Christian Happi, as he was elected as an international fellow of the United States National Academy of Medicine, an apex regulatory body for the practice of Medicine in the United States of America.

Speaking on the election of 100 distinguished academics and experts into the academy, the President US National Academy of Medicine, Victor J. Dzau stated that “it is an honour to welcome this truly exceptional class of new members to the academy”.

He noted that their contributions to health and medicine are unparalleled, and their leadership and expertise will be “essential in helping the academy tackle today’s urgent health challenges, inform the future of health care, and ensure health equity for the benefit of all around the globe”.

While responding to the news of his election into the prestigious academy, the ACEGID boss stated that his election was a result of consistency, resilience and not giving up when confronted with challenges. He explained that despite the seemingly very challenging situations and stumbling blocks that consistently arose in the course of his journey, he had always succeeded in seeing the silver lining in them by effectively turning the challenges into opportunities and the stumbling blocks into stepping stones.

Highlighting the critical roles of key stakeholders who were instrumental and inspirational to this career milestone and achievement, Professor Happi acknowledged and appreciated God, his wife, organisation, colleagues, students, partners, collaborators and donors, noting that without them success would have been impossible.

Reacting to the story, the Acting Vice-Chancellor, of Redeemer’s University, Professor Ahmed Yerima, FNAL, stated that his election into the academy is icing on the cake and a testament to his iconic devotion and contribution to scholarship in his chosen field having recently been honoured by the Redeemer’s University with a distinguished professorial award, the first of its kind in the institution.

Election into the Academy is considered one of the highest honours in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.

New members are elected by current members through a process that recognizes individuals who have made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care, and public health. A diversity of talent among NAM’s members is assured by its Articles of Organization, which stipulate that at least one-quarter of the membership is selected from fields outside the health professions, for example, from such fields as law, engineering, social sciences, and the humanities.

Established originally as the Institute of Medicine in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine addresses critical issues in health, science, medicine, and related policy and inspires positive actions across sectors. NAM works alongside the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding of STEMM. With their election, NAM members commit to volunteer their service in the activities of National Academies.

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