The National Academy of Medicine Monday announced the election of 85 members, five of them from Southern California.

The 2018 class includes 75 regular members and 10 international members. Current members elect new members each year, focusing on medical professionals who have made significant contributions in the medical science, health care and public health fields.

“Election to the Academy is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to Service,” according to a NAM statement.

The new members from Southern California are Dr. Michael A. Caligiuri of the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte; Dr. Yan Chai of the Ostro School of Dentistry at USC; Dr. Linda M. Liau of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA; and Dr. Licila Ohno-Machado of the UC San Diego School of Medicine.

Five other Californians were also elected to the Academy — four from the University of California in San Francisco and another from UC Berkeley.

Caligiuri, the president of the City of Hope, was selected in part for the discovery of the stages of human natural killer cell development, according to NAM, while Yang Chai’s invitation to be a member was for pioneering studies on the molecular regulation of cell types during craniofacial development.

Liau was recognized for achievements in understanding the immunology of malignant brain tumors and designing clinical trials of dendritic cell-based vaccines for glioblastoma.

Ohno-Machado was invited to become a NAM member for creating an algorithm that allows sharing access to clinical data while respecting the privacy of individuals and institutions.

“This distinguished and diverse class of new members is a truly remarkable set of scholars and leaders whose impressive work has advanced science, improved health and made the work a better place for everyone,” NAM President Victor J. Dzau said.

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