The American Academy of Arts & Sciences welcomed and inducted Dr. Roderic I. Pettigrew, CEO of Engineering Health (EnHealth) and executive dean of Engineering Medicine (EnMed) at Texas A&M University, into its prestigious honorary society of world leaders during its Online Celebration of New Members held on Wednesday, Oct. 7.
Founded during the American Revolution, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences recognizes and convenes highly accomplished individuals from disciplines in arts, sciences and public affairs. Of the 275 new members welcomed by the society this year, Pettigrew was one of only 16 to be recognized by more than one class category.
“We congratulate these incoming members of the academy for excelling in a broad array of fields; we want to celebrate them and learn from them,” said Nancy C. Andrews, chair of the board of directors of the academy. “When academy members come together, bringing their expertise and insights to our work, they help develop new insights and potential solutions for some of the most complex challenges we face.”
During the event, Pettigrew was invited to share select highlights from his prolific career with other academy members. He spoke about his founding of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Biomedical Engineering (NIBIB) and his current work as the executive dean of EnMed, a new initiative that develops innovation-trained health care professionals known as “physicianeers.” The first education track of its kind, students in EnMed earn both M.D. and M.E. degrees in four years and are required to pursue the design of innovative medical technologies.
“There is a symbiotic relationship between art and science,” Pettigrew said. “There is art in science, and there is art in life. It is an honor to be welcomed into an organization that not only celebrates the relationship between the two disciplines, but uses it to address important issues that will benefit all of society.”
Pettigrew was also recently awarded the Vannevar Bush Award. Bestowed by the National Science Board, this award is one of the nation’s highest science and technology recognitions that honors those who have made exceptional contributions to the welfare of the nation. One of Pettigrew’s earliest contributions was his pioneering work with others to develop some of the early foundational techniques for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the cardiovascular system.
Since its founding 240 years ago, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences has welcomed many distinguished members and includes iconic names such as John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., Toni Morrison, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill and Nelson Mandela. As a newly elected member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, Pettigrew will join experts to explore challenges facing society, identify solutions and promote recommendations that advance the public good.