Bibbins-Domingo, Jones Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

By Brandon R. Reynolds

Headshots of Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo (left) and Camara Jones (right)
Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, PhD, MD (left) and Camara Phyllis Jones, MD, MPH, PhD join the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ class of 2022. Images provided by UCSF and Tony Rinaldo.

UC San Francisco is proud to announce two new members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. This year, physician and epidemiologist Kirsten B. Bibbins-Domingo, PhD, MD, MAS, and family physician and epidemiologist Camara Phyllis Jones, MD, MPH, PhD, join the Academy’s class of 2022.

The Academy, founded in 1780, “convenes leaders from every field of human endeavor to examine new ideas [and] address issues of importance to the nation and the world,” said Academy president David W. Oxtoby and board chair Nancy C. Andrews in a statement.

Bibbins-Domingo is a professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, the Lee Goldman, MD Endowed Professor of Medicine, and inaugural Vice Dean for Population Health and Health Equity in the UCSF School of Medicine. In April 2022, she was named editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Headshot of Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo
Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, PhD, MD.

She studied molecular biology and public policy at Princeton University before coming to UCSF in 1994 to earn her medical degree, doctorate in biochemistry, and master’s degree in epidemiology and biostatistics. She also completed her residency at UCSF in internal medicine.

She is a national leader in the study of prevention and health disparities and co-founded the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center to research and improve health equity locally, nationally, and globally. From 2014 to 2017, Bibbins-Domingo led the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force as vice chair and then chair. Her interest in global health has led her to research health disparities in California, Latin America, and Sub-Saharan Africa.

As an epidemiologist, Bibbins-Domingo conducts pragmatic trials and simulation modeling studies to discover the most effective interventions to prevent illness – with special focus on cardiovascular disease. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, she has studied the causes of excess deaths in California and how factors such as essential work leave has left some communities particularly vulnerable. She has championed equity in access to healthcare, vaccines, and in the design of the public health response during the pandemic.

Jones is currently the 2021-2022 UCSF Presidential Chair and a Visiting Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the UCSF School of Medicine. She recently completed her tenure as a 2021 Presidential Visiting Fellow at the Yale School of Medicine and as the 2019-2020 Evelyn Green Davis Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. In April 2022, she was named a Leverhulme Visiting Professor at King’s College London and she will assume that post in July.

She studied molecular biology at Wellesley College, earned her medical degree at Stanford University, and earned her master’s degree in public health and doctorate in epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University. She also completed her residency in general preventive medicine at Johns Hopkins and her residency in family medicine in the Residency Program in Social Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center.

Headshot of Camara Jones
Camara Phyllis Jones, MD, MPH, PhD. Image by Tony Rinaldo

Jones is a public health leader valued for her creativity and intellectual agility. As a methodologist, she has developed new methods for comparing full distributions of data, rather than simply comparing means or proportions, in order to investigate population-level risk factors and propose population-level interventions. As a social epidemiologist, her work on race-associated differences in health outcomes goes beyond simply documenting those differences to vigorously investigating the structural causes of the differences. As a teacher, her allegories on race and racism illuminate topics that are otherwise difficult for many Americans to understand or discuss.

Jones taught for six years as an Assistant Professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, where she launched their first course on Race and Racism. She served for fourteen years as a Medical Officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where she led the development and inclusion of the six-question “Reactions to Race” module on the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and the organization and formalization of the CDC Racism and Health Workgroup as an official CDC scientific workgroup.

In 2016, as President of the American Public Health Association, Jones launched the 25,000-member association and its 54 state affiliates (with another 25,000 members) on a National Campaign Against Racism with three tasks: name racism, ask “How is racism operating here?”, and organize and strategize to act. As UCSF Presidential Chair, she aims to institutionalize those three tasks in a robust, iterative, sustained anti-racism process for the University of California, San Francisco. Indeed, recognizing that racism saps the strength of the whole society through the waste of human resources, she aims to mobilize and engage all Americans in a sustained National Campaign Against Racism.

For 2022, the Academy honors 261 inductees in the fields of mathematics and physics, biology, the social sciences, and humanities. Bibbins-Domingo and Jones are joined by authors Sandra Cisneros and Salman Rushdie, actor Glenn Close, photographer Sally Mann, historian Sven Beckert, and musician Rhiannon Giddens.

To see the list of new members, visit the Academy’s website.