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National Academy of Medicine appointment

July 17, 2019 

Michele Grimm joins international commission aimed at improving the lives of an aging population 

There are now 617 million people (8.5 percent of worldwide population) aged 65 years and over. By 2050,
that percentage could double and reach 1.6 billion older adults. The global population of the “oldest old”—people aged 80 and older—is expected to more than triple by 2050, growing from 126 million to 447 million.

Michele Grimm is the only engineer on the National Academy of Medicine's international commission on healthy longevity.
Michele Grimm is the only engineer on the National Academy of Medicine's international commission on healthy longevity.

A faculty member at Michigan State University has been named by the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) to a group that will assess the challenges presented by global aging and demonstrate how these challenges can be translated into opportunities for societies globally, including in the areas of science and technology.

Michele Grimm is one of 17 members on NAM’s Commission on Creating a Global Roadmap for Healthy Longevity. She is the only engineer on the international team. Her appointment was made in early July.

Grimm is the Wielenga Creative Engineering Endowed Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

She said new medicines, technologies, and social strategies are transforming the way humans age.

“There is great potential for better health, function, and productivity during a period of extended longevity,” she said. “The commission’s goal is to develop an evidence-based report in the next 18 months that identifies actionable recommendations to guide stakeholders in developing systems that will maximize good health and a state of well-being.”

The NAM international commission is co-chaired by Linda Fried, dean of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York, and John Eu-Li Wong, a professor of medical sciences and chief executive of the National University Health System of Singapore.

This is Grimm’s third national recognition in 2019. In June, she received the Theo Pilkington Outstanding Educator Award – the top honor presented by the American Society for Engineering Education Biomedical Engineering Division. In March, her efforts as co-chair of a White House Office of Science Technology Policy Taskforce were noted when findings on the opportunities for advancements in technologies that support the aging population in the U.S. were published.

Before coming to MSU in January 2019, Grimm spent almost 25 years on the faculty of Wayne State University, where she developed and implemented graduate and undergraduate programs in biomedical engineering and helped establish a new department of biomedical engineering.

Grimm previously served as a program director at the National Science Foundation — first for the Engineering of Biomedical Systems and Disability & Rehabilitation Engineering Programs (2016-2018) and the Biomechanics and Mechanobiology Program (2018-2019).