October 21, 2022

Tita inducted into National Academy of Medicine

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Screen Shot 2022 10 21 at 8.57.25 AMAlan T. Tita, M.D., Ph.D., Mary Heersink Endowed Chair of Global Health and associate dean for Global and Women's Health, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM).

Induction into NAM is considered one of the highest honors in health and medicine. Membership within the Academy recognizes those who have made major contributions to advance health care, medical sciences, and public health and have demonstrated a dedication to service.

“I am thankful to the Academy and the members who nominated me for this recognition,” says Tita. “This is the result of the support of our department and institution and extensive collaborations.”

The Academy specifically praised Tita as “an innovative and impactful perinatal epidemiologist and clinical trialist.” They noted his leadership of “large, collaborative, multi-center national and international trials and observational studies that have shifted practice and policy and improved the quality of national and global obstetric care.”

Tita, who was recently named the Mary Heersink Endowed Chair in Global Health, also serves as associate dean for Global and Women’s Health and director of the Center for Women’s Reproductive Health at UAB.

“This is amazing and humbling,” says Tita. “I have benefitted from the support and collaboration of so many colleagues and mentors. This is crucial for successful clinical research, and I think this honor rewards that collaboration.”

In 2022, alone, Tita led the groundbreaking Chronic Hypertension and Pregnancy (CHAP) trial that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, and he was selected to lead the Coordinating Center of the P3 (Pregnancy and Postpartum/Postnatal) EQUATE (Enhancing Access and QUAlity To Achieve Equitable Maternal and Infant Health) Network.

The CHAP trial provided evidence–for the first time–that it is safe to treat mild chronic hypertension with medications during pregnancy. The results have led to reevaluations of current recommendations and updates to practice guidelines to ensure that pregnant women with chronic hypertension are treated appropriately.

The P3 EQUATE Network is the American Heart Association’s (AHA) latest Health Equity Research Network (HERN). As part of the AHA’s HERN on Disparities in Maternal and Infant Health Outcomes initiative, the P3 EQUATE Network was awarded $20 million to support research to improve outcomes in pregnancy and cardiovascular disease health.

Since 2009, Tita has served as the principal investigator of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Maternal-Fetal Medicine Units Network center at UAB. Additionally, Tita currently co-leads the Cameroon Health Initiative at UAB. A native of Cameroon, Tita began this project to improve health care in collaboration with Cameroon partners.

“This election into NAM is so well-deserved,” says Warner Huh, M.D., FACOG, FACS, professor and chair of the UAB Department of OB/GYN. “It’s an understatement to say that his research has had a transformative impact on obstetrical care in the U.S. and worldwide. His research literally changed how all obstetricians practice – very few people in the world can be credited that way. I am so proud of him, and he is an exceptional researcher, clinician, mentor, colleague, and friend.”

Tita received his medical degree from the University of Yaoundé 1, Cameroon, and a master’s degree in public health from the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom. He then attended Baylor College of Medicine where he completed his residency in obstetrics and gynecology and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston where he received a Ph.D. in public health with a focus on epidemiology. Finally, he completed a fellowship in maternal-fetal medicine at UAB in 2008.

“Besides my family and friends who keep me grounded, I’m thankful to my colleagues, mentors, and my own mentees from whom I have learned a lot,” says Tita. “I am looking forward to more collaborations to improve health care and especially to helping and mentoring others.”

Tita serves on the National Institutes of Health NICHD National Advisory Council and the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Division of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.