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Honorary Members

NAMS Honorary Members

Honorary Membership is bestowed on those who, in the opinion of the Society, are deserving of this special recognition by virtue of exceptional contributions either to the field of menopause or to the Society.



Thomas B Clarkson Jr, DVM


Sheryl Stark Sherman, PhD


Vivian W Pinn, MD





Thomas B Clarkson Jr, DVM

NAMS Recognizes Contributions of Dr. Thomas Clarkson With Lifetime Honorary Membership

On the occasion of his retirement on April 29, 2015, The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) thanked and recognized Dr. Thomas Clarkson for the exceptional contributions he had made to the field of menopause and to the Society by bestowing him with a lifetime Honorary Membership in the Society. “Looking at the field of menopause research, it’s fair to say that Dr. Clarkson’s science built much of its foundation, and his academic offspring are at its forefront,” said NAMS President, Dr. Pauline Maki.

Dr. Clarkson has been an Active Member of NAMS since 1993. His contributions are numerous, including serving as a member of the Editorial Board for Menopause, as a speaker at numerous Society Annual Meetings, and as a member of many NAMS committees such as the Awards Committee, the Professional Education Committee, the Scientific Program Committee, the Abstract Review Committee, the Research Affairs Committee, and the Trustee Nominating Committee. Dr. Clarkson also provided commentary for the First to Know publication and contributed as a member of the Editorial Boards for several NAMS position statements and for Menopause Practice: A Clinician’s Guide.

Dr. Clarkson has been a recipient of the NAMS Soy Research Award (2001) and the Cardiovascular Research Award (2003). He also presented the first NAMS/Wulf H. Utian Endowed Lecture, Estrogen Effects on Arteries Vary With Stage of Reproductive Life, in 2006. “Tom Clarkson has had one of the most auspicious careers of anyone I have ever met and has made an enormous difference to the world of women’s health. He is one of the key pioneers of true scientific research into menopause and has demonstrated a unique ability to translate basic science research into clinical applications and practice,” said NAMS Founding President and Executive Director, Dr. Wulf Utian.

Dr. Clarkson was elected by the membership to serve two terms on the Board of Trustees (2007-2009 and 2010-2012) and held the office of Secretary. He was instrumental in organizing the first NAMS/Utian Translational Science Symposium on Soy and Soy Isoflavones in 2010 and served as Co-chair.

Dr. Clarkson was the driving force in securing funding from the National Institute on Aging, the Office of Research on Women’s Health, and the National Institutes of Health to support the Pre-Meeting Symposium, Depressive Symptoms and Cognitive Complaints in the Menopausal Transition: Science and Clinical Transition, in 2009.

To recognize his contributions to NAMS, in 2010 the Board of Trustees established the NAMS/Thomas B. Clarkson Outstanding Clinical and Basic Science Research Award fund. “Tom Clarkson has been a wonderful mentor, colleague, and friend for many years. There are countless others from around the globe whom he has educated, taught, and mentored and untold numbers who have read the results of his research and have learned so much from his publications,” said NAMS President-Elect, Dr. Peter Schnatz. “We will always be striving to live up to the standards he set before us.”



Sheryl Stark Sherman, PhD

NAMS Awards Sherry Sherman, PhD, Honorary Membership


On October 14, 2014, at the Annual Meeting of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) in Washington, DC, the NAMS Board of Trustees voted to recognize Sheryl (Sherry) Stark Sherman, PhD, with an honorary NAMS membership. Such an honor has been awarded only once before in the Society’s history.


Just a short time afterward, on October 21, NAMS was shocked and saddened to learn that Dr. Sherman had passed away at the age of 66. NAMS is sorry that this announcement is made posthumously. We are among the many who admired and appreciated her.

Dr. Sherman was born in Schenectady, New York, and graduated from the University of Rochester in 1970. She earned a PhD from the University of Maryland in 1987 and spent most of her career at the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Health, from which she retired in 2012.

While at the NIA, Dr. Sherman focused on women’s health issues and provided programmatic leadership for the longest-running study on menopause ever done, the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN). Her contributions to the science of menopause through SWAN, the Penn Ovarian Study, and MsFLASH (Menopause Strategies: Finding Lasting Answers for Symptoms and Health) were invaluable. Results from these studies were frequently presented at NAMS conferences and published in Menopause. NAMS continues to translate the findings from these studies into clinical recommendations that are disseminated to our membership and to the public. She also was a collaborator in the Stages of Reproductive Aging Workshop (STRAW) in 2002 and in the update of STRAW 10 years later (STRAW+10).

The NAMS Honorary Member category of membership is intended for persons who, in the opinion of the Society, are deserving of special recognition by virtue of exceptional contributions either to the field of menopause or to the Society. Dr Sherman made contributions to both. “The health of midlife and older women improved, and NAMS grew in its relationship with the National Institute of Aging because of Dr. Sherman’s strong commitment,” says Margery Gass, MD, NCMP, Executive Director of NAMS.

Dr. Sherman had been a loyal member of NAMS for 12 years and had attended 13 NAMS Annual Meetings. This award is symbolic of the Society’s great admiration for her contributions to women’s health and women’s scientific careers and for her strong support of NAMS.



     Vivian W Pinn, MD

NAMS Names Vivian W. Pinn, MD, the First Honorary Member

The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) awarded an honorary membership—the first in the Society’s history—to Vivian W Pinn, MD. Dr. Pinn was the first permanent Director of the Office of Research on Women’s Health at the National Institutes of Health. The award was presented on September 23, 2011, at the NAMS Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.


“Dr. Vivian Pinn is a living legend in women’s health, and we are very pleased that she is our first honorary member,” said NAMS Executive Director Margery L S Gass, MD, NCMP. “Her contributions to women’s health and her promotion of greater career opportunities for women in science and medicine have had a tremendously beneficial impact. She has been an enthusiastic supporter of NAMS for many years.” The honorary NAMS membership is the latest in a long line of “firsts” in Dr. Pinn’s illustrious career as a clinician, researcher, and healthcare policy leader.

Dr. Pinn knew she wanted to be a physician from an early age even though women doctors—not to mention women doctors of color—were nearly unheard of in Lynchburg, Virginia, where she grew up during the 1940s and 1950s.

After attending segregated public schools in Virginia, she earned a scholarship to Wellesley College and then entered medical school at the University of Virginia, where she was the only woman and the only African American in her 1967 graduating class. She completed her residency in pathology at Massachusetts General Hospital while serving as a teaching fellow at Harvard Medical School.

Next came faculty appointments at Tufts University School of Medicine in 1970 and at Howard University College of Medicine in 1982, where she became the first African American woman to chair an academic pathology department in the United States.

In 1991, she was named the first full-time Director of the Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) at the National Institutes of Health, a position she held for 2 decades until her retirement at the end of August 2011.

As ORWH Director, Dr. Pinn tracked and reported the percentage of women participants in medical research and noted the neglect of women’s health issues in healthcare policy making. She played a key role in putting these gender disparities—as well as healthcare disparities for racial and ethnic minorities—on the national agenda. She focused attention on the importance of sex-specific differences in disease development and in responses to treatment interventions. She also vigilantly tracked the state of women’s health research and led efforts to set research priorities.

Dr. Pinn effectively directed ORWH efforts toward the goal of increasing women’s ranks in the leadership of research and academic institutions. Although more women are entering science and medicine than ever before, Dr. Pinn believes that a gender “leadership gap” still lingers. One example of her efforts to close that gap is a reentry program at ORWH that allows scientists who interrupted their careers for family responsibilities or other reasons to reestablish themselves in their fields.

In addition to her many notable achievements, Dr. Pinn’s greatest legacy may be the inspiration she gave to others.

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