Skip to main content

Martha A.Q. Curley Elected for Membership to the National Academy of Medicine

Martha A.Q. Curley has been elected for membership to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), formerly the Institute of Medicine.

Election to the Academy is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. New members are elected by current active members through a selective process that recognizes individuals who have made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care, and public health. This year, 70 regular members and nine international members have been elected.

“These newly elected members are outstanding professionals who care deeply about advancing health and health care in the US and globally,” said National Academy of Medicine President Victor J. Dzau.  “Their expertise will help our organization address pressing health challenges and improve health, science, and medicine for the benefit of us all. It is my privilege to welcome these accomplished individuals to the National Academy of Medicine.”

Established originally as the Institute of Medicine in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine addresses critical issues in health, science, medicine, and related policy and inspires positive actions across sectors.  NAM works alongside the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conducts other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions.  The Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine.  With their election, members make a commitment to volunteer their service in the Academies’ activities.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are private, nonprofit institutions that operate under an 1863 congressional charter to the National Academy of Sciences, signed by President Lincoln.  For more information, visit

About Dr. Curley

As a leading clinical researcher in nurse-implemented therapies for acute respiratory failure in critically ill pediatric patients, Dr. Curley’s work has transformed many aspects of pediatric critical care. She has served as the principal investigator on several major clinical trials in pediatric critical care, like, the RESTORE clinical trial funded by National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute, and the Pediatric prone clinical trial funded by National Institute of Nursing Research. She actively mentors clinical scientists across the North American and the globe providing leadership in two large national and international pediatric critical care research groups, the Pediatric Acute Lung Injury and Sepsis Investigator  (PALISI) network and the World Federation of Nurse Scientist in Pediatric Critical Care.  

Thanks to Curley’s collaborative research, providers worldwide have tools to assess critically ill children. These include the Braden Q scale for predicting pressure ulcers, the State Behavioral Scale for sedation of infants and young children on mechanical ventilators, and the Withdrawal Assessment Tool for opioid and benzodiazepine withdrawal. Curley also developed the Individualized Numeric Rating Scale to assess pain levels in children with severe intellectual disabilities who cannot speak.

Currently, Curley is investigating how nurses can create environments conducive to healing in pediatric ICUs. Methods being studied include supporting parents of critically ill children, embedding a child’s normal sleep patterns and circadian rhythms into his/her hospitalized day, and modulating light and noise in the ICU to help children feel comforted. Curley also helped develop the American Association of Critical Care Nursing’s Synergy Model for Patient Care, which bases nursing care on the needs of the patient and family. This model is now integrated into nursing curricula and the association’s credentialing programs, linking evidence-based clinical practice with patient outcomes.

During her career, Curley has received numerous honors including the American College of Critical Care Medicine Distinguished Investigator Award and the Distinguished Research Lecturer Award from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. She has also been inducted in to the American Academy of Nursing and the Sigma Theta Tau’s Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame. Curley received her PhD from Boston College in 1997; her Masters in Nursing Science from Yale University in 1987; her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1985; and her Diploma in Nursing from Springfield Hospital Medical Center (MA) in 1973.