Irvine, Calif., Sept. 25, 2023 —University of California, Irvine emergency medicine physician Federico Vaca, one of the nation’s leading researchers on motor vehicle crash injuries and prevention, has been named president of the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine. He will be inducted as such during the organization’s annual conference on Oct. 5.
AAAM comprises professionals in medicine, engineering, biomechanics, law, education and public policy from more than 20 countries committed to reducing motor vehicle trauma and improving highway safety.
“It is my sincere and greatest honor to be elected to serve as president of the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine that was founded in 1957,” Vaca said. “AAAM is a global, multidisciplinary, professional organization dedicated to saving lives and eliminating road traffic injuries through scientific research, authoritative educational programs, public policy recommendations, and growing tomorrow’s national and international leaders in road safety.”
Vaca is professor and executive vice chair in the UCI School of Medicine’s Department of Emergency Medicine. Over the last 20 years, his research has focused on injury science – encompassing motor vehicle crash injury epidemiology and prevention – and related health disparities among U.S. youth and Latino populations.
The founding director of UCI’s Center for Trauma & Injury Prevention Research and the Yale Developmental Neurocognitive Driving Simulation Research Center, Vaca was ranked in 2018 as the emergency medicine principal investigator with the sixth-highest amount of funding from the National Institutes of Health. His research has been supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
During his career, Vaca has worked closely with several federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. From 2017 to 2019, he was on the Board of Scientific Counselors for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. He also continues to chair and serve on standing committees of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s Transportation Research Board.
Vaca began his academic career at UCI in 1995; in 2009, he moved on to Yale University, where he was professor and vice chair for faculty affairs in the Department of Emergency Medicine. He returned to UCI in 2022. Board-certified in emergency medicine and primary care sports medicine, Vaca was inducted in 2014 as a fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine.
About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities and is ranked among the nation’s top 10 public universities by U.S. News & World Report. The campus has produced five Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 36,000 students and offers 224 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $7 billion annually to the local economy and $8 billion statewide. For more on UCI, visit www.uci.edu.
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