News Details

SP2’s Dr. Desmond Patton elected to National Academy of Medicine

Dr. Patton stands with arms folded behind a window with the word

Authored by: Penn Today

Photography by: Eric Sucar

Faculty & Research


Penn Integrates Knowledge University Professor Dr. Desmond Upton Patton of Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) is one of five Penn experts among the 100 new Academy members elected this year to one of the highest honors in health and medicine.

A pioneer in the interdisciplinary fusion of social work, communications, and data science, Dr. Patton is the Brian and Randi Schwartz University Professor with joint appointments at SP2 and the Annenberg School for Communication, and with a secondary appointment in the Perelman School of Medicine.

Patton is founding director of SAFELab, a research initiative affiliated with Annenberg and SP2 that examines how to support youth of color in navigating grief and violence in social media environments and researches innovative methods to promote joy and healing in digital contexts. At SP2, he is also chief strategy officer and the director of the Penn Center for Inclusive Innovation and Technology.

The Kaiser Permanente Center for Gun Violence Research and Education has announced that Dr. Patton is among 7 research scientists, 10 community-based organizations, and 3 national organizations awarded $3.2 million for their pursuit of innovative approaches to gun violence intervention and prevention.