NIMHD Adds to Scientific Staff
The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities recently added six employees to its scientific staff.
Dr. Benyam Hailu has joined the Division of Scientific Programs as a medical officer. He comes to NIMHD with experience as a general medical practitioner, project supervisor and researcher for a non-profit AIDS research project in sub-Saharan Africa.
He has worked at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C., and at the Food and Drug Administration. Hailu received his M.D. from Addis Ababa University and his M.P.H. from Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, with a concentration in infectious diseases.
Dr. Beda Jean-Francois has joined the Division of Scientific Programs as a health scientist administrator. She oversees a portfolio of research and training grants in the area of population science and community health. Prior to joining NIMHD, she was a social science analyst in the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality at SAMHSA.
Prior to that, she held faculty posts at the public school and university levels and served as a research psychologist with the Department of Defense. Her qualifications include a Ph.D. in applied developmental psychology and a master’s degree in education—specifically learning and reading disabilities.
Dr. Andrew Louden is a program officer working in clinical and health services research within the Division of Scientific Programs, where he will help manage and develop the growing and diverse research portfolio.
Before coming to NIMHD, Louden worked for 7 years as a scientific review officer at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, where his responsibilities included providing policy direction and coordination for the planning and execution of the initial scientific and technical review of applications within the disciplines of health services research. He received his undergraduate degree in biology from Swarthmore College in 1990, and his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in genetics from Howard University in 1998 and 2001, respectively.
Dr. Priscah Mujuru is a health scientist administrator in the Division of Scientific Programs, Clinical and Health Services Research Programs. Prior to joining NIMHD, she was an SRO at CSR and NICHD from October 2010 to January 2017. She earned a doctor of public health degree in epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh, a master of public health degree in environmental health from Boston University, a B.Sc. in occupational hygiene from the University of the South Bank, England, and a bachelor of science in nursing degree from West Virginia University.
She also earned a nurse and midwifery state-registered education in England.
Mujuru is a board-certified occupational health nurse specialist and has collaborated with the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics to develop physical assessment tools for occupational health nurses. She has led programs that addressed a pipeline to health sciences careers in West Virginia youth from underserved and disadvantaged populations. She also led international projects in South Africa, Mozambique and Mali.
Dr. Richard Palmer joined the Scientific Review Branch in the Office of Extramural Research Administration as a health science administrator. He holds both a doctorate in public health and a J.D. degree and had been an associate professor and NIH-funded investigator in the Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work at Florida International University.
In addition to serving as a scientific review officer, Palmer will contribute to OERA activities in extramural policy development and analyses and extramural scientific training and education, including the NIMHD Health Disparities Research Institute.
Dr. Meryl Sufian has joined the Integrative Biological and Behavioral Sciences Branch in the Division of Scientific Programs as a program officer. She came to NIMHD from the National Center on Advancing Translational Sciences, where she was a program director for the Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program.
Prior to that she worked in NCI’s Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences.
Before joining NIH, Sufian conducted HIV prevention research and multi-site behavioral health intervention research with high-risk populations. She received a B.A. in sociology from Hunter College and a Ph.D. in medical sociology from the Graduate Center, City University of New York.