NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

NIMHD’s Hunter Retires After Long-Time Service to NIH

Dr. Hunter
Dr. Joyce A. Hunter

After more than 31 years of service to NIH, Dr. Joyce A. Hunter, senior advisor to the director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, retired at the end of December. A cardiovascular physiologist by training, Hunter is a recognized expert on NIH extramural policies and has had an extensive career in program and scientific review administration. 

Many of her colleagues know her mainly from her roles at NIMHD, where she was recruited to serve in 2007 as deputy director, back when the institute was still a center. However, Hunter had accumulated numerous additional accomplishments previously during nearly two decades of service at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Prior to joining NIMHD, she served as deputy director in the Division of Extramural Activities at NIDDK. She coordinated scientific program policies that governed clinical research. 

Hunter began her NIH career at NHLBI, steadily progressing from program officer to chief of the vascular research training and career development group. She then moved laterally into review, becoming a scientific review administrator and later, chief of the contracts, clinical studies and training scientific review section.

Throughout her career, Hunter has served as a member or chair of many key extramural program management committees and work groups, including the NIH Response to the Office for Human Research Protections for Tissue Specimen Coding, the development of the NIH-Veterans Affairs Memorandum of Understanding on Tissue Banking and the human subjects protection liaison committee. She has given presentations and conducted workshops on behalf of the NIH Office of the Director at regional, national and international meetings. 

Her achievements have earned her several awards including the NIH Director’s Award (5), the NIH Award of Merit (4), the NIDDK Director’s Award, the NHLBI Award of Merit and recently, the NIAID Director’s Award. In addition, Hunter has received international recognition from the Bolivian-American Medical Society, Inc., for her work contributing to the development of minority scientists.

Hunter received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Dillard University in New Orleans, where she participated in the National Institute of General Medical Sciences-sponsored Minority Biomedical Support Program. She received her doctorate in physiology from Howard University, Washington, D.C. As a pre-doctoral trainee on a National Research Service Award institutional training grant, she received specialty training in cardiovascular (cardiac mechanics) physiology. She was also an American Physiological Society Porter fellow. Her research focused on the relationship between myocardial wall stress and structure/function changes associated with left ventricular hypertrophy resulting from induced renovascular hypertension.

In addition to her many accomplishments, to her closest colleagues, Hunter will also be remembered for her avid collection of all things Star Trek.

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