NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

Khalsa, Head of NCCIH Extramural Activities Division, Retires

Dr. Partap Khalsa
Dr. Partap Khalsa

Dr. Partap Khalsa, director of NCCIH’s Division of Extramural Activities (DEA), retired Dec. 31 after 16 years at NIH. As DEA director, he planned and led activities of scientists and technical support personnel within DEA to ensure quality, objectivity and accountability in the peer-review and grants-management processes for grants and contracts. 

In addition, Khalsa directed and coordinated activities to evaluate the performance of NCCIH’s grant-review and management processes and the allocation of resources. He also served as executive secretary of the National Advisory Council for Complementary and Integrative Health. 

Khalsa began his NIH career in 2006 as a program director in NCCIH’s Division of Extramural Research (DER), where he administered the center’s research portfolio related to manual therapies such as massage, soft tissue therapies, movement therapies, joint and spinal mobilization and spinal manipulation. The portfolio spanned research from mechanisms of action studies to translational tools and clinical trials, and focused primarily on musculoskeletal pain. 

Khalsa also served as the NIH co-chair of the Task Force on Chronic Low-Back Pain and administered NCCIH’s Centers of Excellence program in complementary and integrative therapies. He became deputy director of DER in 2014 and DEA director in 2017. 

Khalsa received a doctor of chiropractic degree from Southern California University of Health Sciences. After practicing privately for a decade, he earned an M.S. in biomedical engineering from Boston University and a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He completed postdoctoral training in neurophysiology at Yale University. 

Khalsa came to NCCIH from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where he was associate professor and vice chairman in the department of biomedical engineering. 

“Dr. Khalsa will be much missed,” said Dr. Helene Langevin, NCCIH director. “We honor his many contributions to NCCIH and across NIH. He brought unique expertise to NIH and has built a distinguished record of accomplishment in complementary and integrative health.” 

After a nationwide search, Dr. Martina Schmidt has been named the new director of DEA. She was formerly director of the NCCIH Office of Scientific Review.

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