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Battey Picked To Direct NIDCD

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Dr. James F. Battey, the scientific director at the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders for the past 3 years, has been picked by NIH director Dr. Harold Varmus to succeed Dr. James Snow as director of NIDCD. Battey has served as acting director of the institute since Snow's retirement last year.


Dr. James F. Battey

"Dr. Battey is a skillful and energetic leader who will bring the finest scientists to the challenges of human communication research," said Varmus. "As acting director, he has already been at work on a new strategic planning process designed to include both extramural and internal advice for identifying areas of opportunity in both basic and clinical research. I am pleased he is going to be able to continue this effort."

Battey will continue to direct the Division of Intramural Research at NIDCD until a national search for a new scientific director is completed. As SD, he has encouraged and overseen an emerging program studying the molecular genetics of diseases and disorders of human communication affecting more than 46 million Americans. Under his leadership, there has been a restructuring of intramural clinical research and the development of significant laboratories and staff for the study of many diseases and disorders including otitis media, several forms of hereditary hearing impairment, stuttering, and autism, as well as the creation of a new laboratory of chemosensory research.

"Human communication research has at this moment more possibilities for productive exploration than at any other time in history," he said. "I am grateful for this appointment and look forward to working shoulder-to-shoulder with the scientific community, the public and with the creative and dedicated NIDCD staff."

Battey earned a B.S. with honors in physics at California Institute of Technology. He earned his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees at Stanford University, where he pursued residency training in pediatrics. His postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School was under the direction of Dr. Philip Leder.

Battey has served NIH since 1983, first on the staff of the National Cancer Institute, followed by an appointment as chief of the molecular neuroscience section in the Laboratory of Neurochemistry, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. He returned to NCI in 1992 to head the molecular structure section of the Laboratory of Biological Chemistry.

The Public Health Service has honored Battey with both its Commendation Medal in 1990 and the Outstanding Service Medal in 1994. He also serves as adjunct professor at George Washington University School of Medicine. He is author or coauthor of more than 120 research articles and is coauthor with Leonard Davis and Michael Kuehl of Basic Methods in Molecular Biology, now in its second edition.

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