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Karp Joins NIDDK Division

Dr. Robert W. Karp has joined the NIDDK Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition as director of the Genetics and Genomics Program. He will develop and coordinate animal and human genetic studies in digestive diseases and obesity. Initially, he will help to create one consortium of investigators attempting to identify genes that predispose people to inflammatory bowel disease, and another attempting to identify genes that predispose people to obesity. Before joining NIDDK, Karp directed the genetics program at NIAAA from 1991 to 2001. From 1991 to 1998, he was associate director of the Eukaryotic and Prokaryotic Genetics Programs for the National Science Foundation. In this position, his activities led to the establishment of the independent research program on biochemistry of gene expression. Prior to working at NSF, he was a member of the biology faculty at the State University of New York at Albany. Karp has authored journal articles on genome organization of Drosophila melanogaster and genetics of alcoholism in humans. He is a member of the American Society of Human Genetics, Behavior Genetics Association, and Research Society on Alcoholism.

Christoph Named CIT Deputy

Dr. Gary G. Christoph is the new deputy director of the Center for Information Technology. He will also serve as CIT's chief operating officer, providing both vision and overall technological, operational and managerial leadership. "Having been a researcher and scientist most of my life, I think I appreciate the kind of IT support a scientist wants and needs, and my goal is to make sure that CIT delivers the best world-class IT support to NIH's researchers," he said. Before joining CIT, he served as first chief information officer and director, Office of Information Services, for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (formerly the Health Care Financing Administration).

Benzing Joins Center for Scientific Review

Dr. William Benzing recently joined the Center for Scientific Review as scientific review administrator for the brain disorders and clinical neuroscience 2 study section. He comes to CSR from Gliatech, Inc., in Cleveland. He earned a Ph.D. in neurosciences from the University of California, San Diego, where he studied the development of the senile plaques that form in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. He then moved to Rush Presbyterian St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago, where he conducted studies that focused upon the neurotransmitter, galanin, including its phylogenetic differences among primates and its expression during human development, aging, and Alzheimer's disease.

Wyatt To Head VRC Section

Dr. Richard Wyatt has joined the Vaccine Research Center as chief of the structural virology section in the Laboratory of Virology. He comes to NIH from Boston, where he was an instructor and conducted research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard School of Medicine. His research team will focus on the structural and functional relationships of HIV-1 outer coat envelope glycoproteins and their relationship with neutralizing antibodies, one type of the body's defenders against infection. Wyatt's laboratory will investigate how to manipulate gp120 glycoproteins (HIV envelope glycoprotein subunits) to provoke an enhanced immune response to HIV possessing the capacity for virus neutralization.

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