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Abernethy Named NIA Clinical Director

Dr. Darrell R. Abernethy, a board-certified internist, clinical pharmacologist and expert on the management of hypertension in the elderly, is the National Institute on Aging's new clinical director. He has served as director of the division of clinical pharmacology first at Brown University and most recently at Georgetown University, where he also held an endowed chair and was program director of the General Clinical Research Center. Abernethy will be leading NIA's expanded efforts to translate laboratory findings to clinical practice.

His research has focused on the control of vascular tone by angiotensin, endothelin and calcium and their inhibitors. His expertise in aging research, both in the laboratory and clinical setting, comes at a time when NIA is concentrating on translating basic laboratory findings to clinical trials.

Abernethy will continue to expand the 41-year-old Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging, one of the longest-running studies on human aging in the world.

To study the frail elderly and other difficult-to-access aging populations in the BLSA and in other studies, NIA will go on the road later this year with a clinical research laboratory on wheels. The custom-designed bus will allow BLSA researchers and others to study those older people who can no longer travel to NIA's Gerontology Research Center in Baltimore.

Abernethy will also help launch the NIA Intramural Clinical Research Center, which will conduct focused and intensive protocols developed as an extension of laboratory findings at the Gerontology Research Center.

Abernethy follows Dr. Reubin Andres, who served as NIA's clinical director from July 1962 to March 1998, and Dr. S. Mitchell Harman, who was the acting clinical director for the past year.

Abernethy will continue his laboratory and clinical research activities while serving as clinical director.

Austin Appointed NIAMS Communications Director

Dr. Janet Austin joined NIAMS recently as the new director of the Office of Communications and Public Liaison. She comes from the national office of the Arthritis Foundation in Atlanta, where she was vice president of the American Juvenile Arthritis Organization and Arthritis-Related Groups. Previously, Austin was director of arthritis information services and coordinator of handicapped student services at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She earned her undergraduate degree at Iowa State University, Ames. She received her master's and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Alabama, Birmingham.

Bishop Moves to CSR

Dr. John Bishop recently left the Experimental Therapeutics Branch of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for the Center for Scientific Review. At CSR, he is the scientific review administrator of a review group — IFCN-5 — in the integrative, functional and cognitive neuroscience initial review group. IFCN-5 reviews applications on the structure and functions of motor systems, balance control systems, and sensory-motor integration. Previously at NINDS, Bishop was a research biologist and had been the acting chief of the unit on neuroendocrinology, from 1989 through 1990. His most recent work, in the genetic pharmacology unit, was on the elucidation of the molecular biological mechanisms responsible for neurodegenerative disorders.

Humphreys Named NLM Associate Director

Betsy L. Humphreys has been named NLM associate director for library operations. This position oversees all public and technical processing services at the National Library of Medicine, including the operation of the reading rooms, reference and customer services, cataloging and indexing, MEDLINE and other bibliographic online databases, the Index Medicus, interlibrary lending, preservation and the historical collections.

"I am especially pleased to be able to appoint someone who has spent her entire career at the National Library of Medicine," said NLM director Dr. Donald Lindberg. "She has risen through the ranks and handled in superior fashion a succession of increasingly responsible positions." She served as deputy associate director for library operations since 1984, and held the concurrent position of assistant NLM director for health services research information since 1993.

Humphreys, who came to NLM in 1973, is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Smith College and has a masters of library science degree from the University of Maryland. She is a fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics and a distinguished member of the Academy of Health Information Professionals. Her first NLM assignments were in the serials automation and processing area and she was subsequently appointed chief of the Technical Services Division. As deputy associate director of library operations, she chaired the NLM preservation task force, which led to the establishment of a preservation and collection management section and the library's successful campaign to increase use of acid-free paper in the biomedical literature. Among her more recent responsibilities have been overseeing the establishment of the National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology, directing the Unified Medical Language System project, and representing NLM and NIH on federal health data standardization initiatives.

Srinivas Joins CSR

Dr. R.V. Srinivas recently joined the AIDS and related research initial review group of the Center for Scientific Review. He is the scientific review administrator of study sections 1 (molecular biology) and 5 (neurological sciences) in that IRG. Previously, Srinivas was an associate scientist in cancer and AIDS research as well as a research assistant professor in the department of microbiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He later joined St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis as a member of the department of infectious diseases. Before coming to CSR, he was an investigator and director of the HIV core laboratory at St. Jude's.

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