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Dearry Named Associate Director of NIEHS

Newly named to be an associate director at NIEHS, Dr. Allen Dearry will head a new Division of Research Coordination, Planning and Translation aimed at ensuring the institute's research gets speedily into the hands of those who can apply it to medical care and public health.

The unit will also seek ways to measure and demonstrate NIEHS' research impact on the health of the American people.

Dr. Allen Dearry

These are roles that NIH director Dr. Elias Zerhouni has repeatedly said all the institutes and centers should foster — and these are roles that NIEHS director Dr. Ken Olden is sold on as well. The result has been the creation of the new division headed by Dearry, who has been a health scientist administrator for the Division of Extramural Research and Training at NIEHS since 1992.

Olden said Dearry's experience in research and administration has enabled him to integrate a wide range of basic and applied methodologies. Dearry has a proven track record, establishing novel interdisciplinary research and education programs that concurrently advance scientific knowledge and enhance public health, Olden said. These programs encompass a wide spectrum, from K-12 education and environmental justice to children's health, community-based participatory research, health disparities, and oceans and human health. All are characterized by fostering partnerships among scientists, providers and community members, and by having an overall goal of improving our understanding of how physical and social environmental factors affect human health.

Dearry says that scientific research, by its very nature, can isolate groups of people in their own niches. He says he will promote more collaboration among different disciplines, to enhance the pace of scientific progress. Dearry said part of his job will also be to establish and maintain dialog between the institute and other federal agencies and public organizations.

Previously, Dearry was chief of the Chemical Exposures and Molecular Biology Branch at NIEHS. He was responsible for the NIEHS Centers Program, including Centers for Environmental Health Science; Marine and Freshwater Biomedical Science; and Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research. He has received two HHS Secretary's Awards for Distinguished Service and two NIH Director's Awards and six NIH Merit Awards.

Dearry's new division consolidates the Office of Policy, Planning, and Evaluation; the Office of Communications and Public Liaison; Environmental Health Perspectives, the institute's journal; and library and information services.

Before coming to NIEHS, Dearry spent 2 years as a scientific review administrator at the Center for Scientific Review. From 1988 to 1990, he was an assistant professor of cell biology and ophthalmology at Duke University Medical Center, where his research examined the cell and molecular biology of catecholamine receptors. He played a key role in cloning the gene for the human D1 dopaminergic receptor and deducing its amino acid sequence. He has two United States patents based on this and related research.

From 1981 to 1988, he was first a postdoctoral fellow, then assistant research professor of physiology at the University of California, Berkeley, where his work focused on pharmacological mechanisms of signal processing. He received a doctorate in anatomy from the University of Pennsylvania in 1981.

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