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Graham Named Director for Human Clinical Studies at VRC

Dr. Barney Graham has been appointed director for human clinical studies and tenured investigator at the Bumpers Vaccine Research Center. He comes to the VRC from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, where he was professor of medicine and associate professor of microbiology and immunology. For the past 13 years, he also headed the AIDS Vaccine Evaluation Unit at Vanderbilt, part of the national clinical trials network funded by NIAID that tests candidate AIDS vaccines in humans.

"I am delighted that Barney Graham is joining the Vaccine Research Center as an investigator and director of the vaccine trials program," said VRC director Dr. Gary Nabel. "He is highly respected for his experience in AIDS vaccine studies in humans and is also an accomplished molecular virologist. He brings a unique perspective to vaccine development based on his extensive prior work, and he will provide outstanding leadership in these critical areas of research."

Graham graduated magna cum laude from Rice University in Houston, and completed his M.D. at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, where he received the Roscoe Falls Morton Award for "outstanding senior student in internal medicine." He completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at Vanderbilt, where he also finished his Ph.D. before joining the university as a full-time faculty member. In 1993, Vanderbilt honored him with the Grant Liddle Research Appreciation Award for "promoting interest in research among young physicians."

NIH recognized the potential and importance of Graham's work early on, and has funded many of his studies on candidate vaccines for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and AIDS. In addition to his duties at Vanderbilt, he consults for many public health organizations, such as the World Health Organization, UNAIDS and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative. He was recently appointed to the editorial board for the Journal of AIDS, and reviews manuscripts for major virology, immunology and clinical research journals. Graham has served on many NIAID committees and chaired the executive committee for the AIDS vaccine evaluation group. He is a member of many professional scientific societies, including the American Society of Clinical Investigation, and is a fellow in the American College of Physicians and the American Academy of Microbiology.

Graham's extensive experience in molecular virology and vaccine research, his pivotal role in establishing NIAID's AIDS vaccine evaluation group, and his community involvement make him a unique selection for this position. As director of clinical studies, he oversees the design of clinical trials and selection of vaccine candidates, and will develop the infrastructure for the clinical trials program at the VRC. He also serves on the VRC executive committee, which analyzes the priorities of the center and evaluates potential vaccine candidates. As a tenured investigator, Graham continues his laboratory studies in the pathogenesis of RSV and in the development of vaccines.

Letvin Joins VRC as Program Director

Dr. Norman Letvin, an expert on HIV research in primates, has joined the Bumpers Vaccine Research Center as director of the Non-Human Primate Research Program. As program director, he oversees the use of primate models in the evaluation of preclinical AIDS vaccine candidates developed by VRC investigators and directs the development of new vaccine strategies.

"Dr. Letvin is a pioneer in the development of primate models of lentivirus infection," said VRC director Dr. Gary Nabel. "He has provided important scientific direction and leadership in AIDS vaccine research over the years. He has already played a seminal role in the growth of the VRC, and his active involvement will no doubt accelerate our efforts to make an effective vaccine for AIDS."

Letvin received his A.B. degree summa cum laude from Harvard University and earned his M.D. from Harvard Medical School. He completed his internship and residencies in medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School before beginning a full-time academic career at Harvard. He began his career at Harvard's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and later became chairman of the division of immunology at its New England Regional Primate Research Center. He is currently chief of the division of viral pathogenesis at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a position he still holds while also devoting his time to the VRC.

Letvin has been involved with NIH for many years. Throughout his scientific career, he has received NIH funding for many of his research studies in immunology, HIV/AIDS pathogenesis, AIDS vaccine development and the assessment of vaccines in primate models. He has also been involved with many NIH HIV/AIDS-related research committees. He currently chairs the NIAID AIDS vaccine design and evaluation group and the NCI primate advisory committee, and serves on the AIDS vaccine research ("Baltimore") committee and the HIV vaccine development resource group. In addition, Letvin also serves on the scientific advisory boards for the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, the Center for AIDS Research at Duke University Medical Center, and the Oregon Regional Primate Research Center. He also serves on the editorial boards for Science, Journal of Virology and AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses.

Mann Joins CSR

Dr. Lee Mann recently joined the Center for Scientific Review as scientific review administrator of study section 3 of the risk, prevention, and health behavior integrated review group. Before joining CSR, Mann was with Inova Fairfax Hospital, department of psychiatry, where he had been director of the cortical function laboratory since 1980. He also worked with Inova Health Systems, where he was director of health services research from 1993 through 1995, and then director of outcomes analysis from 1996 to 1999. Since 1983, he was concurrently with the department of psychiatry at Georgetown University Medical Center, where he taught courses in adult psychopathology and aging, research methods and design, and law and psychology and psychiatry. During this time, he was a lecturer in psychiatry until 1991, when he became clinical associate professor. Prior to these positions, he had been a research psychologist in the intramural laboratories of the National Institute of Mental Health from 1978 to 1980.

Nigida Takes Review Post at CSR

Dr. Stephen M. Nigida, Jr. has joined the Center for Scientific Review as a scientific review administrator in the immunologic sciences integrated review group. He is responsible for the review of Small Business Innovation Research applications and other applications submitted to his review group, SSS-4. After a postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, he joined Emory University School of Medicine. He was subsequently head of the viral diseases and immunity section within the AIDS Vaccine Program at NCI's Frederick Cancer Research and Development Center. Immediately prior to coming to CSR, he was scientific director at Spring Valley Laboratories, Inc., Maryland. Nigida has been principal investigator on an SBIR contract with NIAAA.

Bradac To Head NIAID Branch

NIAID's Dr. James A. Bradac has been named chief of the Preclinical Research and Development Branch, Vaccine and Prevention Research Program in the Division of AIDS. After joining NIAID in 1990, he spearheaded the HIV Variation Initiative and subsequently expanded the genetic database to include a catalogue and analysis of immune epitopes. During the past 10 years, Bradac has managed a portfolio of grants and contracts on HIV diversity and other areas of HIV vaccine research and development. From 1985 to 1990, he was a staff scientist in the gene expression eukaryotes section of NCI's Molecular Mechanisms of Carcinogenesis Laboratory at the Frederick Cancer Research and Development Center.

NINR Council Gains Four

Four new members recently joined the National Advisory Council for Nursing Research: Dr. Dorothy Powell, Dr. Rosanne Harrigan, Dr. Margaret Grey, and Dr. Daniel F. Hanley.

Powell is associate dean in the College of Pharmacy, Nursing and Allied Health Sciences at Howard University. She is an international health consultant and has participated in several national and state commissions dealing with issues related to infant mortality.

Harrigan is dean and professor at the School of Nursing, University of Hawaii at Manoa. She is a certified pediatric nurse practitioner and has held faculty and clinical positions related to maternal-child health.

NINR director Dr. Patricia A. Grady (second from l) recently welcomed four new members to the National Advisory Council for Nursing Research. They are (from l) Dr. Dorothy Powell, Dr. Rosanne Harrigan, and Dr. Margaret Grey. Dr. Daniel F. Hanley is not pictured.

Grey is the Independence Foundation professor of nursing and associate dean for research at Yale University School of Nursing. She has served as president of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Associates and Practitioners and has received national recognition for her research on diabetes in childhood and primary care for children with chronic illness.

Hanley is professor in the department of neurology and School of Nursing at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. His research interests include progression from brain injury to rehabilitation in both human and animal models.


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