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Finkelstein Heads NINDS Extramural Research

By Shannon E. Garnett

Dr. Robert Finkelstein was recently appointed director of the NINDS Division of Extramural Research. He previously served as program director in the neurogenetics cluster of the extramural division, developing research initiatives and overseeing a portfolio of grants in areas including neurogenetics, brain tumors and many neurodevelopmental disorders.

"I am delighted that Bob has accepted the position," said NINDS director Dr. Story Landis. "As a program director, he has been very effective in working not only with grantees, but also with advocacy groups. And I know he is committed to our scientific enterprise and mission."

Dr. Robert Finkelstein
Finkelstein earned his bachelor's degree in physics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1973, and his Ph.D. in biology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1987; at MIT he worked on oncogene expression in neuroblastoma and teratocarcinoma cells. He pursued postdoctoral training in the department of genetics at Harvard Medical School. During this time he began studies of genetic regulation of nervous system development in the fly, which he continued as an assistant and then as a tenured associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

During his tenure at NINDS, he has served as scientific team leader for the neurogenetics cluster and as NINDS representative on a number of trans-NIH committees. He also formulated a 5-year agenda for tuberous sclerosis research at NIH and helped establish the NINDS/NCI brain tumor working group, which coordinates grant funding between the two institutes. He currently serves as a member of the NIH high-risk research Roadmap committee/implementation group and the NINDS extramural science committee.

As director of the Division of Extramural Research, Finkelstein will be responsible for planning and policy, coordinating the scientific programs of the institute, and overseeing the scientific review, grants and contracts management, and administrative services of the extramural program.

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