|Scarpa To Be Next
Dr. Antonio Scarpa was recently named new director of the Center
for Scientific Review. Currently serving as the David and Inez
Myers professor and chair of the department of physiology and biophysics
at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Scarpa plans to
join NIH on July 1.
"I've been a reviewer for nearly 20 years and a grantee for 30 years, so I know the system
from the outside," says Scarpa. "But I'm sure I'll be surprised when I get to work." Before
making any decisions, he says he wants to listen first. "For the next 3-4 months, I will use
vacation days from Case to spend some time each week at NIH, talking with everyone I can to
learn first hand the needs and opportunities that exist."
|Dr. Antonio Scarpa at Bernina
Glacier, Swiss Alps
Scarpa also plans on talking with members of the scientific community.
Doing so should come easy, since he has been an officer or board
member of many scientific societies, including the Biophysical
Society, the Federation of American Societies for Experimental
Biology and the Association of American Medical Colleges. Over
the years, Scarpa also has served on the editorial boards of 13
scientific journals and served as editor or co-editor for 5 journals.
When time comes to make decisions at CSR, Scarpa says he will rely
on the scientific administration skills honed during his 18-year
tenure at Case, where he oversaw the development of a small physiology
and biophysics department into one now ranked among the best
in the country. "I've inherited staff with enormous talent and
dedication," he says. "My task is to catalyze them to make effective
changes that can be embraced by all the communities served by
Coming to NIH may be a surprising move, but Scarpa has a history
of advancing into new areas. Beyond his diverse research efforts,
he has designed houses, owned an art gallery, sold his own paintings
and trekked exotic trails in Asia and Africa. One of his treks
involved hiking in the mountains of the South Island of New Zealand
with his wife. They were hiking along a ridge one summer when a
sudden storm left them waist deep in snow. "The temperature dropped
to 10° F, winds were blowing at 50 knots," he says. "And we had
over 80 lbs. of gear to carry." Though it took 15 hours, they were
guided safely back by the coordinates Scarpa had carefully set
into his global positioning system.
Scarpa knows CSR will have no choice but to explore new territories,
given its evolving challenges. "But like when I go climbing, I will
plan carefully," he says. "Our ultimate goal will not be to simply
change things but to ensure the vitality of NIH peer review as we
adjust to rapid and significant changes in science, technology and
the resources available."
|NIH director Dr. Elias Zerhouni greets the
new CSR director.
Until Scarpa comes aboard, Dr. Brent Stanfield will remain acting
CSR director as he has since October 2003, following the departure
of Dr. Ellie Ehrenfeld. Stanfield then will continue to serve as
deputy director. An interview with Scarpa is available on CSR's
web site: http://www.csr.nih.gov/.
Scarpa in Brief
Scarpa received his M.D. and Ph.D. (libera docenza) in general
pathology from the University of Padua School of Medicine, and
he conducted postdoctoral studies at the Weizmann Institute of
Science in Israel, the University of Utrecht in The Netherlands,
and the University of Pennsylvania. Scarpa continued his research
and academic career for 17 years at the University of Pennsylvania
before moving to Case Western Reserve in 1986.
He is known for his biophysical research into the cellular and
molecular mechanisms of ion transport and homeostasis and the metabolic
consequences induced by transport. His investigations have been
supported by grants from NHLBI, NIAAA and NIDDK, as well as the
American Heart Association. Scarpa has more than 225 peer-reviewed
publications and has edited or co-edited 9 books or special journal
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