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Vol. LX, No. 5
March 07, 2008
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Milestones

Stinchcomb To Lead NCI’s Cancer Statistics Branch

David Stinchcomb

David Stinchcomb is the new chief of the Cancer Statistics Branch in the Surveillance Research Program (SRP) of NCI’s Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences.

He joined SRP in 2004 as a geographer with extensive experience in computer science. During his tenure here, he has become scientific coordinator and technical lead for the nationally recognized State Cancer Profiles interactive web site. He is the senior surveillance expert on geocoding technology and information systems as well as an expert on issues involving geography, population estimates and socioeconomic data for SEER and other scientific databases.

“Integrating complex data systems from diverse sources is essential for cancer surveillance,” said Dr. Brenda Edwards, associate director of SRP. “Dave’s experience and interest in this area are real assets.”

Before coming to NCI, Stinchcomb worked as a geographer for the Texas department of health. This was a bit of a career change for him, having recently achieved a second master’s degree in geography with emphasis on medical and population geography in order to follow a life-long interest. Previously he held several senior management positions in software development for the computer industry, notably Compaq and Amdahl (Fujitsu). An avid cyclist who pedals to work daily in any kind of weather, he is a member of the Rockville bicycle advisory committee.

Cullen Named NIH Security Chief

William Cullen

William Cullen has joined NIH as the new associate director for security and emergency response in the Office of Research Services. He is responsible for development, coordination and implementation of an NIH-wide security and life-safety program and will oversee six divisions: Police; Personnel Security and Access Control; Emergency Preparedness and Coordination; Physical Security Management; Fire & Rescue Services; and Fire Marshal. Cullen will also be deputy chief security officer for NIH (ORS director Dr. Alfred Johnson is chief security officer).

“We appreciate the expertise Bill brings to the ORS and the NIH,” said Johnson. “We look forward to his valuable insight as the security and life safety programs at the NIH continue to evolve.”

Cullen comes to ORS from the Navy Installations Command, having served as director of operations with responsibility for force protection, security, fire and emergency services and air and port operations for the Navy’s 97 installations worldwide.

He began his Navy career commissioned as an ensign in Newport, R.I., in September 1980. He reported to the USS Guadalcanal, where he earned his surface warfare qualification in September 1982 while deployed in the North Atlantic. His naval career spans 27 years.

Prior to his position as director of operations, Cullen reported to the chief of naval operations staff, air warfare division in Washington, D.C.

A native of Northport, N.Y., he received a bachelor of science degree from Manhattan College and a master of science degree from Wake Forest University. His awards include the Legion of Merit, three Meritorious Service Medals and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

Cullen is a designated sub specialist, a European political/military affairs specialist and a Navy strike/interdiction mission commander. During his Navy career, he accumulated 3,000 hours in various aircraft and made 860 landings on aircraft carriers. He is also a graduate of the Navy War College and Armed Forces Staff College.

NIEHS Trainee Gains National Honor, Own Lab

Dr. Dario Ramirez

On Mar. 3, NIEHS research fellow Dr. Dario Ramirez began setting up his own lab in the free radical biology and aging department at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF). Named a “Rising Research Star” by the Presbyterian Health Foundation last December, he is using the $500,000 that was part of his award to pay for laboratory equipment and other startup costs as he continues what the foundation described as “ground-breaking research into antioxidant medications.”

During his 7 years as a postdoctoral fellow and research fellow, Ramirez honed his skills in the basic chemistry of free radicals under the direction of award-winning NIEHS research chemist Dr. Ron Mason. In his research there, Ramirez expanded the applications of a novel technique for detecting biomolecule-centered radicals, particularly with regard to DNA radicals, that he named immuno-spin trapping. He also published 15 papers, won an impressive list of awards, took full advantage of opportunities to network and kept several lines of research going simultaneously.

Ramirez thinks the production of biomolecule-centered free radicals during the organic response to redox changes and inflammation induced by metabolic and environmental stressors is key to characterizing the molecular mechanisms of a host of conditions, including obesity, asthma, cancer, diabetes and aging. “If we can understand how redox biochemistry is related to inflammation,” he reasons, “then we can understand more completely how these diseases progress, find new diagnostic tools and establish new therapies.”

Ramirez now lives and works in Oklahoma City, which is home to OMRF. As part of his duties with the foundation, he also holds an adjunct appointment at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.—

NIGMS Grantee Honored by Thai Princess

NIGMS grantee Dr. Ram Sasisekharan was among four recipients of the 2007 Princess Chulabhorn Gold Medal Award, bestowed at a ceremony in Bangkok. The award, established in 1987 by the Thai princess, honors “world-renowned” individuals or organizations that have advanced science in developing countries. Sasisekharan, a professor of biological engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, studies carbohydrates to develop new therapeutic drugs.

Dr. Ram Sasisekharan

Five Named to NIAID Advisory Council

The National Advisory Allergy and Infectious Diseases Council recently welcomed five new members: Dr. Ann Arvin of Stanford University School of Medicine; Dr. Carol Carter of the State Univer-sity of New York at Stony Brook; Dr. Louis Picker of Oregon Health and Science University; Dr. Regina Rabinovich of the Global Health Program at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; and Dr. Christel Uittenbogaart of the University of California, Los Angeles.

Arvin is Lucile Salter Packard professor of pediatrics and professor of microbiology and immunology at Stanford. Her principal research interests are the human herpes viruses and childhood viral diseases and vaccines.

Carter is professor of molecular genetics and microbiology and adjunct professor of physiology and biophysics at SUNY-Stony Brook. Her major research interest is replication of HIV with a focus on viral assembly and trafficking events required for virus release from infected cells.

Picker is associate director of the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute and professor of pathology, molecular microbiology and immunology at OHSU. His laboratory focuses on delineating the physiology of T-cell memory in primates, mechanisms of protection against persistent pathogens, AIDS vaccine development and the immunopathogenesis of AIDS-causing lentiviruses. Rabinovich is director of the infectious diseases component of the Global Health Program at the Gates Foundation. She directs the development and implementation of drug and vaccine strategies to prevent, treat and control diseases relevant to global health such as malaria, pneumonia, diarrhea and human papillomavirus. Uittenbogaart is professor of pediatrics and microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics at UCLA. Her research focuses on the impact of HIV on the developing immune system and the role of immune activation in HIV pathogenesis.

NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci (front, c) welcomes new council members (front, from l) including Dr. Ann Arvin, Dr. Regina Rabinovich, (back row, from l) Dr. Louis Picker and Dr. Carol Carter.
NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci (front, c) welcomes new council members (front, from l) including Dr. Ann Arvin, Dr. Regina Rabinovich, (back row, from l) Dr. Louis Picker and Dr. Carol Carter.

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