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Vol. LX, No. 8
April 18, 2008

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Verma Named NCI Branch Chief

Dr. Mukesh Verma

Dr. Mukesh Verma has been named chief of the Methods and Technologies Branch (MTB) of the Epidemiology and Genetics Research Program (EGRP) in the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, NCI. MTB focuses on developing and improving methods for epidemiologic data collection, study design and analysis; on modifying approaches developed in the context of other research endeavors for cancer epidemiologic settings; and on methods to increase understanding of cancer susceptibility. The branch also manages EGRP’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

Verma joined EGRP as a program director in 2004. In 2005, he was appointed acting chief of the former Analytic Epidemiology Research Branch. He then was named acting chief of MTB and the Host Susceptibility Factors Branch, for which he continues to serve as acting chief.

He is responsible for developing EGRP’s initiative to stimulate research on epigenetic approaches in cancer epidemiology and has been instrumental in developing epigenetic research for NIH as a whole. He helped to develop a request for applications on environmental influences on epigenetics with NIEHS and represents DCCPS in NIH’s Roadmap Initiative on epigenetics.

Before joining EGRP, Verma was a program director in NCI’s Division of Cancer Prevention, where he worked in the areas of biomarkers, early detection, risk assessment and prevention. He also was coordinator of the division’s SBIR/STTR programs.

He holds an M.Sc. from Pantnagar University, a Ph.D. in the field of host-virus interaction from Banaras Hindu University and did postdoctoral research at George Washington University.

Mascone Is New NIDDK Deputy Executive Officer

Lisa Mascone

Lisa Mascone was recently named deputy executive officer for NIDDK. She will be responsible for working with the associate director for management to advise NIDDK senior officials on all phases of administrative management.

“Ms. Mascone is an experienced administrator, manager and supervisor,” said NIDDK associate director for management Dr. Lucy Greene, who made the appointment. “Her wide range of NIH administrative experience and knowledge of the NIH policies and processes makes her an ideal candidate and an asset to the NIDDK.”

Prior to joining NIDDK, Mascone worked at the National Cancer Institute as an administrative resource center manager for 8 years, providing administrative oversight to the office of the director programs. She also served as administrative officer for 10 years in the intramural division of NIAID. She earned a bachelor’s degree in multiple areas of discipline from the University of Maryland.

Rudolph Heads New CSR Review Group

Dr. Joseph Rudolph

Dr. Joseph Rudolph has been named chief of the new emerging technologies and training in neurosciences (ETTN) integrated review group at the Center for Scientific Review.

“Dr. Rudolph is a dynamic leader and innovator who has shown a strong commitment to both science and peer review,” said CSR director Dr. Toni Scarpa. “He’s just the person to lead the development of our new neuroscience review group.”

The new IRG resulted from a reclustering of CSR’s neuroscience study sections to improve the quality and efficiency of reviews. ETTN includes two study sections as well as special emphasis panels to review fellowship and small business grant applications for all the neurosciences.

The two ETTN study sections are new ones recommended by the NIH peer review advisory committee and others: molecular neurogenetics study section and neurotechnology study section.

Rudolph previously was scientific review officer for CSR’s neurotoxicology and alcohol study section. He has also helped lead CSR efforts to implement asynchronous electronic discussion reviews, which are enabling CSR to recruit experienced reviewers who find it difficult or impossible to travel to regular review meetings.

Rudolph earned his Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Florida, where he studied the effects of chronic ethanol exposure on NMDA receptor pharmacology and physiology. He first came to the NIH intramural program as a postdoctoral fellow, studying the genetics of alcoholism and other disorders in NIAAA’s Laboratory of Neurogenetics. Before coming to CSR, he was group leader of the applied genomics and molecular genetics core facility at Transgenomic, Inc., in Gaithersburg.

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