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Vol. LXIII, No. 4
February 18, 2011

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  Dr. George Chacko  

Chacko Named Director of CSR Office

Dr. George Chacko has been named director of the Office of Planning, Analysis and Evaluation at the Center for Scientific Review. He will lead efforts to plan and assess initiatives to enhance the referral and review of NIH grant applications at CSR.

“George brings with him an exceptional set of analytic and leadership skills and a deep appreciation of NIH peer review,” said CSR director Dr. Toni Scarpa. “But we were most impressed by his abilities to think outside the box and turn good ideas into good practices. These skills will be invaluable as CSR continues to work to meet future challenges.”

Scarpa added that Chacko “has nearly 10 years experience as a scientific review officer and review group chief and he is a two-time winner of CSR’s most coveted staff awards.”

Chacko recently won a CSR Architect Award for coordinating CSR efforts in an inter-agency collaboration to review applications for Qualified Therapeutic Discovery Project grants to stimulate the economy. In 2007, he won a CSR Explorer Award for leading CSR efforts to develop and implement the Internet-assisted meeting platform.

Chacko recently served as chief of CSR’s bioengineering sciences and technologies integrated review group. He previously was scientific review officer for CSR’s computational biophysics special emphasis panel. He also coordinated the review of other applications in the biological chemistry and macromolecular biophysics integrated review group.

Chacko came to CSR from the National Cancer Institute, where he was a CRTA fellow, focusing his research on signal transduction in lymphocytes.

Chacko received B.V.Sc. (D.V.M. equivalent) and M.V.Sc. degrees in veterinary medicine and veterinary pathology, respectively, in India. He also received a Ph.D. in biochemistry and immunology at Ohio State University. He began his postdoctoral training at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

NIAMS’s Breithaupt Earns Presidential Rank Award

  W. Gahan Breithaupt  

NIAMS Associate Director for Management and Operations W. Gahan Breithaupt is a recipient of the 2010 Meritorious Executive Presidential Rank Award, one of the highest honors in the federal government. The award is given to career civil service executives who have consistently shown integrity, commitment and exceptional service to the public.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius praised Breithaupt as an “innovative and versatile leader who has consistently demonstrated strength, integrity, diligence and a relentless commitment to the HHS mission.” She also noted that he had “successfully balanced the needs and perspectives of your customers, stakeholders and employees.”

Breithaupt came to NIAMS in 2004 from NINDS, where he was acting executive officer, chief information officer and chief of the Information Resources Management Branch. A senior NIAMS leader and a member of its executive group, he has contributed to numerous trans-NIH activities including the information technology working group, the strategic administrative management planning committee and the performance review board. He has also chaired many SES-level search committees.

“Gahan’s commitment to the ideals of public service is apparent every day,” said NIAMS director Dr. Stephen Katz. “We are proud of the recognition that he, the NIAMS and the NIH have received through this prestigious award.”

Maas Joins Staff at NIGMS
  Dr. Stefan Maas   Dr. Stefan Maas recently joined NIGMS as a program director in the Division of Genetics and Developmental Biology, where he will manage research grants in the areas of cell growth and differentiation as well as regulatory signal transduction networks. Prior to joining NIGMS, he served as an associate professor of molecular biology at Lehigh University. Maas earned a B.S. in biochemistry from the Free University of Berlin and a Ph.D. in molecular and cellular neurobiology from the University of Heidelberg.

Patterson Named Associate Director for Science Policy

Dr. Amy Patterson has been named NIH associate director for science policy (ADSP), effective Jan. 16. She had been serving as acting ADSP since fall 2008. She was director of the Office of Biotechnology Activities within the NIH Office of Science Policy when named to serve as acting ADSP. Previously, she had been a postdoctoral fellow at NIH after completing a residency in internal medicine at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and New York Hospital, where she was assistant chief resident. She then moved to the FDA, serving as deputy director of the division of cellular and gene therapies and senior medical officer in the Center of Biologics Evaluation and Research before returning to NIH. “I am delighted that we will all continue to benefit from her leadership of the Office of Science Policy,” said NIH director Dr. Francis Collins, who made the appointment.

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