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Vol. LXIV, No. 20
September 28, 2012

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10th Annual Commissioned Corps Promotion Program Held

The 10th annual NIH Public Health Service Commissioned Corps promotion ceremony was held recently in Masur Auditorium. Family members, coworkers and fellow PHS officers celebrated the promotion of 34 officers.

After the singing of the National Anthem and the PHS March, Chaplain John Pollack of the Clinical Center provided an invocation. RADM Helena Mishoe, director of NHLBI’s Office of Research Training and Minority Health and NIH representative on the Surgeon General’s Policy Advisory Council, presided over the ceremony.

Commissioned Corps

NIH principal deputy director Dr. Lawrence Tabak commended and thanked officers at NIH, especially those being promoted, for their contributions to the agency and its mission. He also pledged NIH support for those assigned here in their Commissioned Corps careers.

Deputy Surgeon General RADM Boris Lushniak addressed the promoted officers and congratulated them for their contributions to PHS as well as the scientific community. Family members and coworkers joined the newly promoted officers on stage for the changing of their shoulder boards to denote their new positions.

Officers promoted are listed below by PHS category:

Medical—promoted to captain: Gregory Deye, NIAID; Paul Jung, NIEHS; Melissa Merideth, NHGRI; Daniel Singer, NICHD; promoted to commander: Daniel Chertow, CC; promoted to lieutenant commander: Ian Myles, NIAID

Nurse—promoted to captain: Irene Dustin, NINDS; Dianne Hilligoss, NIAID; Akua Kwatemaa, NIAID; Susannah Wargo, NIDCD; promoted to commander: Allison Adams-McLean, CC; Karen Axelrod, CC; Megan Mackey, NCI; Megan Mattingly, NIDDK; Nicole Plass, NIAMS; Laura Wall, NIDDK; promoted to lieutenant commander: Nikkia Powell, CC; Linhua Tzeng, CC; promoted to lieutenant: Anne Fejka, CC; Brittany Johnson, CC; Kelly Kerr, CC; Natasha Kormanik, NCI; Diamond Zuchlinski, NCI

Scientist—promoted to captain: Christine Hunter, NIDDK; promoted to commander: Adrienne Goodrich-Doctor, NIAID

Environmental Health—promoted to commander: Derek Newcomer, OD

Veterinarian—promoted to commander: Lauren Davidson, NIDCR

Pharmacist—promoted to commander: Fortin Georges, CC

Dietitian—promoted to commander: Merel Kozlosky, CC

Health Services—promoted to captain: Jeasmine Aizvera, CC; promoted to commander: Idongesit Essiet-Gibson, NIAID; Janet Valdez, NHLBI; promoted to lieutenant commander: Rafael Torres-Cruz, OD; Rebekah Van Raaphorst, NIDDK

Mishoe closed the ceremony after recognizing recently retired officers, new officers called to active duty during the past year and Commissioned Officer Student Training and Extern Program participants.

Garofalo Named Chief of CSR Review Group

Dr. Robert Garofalo

The Center for Scientific Review has selected Dr. Robert Garofalo as chief of its endocrinology, metabolism, nutrition and reproductive sciences (EMNR) integrated review group. He has been a scientific review officer at CSR, where he has coordinated the molecular and cellular endocrinology study section and the cellular aspects of diabetes and obesity study section.

“Bob brings impressive supervisory and leadership skills to this position,” said Dr. Richard Nakamura, acting CSR director. “These skills were developed leading research teams in the pharmaceutical industry and academia…and at CSR; he has excelled in leading SRO teams and mentoring new SROs.”

The EMNR group includes 11 study sections that review NIH grant applications for both basic and clinical research in molecular, cellular and higher order hormone-regulated processes in physiology and pathophysiology. The group includes research related to disorders of the endocrine system, diabetes, obesity, nutrition and metabolic disorders, as well as research related to the biology of reproduction and disorders of fetal and neonatal life.

Garofalo came to CSR from Pfizer Global Research and Development in Groton, Conn., where he directed a laboratory focused on diabetes drug discovery. He also worked to establish and lead a $14 million insulin resistance pathways collaboration that involved multiple Pfizer labs, four universities and a modeling company to identify new targets.

Garofalo began research on insulin receptor structure and function during his postdoctoral training at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. While assistant professor at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, his laboratory determined the molecular structure of the insulin receptor homolog from the fruit fly; he was among the first to use this model to demonstrate a conserved role for insulin in the coordination of growth, metabolism, reproduction and lifespan.

Garofalo received his Ph.D. in anatomy and cell biology from Albert Einstein College of Medicine and also did postdoctoral work in the department of anatomy and cell biology at Columbia University.

Class of 2012 Project SEARCH Interns Graduate

The graduating SEARCH interns
The graduating SEARCH interns include (from l) Lawrence Anderson, Alexander Brouwers, Sasha Butler, Philippe Fontenot, Christopher Herron, Cierra Gantt, Diandra Garnett, Spencer Jacobs, Carly Wasserman and Carlos Pena.

The NIH community recently honored the accomplishments of the 2012 graduating class of NIH-Project SEARCH interns. Ten youngsters completed a 30-week unpaid internship in more than 15 training worksites across NIH. Designed to provide young adults with intellectual disabilities the opportunity for an independent future, the program offers total workplace immersion and helps build marketable skills.

The program is offered in collaboration with Project SEARCH, an international organization that works with hospitals and businesses to provide employment opportunities and experience for young adults with disabilities; the Ivymount School’s Post High School Program, a life skills program that prepares students ages 18-21 for a successful transition from school to employment and adult life; and SEEC, a local nonprofit that provides employment support to transitioning youth and adults.

Colleen Barros, NIH deputy director for management, congratulated the graduates: “Project SEARCH is a win-win for all of us. The interns get a 30-week training course that helps them with their skill sets. For the NIH, it enhances our culture, gives us an untapped pool to draw on and enhances the diversity of our workforce. It’s not just the right thing to do, it’s the best thing to do for our organization.”

To learn more about NIH-Project SEARCH, visit about.html.

NIDA Recognizes Addiction Science Award Winners

First place winner John Edward Solder (r) with Dr. Bill Dewey of Friends of NIDA and Dr. Nora Volkow, NIDA director
First place winner John Edward Solder (r) with Dr. Bill Dewey of Friends of NIDA and Dr. Nora Volkow, NIDA director

The 2012 winners of NIDA’s Addiction Science Awards, part of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), presented their projects to NIDA scientists recently. The Addiction Science Awards are coordinated by NIDA as well as Friends of NIDA, a private group dedicated to furthering NIDA’s mission. ISEF is the world’s largest science competition for high school students. The 2012 awardees are as follows:

First place: John Edward Solder (project: Optogenetic interrogation of prefrontal cortex dopamine D1 receptor-containing neurons as a technique to restore timing: A novel approach to treat prefrontal disorders)

Second place: Benjamin Jake Kornick (project: OMG: Look who joined Facebook! The relationship between parenting and adolescent risk behaviors)

Third place: L. Elisabeth Burton (project: A big fat deal, phase III: Attributions of body talk, risk assessments of steroid/dietary supplement use, perceptions of media images and self-esteem)

Following the awards presentation, the honorees enjoyed a guided tour of the Clinical Center and NIDA intramural laboratories.

Grady Honored by UCLA School of Nursing

NINR director Dr. Patricia Grady receives Sterling Award from the UCLA School of Nursing.
NINR director Dr. Patricia Grady receives Sterling Award from the UCLA School of Nursing.

Dr. Patricia Grady, director of the National Institute of Nursing Research, was recently honored by the UCLA School of Nursing with the Sterling Award at the school’s 2012 commencement ceremony, where she served as the keynote speaker. This was the inaugural year for the Sterling Award, which acknowledges “superior achievement in science and health.” UCLA noted that the award recognizes those who have taken great strides in promoting and improving health across the nation through scientific research and leadership in health communities.

In her keynote address, Grady discussed the health care challenges of the 21st century and the capacity of the nursing community to lead change and advance health. Her remarks included examples of how nursing research has been translated into practice. One example, the “SmartSponge System,” is an FDA-approved medical device developed collaboratively by an operating room nurse. After citing several notable contributions nurses and nurse scientists have made, Grady spoke directly to the soon-to-be-graduates: “You have the ability to fundamentally change our health care into more equitable, effective, person-centered, accessible and affordable systems. And you have the remarkable opportunity to bring about sustainable, far-reaching improvements into the lives of people you touch every day and also into the lives of people the world over.”

Wani Named CSR Review Group Chief

Dr. Maqsood Wani

The Center for Scientific Review has named Dr. Maqsood Wani new chief of its cell biology integrated review group (IRG). He has been a scientific review officer, coordinating NIH grant application reviews for the cardiovascular differentiation and development study section in CSR’s cardiovascular and respiratory sciences IRG.

“Maqsood brings to this key position exceptional breadth and depth in understanding of molecular, cellular and developmental biology,” said CSR acting director Dr. Richard Nakamura. “He also brings a deep appreciation and understanding of peer review.” Nakamura noted that Wani has served as a CSR referral officer, assigning applications to various IRGs.

“His new IRG also will benefit from the valuable skills he developed mentoring and leading scientific review officers at CSR,” Nakamura added.

The cell biology IRG includes nine study sections, which review applications related to the study of fundamental cell and developmental biology, as well as basic mechanisms in aging and ocular systems.

Wani earned his Ph.D. at Ohio State University, where he studied the role of oncogenes and tumor suppressors in the acquisition and loss of amplified genes. He did postdoctoral work at the University of Cincinnati, studying the role of transcription factors in the development of heart, lung and blood using embryonic stem cells and gene knockout technology.

Before joining CSR, Wani was assistant professor in the departments of pediatrics and molecular genetics at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he was engaged in stem cell research in cardiac regeneration as well as in medical and graduate teaching.

The results of his research were published in Nature, Development, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Transgenic Research, Blood, Cancer Research and Circulation.

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