Long-Time NIMH Researcher Crawley Departs
After a career of more than three decades at NIMH, Dr. Jacqueline “Jacki” Crawley has retired to take a position as the Robert E. Chason chair in translational research at the University of California, Davis, MIND (Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders) Institute. Crawley came to NIMH in 1979 as a postdoctoral research associate fellow, remaining since then except for 2 years with the neurobiology basic research program at DuPont.
Returning to Bethesda as a tenure-track faculty member in 1983, she built a rodent behavioral neuropharmacology laboratory at NIMH. With the advent of knockout and transgenic mice, the field had many geneticists willing and able to generate mouse lines, but few people to turn to for behavioral characterization. Her lab became the go-to place for mouse characterization not only within NIH, but also across the nation and then the world. Her book What’s Wrong With My Mouse? Behavioral Phenotyping of Transgenic and Knockout Mice has since become the gold standard for conducting reliable mouse behavioral research.
Crawley cites the ability to develop these methods—made possible by the scientific flexibility afforded her by working in the intramural program—and the mentoring of young scientists who contributed to this research as highlights of her time at NIMH.
More recently, her lab has developed mouse behavioral assays to mirror symptoms of autism in humans, allowing researchers to test investigational compounds for their potential to reverse social deficits, repetitive behaviors and communication disorders. The lab recently reported that a single compound, mGluR5, could effectively reduce repetitive behaviors and ameliorate social deficits in two mouse models of autism.
Among the numerous honors Crawley has received over her career are the Distinguished Scientist Award of the International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society, the Marjorie A. Myers Lifetime Achievement Award of the International Behavioral Neuroscience Society and the Autism Awareness Day Keynote Award. She is looking forward to collaborating with clinical experts in autism research, allowing her to develop better models of autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders, with the ultimate goal of discovering effective therapeutics.
Burklow Wins Presidential Rank Award
John Burklow, NIH associate director for communications and public liaison, is one of 8 HHS civil service executives to win the 2012 Presidential Rank of Meritorious Executive. “The awards are presented to a very select group of career civil service executives and senior leaders whose integrity, strength, leadership and sustained performance have earned them one of the most prestigious honors in government,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
Burklow has served as NIH’s top communications professional since 2002 and has been a member of the Senior Executive Service since June 2006. From 1999 to 2002, he served as NIH deputy associate director for communications. Before that, he worked in the National Cancer Institute’s Office of Cancer Communications, where he began as an intern and rose to deputy director.
Burklow has received numerous NIH Director’s Awards, NIH Office of the Director Merit Awards and Special Act or Service Awards since 2001, for a total of more than 20 outstanding performance awards.
SEED Program Holds Graduation
Fourteen NCI employees recently graduated from the institute’s Senior Executive Enrichment & Development (SEED) Program. The program was piloted in 2007 and has evolved into an internal leadership program for NCI supervisory staff at the GS-14/15 levels. The 12-month program offers the opportunity to develop leadership skills, explore strategies to increase effectiveness, network with peers from across NCI and build a community of practice to advance NCI’s mission. The 2012 graduating class includes (front row, from l) Terri Cornelison, Percy Ivy, Elise Kohn, Nina Goodman, former program manager Yasmin Nasser, Carol Kosary, Anu Budhu and Michael Small. At rear are (from l) Rashmi Sinha, Darren Henderson, Kristin Komschlies, Karen Colbert, Steve White, Chand Khanna and Carrie Laurencot.