O’Shea Receives Ross Prize
NIAMS scientific director Dr. John O’Shea has been named the 2014 recipient of the Ross Prize in Molecular Medicine, given by the Feinstein Institute’s peer-reviewed, open-access journal Molecular Medicine. The award was given on June 9 at the New York Academy of Sciences in Manhattan, followed by scientific presentations by O’Shea and other prominent researchers including Louis Staudt, director of NCI’s Center for Cancer Genomics.
The award, which includes a $50,000 prize from Feinstein Institute board members Robin and Jack Ross, is bestowed upon an active investigator who has produced innovative, paradigm-shifting research that is worthy of significant and broad attention in the field of molecular medicine.
“John’s scientific achievements in molecular immunology have been transformative,” said NIAMS director Dr. Stephen Katz. “His work exemplifies the bridge between basic research and clinical practice. We are very proud of John and congratulate him on this honor.”
O’Shea has been a physician and immunologist at NIH for 33 years. He has made fundamental discoveries related to the signaling of cytokines, molecules that are critical for the development and functioning of the immune system. His research also has focused on the molecular cause of primary immunodeficiencies, inherited conditions in which immune function is impaired, and the genetic basis of autoinflammatory disorders, conditions in which the body attacks its own tissues. He was awarded a U.S. patent for his work on Janus family kinase inhibitors as a new class of immunosuppressive drugs. O’Shea developed a cooperative research and development agreement with the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, which generated one such compound that is approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
O’Shea graduated Phi Beta Kappa from St. Lawrence University, Canton, N.Y. He received an M.D. from the University of Cincinnati. After completing his residency in internal medicine at the State University of New York Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, he received subspecialty training in allergy and immunology at NIH. He was appointed chief of the NIAMS Molecular Immunology and Inflammation Branch in 2002, and became scientific director of the NIAMS Intramural Research Program in 2005. O’Shea has been the recipient of numerous awards and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Moore Named NIGMS Budget Officer
Tony Moore was recently named NIGMS budget officer. In this position, he serves as principal advisor to the institute’s director and senior-level officials on all fiscal matters, including budget formulation, presentation and execution. Moore began working at NIH in 1993 as a human resources assistant in the Clinical Center. After participating in the NIH Management Intern Program, he joined the NIGMS Financial Management Branch as a budget analyst, then rose through the ranks to the level of deputy budget officer. Moore earned a B.A. in political science from Frostburg State University.
Rutter To Lead NIDA Division
Dr. Joni Rutter is new director of NIDA’s Division of Basic Neuroscience and Behavioral Research. The division supports basic biomedical and behavioral research to address the public health problem of drug addiction, including the neurobiological and behavioral mechanisms of drugs of abuse and their consequences.
Rutter’s career spans 15 years of basic and clinical research in human genetics and the study of genetic and environmental risk factors in the fields of cancer and addiction. She has earned a national and international reputation for her diverse and unique expertise in more than 50 publications in journals. She is the recipient of several scientific achievement awards, including a SmithKline Beecham Student Award in pharmacology, a Janssen Research Foundation Young Investigator Award and a Fellowship Achievement Award from the National Cancer Institute. Rutter has also built, supported and maintained the NIDA Genetics Consortium, a group of more than 20 investigators who study addiction genetics.
Prior to joining NIDA in 2003, Rutter received her Ph.D. from the department of pharmacology and toxicology, Dartmouth Medical School. Upon completing her doctoral degree, she remained at Dartmouth Medical School as a research associate. She then accepted a fellowship at NCI within the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics to fortify her training in human genetics. Her scientific objective is to integrate genetic principles with the study of how drugs and chemicals act on the brain.
NIDA’s Khalsa Receives Lifetime Service Award
NIDA’s Dr. Jag Khalsa (r) recently received the Lifetime Service Award from the Society of NeuroImmune Pharmacology (SNIP) in New Orleans, during the 20th SNIP annual meeting. Shown presenting the award is Dr. Sabita Roy, SNIP past president. Khalsa is chief of the Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse and Co-occurring Infections Branch in the Division of Pharmacotherapies and Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse. He manages activities and resources of the branch, including domestic and international research on medical/health consequences of drug abuse and co-occurring infections including HIV, hepatitis C/B, STDs/STIs and others. He is trained in neuropharmacology, toxicology and epidemiology. In May, he celebrated 50 years of work on drug abuse research. Khalsa holds a master’s degree in pharmacology/pharmacognosy and a Ph.D. in pharmacology. He has been with NIDA for more than 27 years and is a recipient of numerous awards of merit from the FDA commissioner, director of FDA’s Bureau of Foods, NIDA and professional societies.