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April 8, 2016

Champoux Heads New CSR Review Group

Dr. Maribeth Champoux
Dr. Maribeth Champoux

Dr. Maribeth Champoux has been named new chief of the biobehavioral and behavioral processes integrated review group at the Center for Scientific Review.

“Dr. Champoux’s dynamic combination of biobehavioral expertise and interpersonal skills make her a wonderful fit for this important position,” said CSR director Dr. Richard Nakamura. He noted that she “excelled as the scientific review officer for the CSR biobehavioral mechanisms of emotion, stress and health study section and in her many contributions to CSR and NIH.”

Champoux will oversee seven standing study sections and numerous special emphasis panels that review a broad range of NIH grant applications to fund research on biobehavioral and behavioral processes across the lifespan. While BBBP is focused on behavior, it also covers related central, autonomic, neuroendocrine, immune, neural, hormonal, motor and genetic issues.

Champoux earned her Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Wisconsin and did postdoctoral training in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine. She then joined the Laboratory of Comparative Ethology at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Champoux still maintains a research affiliation there. Her research focuses on the effects of genes and environment on temperament, behavioral development, endocrine, immune and neurotransmitter outcomes and parenting in squirrel monkeys and rhesus monkeys.

Birkle-Dreer, Chief of NCCIH Scientific Review, Mourned

Dr. Dale Birkle-Dreer
Dr. Dale Birkle-Dreer

Dr. Dale Birkle-Dreer, chief of the Office of Scientific Review at the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, passed away at home on Mar. 12 after a brief illness.

Described by colleagues at NCCIH as a kind, compassionate, resourceful, supportive manager, Birkle-Dreer loved NIH; her passion for doing outstanding work was well known throughout NIH. She treated everyone with respect and was humble about her own accomplishments, said a colleague, adding, “Her scientific knowledge extended beyond her fields of pharmacology and neuroscience. She was able to contribute intellectually to most any area of science. Wisdom was another of her attributes. Staff would often seek her advice on scientific, administrative and other matters.”

“Dale brought an incredible wealth of knowledge and expertise to the scientific review office,” said Dr. Marty Goldrosen, director of NCCIH’s Division of Extramural Activities and Birkle-Dreer’s supervisor. “She made an imprint on nearly every major program and policy at the center, and her impact on peer review went beyond her immediate office—having served as cochair of the review policy committee for the last year and a half.”

Birkle-Dreer’s NIH career spanned 15 years. She began as a scientific review officer in 2001 at NCCIH (then NCCAM) in the Office of Scientific Review. In 2009, she was appointed OSR chief, responsible for peer review of all grant applications assigned to NCCIH and overseeing the activities of scientists and technical support personnel within OSR.

Prior to joining NIH, Birkle-Dreer was a professor in the department of pharmacology and toxicology at West Virginia University. She spent 6 years in New Orleans in a postdoctoral position at Louisiana State University before accepting the position in 1988 at WVU, where she achieved full professor status.

Birkle-Dreer had a unique ability to train individuals as bench scientists as well as science administrators. At WVU, she was a mentor to two postdoctoral fellows, four Ph.D. candidates and a master’s student. At NIH, she formally mentored several scientific review officers who worked in OSR and informally mentored all staff who were new to science administration.

Birkle-Dreer received her bachelor’s degree in general sciences from Bridgewater College in Bridgewater, Va., and earned her doctorate in pharmacology from the Medical College of Virginia-Virginia Commonwealth University.

Her scientific expertise focused on the impact of the physical and psychological environment on brain structure and function, the effects of drugs on the brain and cardiovascular system, biochemical responses to environmental insults and mechanisms for adaptation. She authored more than 40 research papers and 8 book chapters and scientific reviews.

She is survived by husband Duane Dreer, stepson Jacob Dreer, sister Karen Barnhart of Wheeling, W.Va., brother Kent Birkle and his wife Rene of Covington, La., a niece and nephew and many friends.

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