Dr. Matthew W. Kelley, chief of the Laboratory of Cochlear Development, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, has been named president of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology, the professional organization that encourages and promotes research in the field and stimulates scientific interest among its members. Kelley took office Mar. 1 after serving 1 year as president-elect. As president, he serves as the organization’s chief officer and chairs the ARO Council.
Kelley and his colleagues investigate the development of the cochlea, the snail-shaped structure in the inner ear that contains the organ of hearing. The overall goal of his lab is to understand the molecular and cellular factors of different structures in the cochlea that are essential for sound to travel from the inner ear to the brain.
Kelley has been an active member of ARO for the past several decades and has served on numerous ARO committees. He is looking forward to his new role and is honored to have the opportunity to build on the services and benefits ARO provides to its members.
Kelley received his B.A. from Cornell University and his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington, he became an assistant professor in the department of cell biology at Georgetown University in 1996. In 2000, he joined NIDCD, first as acting chief and then (since 2004) as chief of the laboratory’s section on developmental neuroscience.
The NIH Office of the Director recently welcomed the second class of the Administrative Career Enhancement Program. ACEP is an initiative of the OD Voice, a committee with representatives from each OD office dedicated to analyzing the results of OD’s segment of the Employee Viewpoint Survey.
The OD Voice explores how OD can improve its performance regarding concerns identified in the survey. The committee also capitalizes on areas rated highly satisfactory and creates avenues to share this information and other best practices more broadly across OD.
ACEP was created to address the needs of junior-level OD staff. The program provides training and developmental opportunities, increases organizational knowledge, increases OD identity, enhances participants’ professional networks and provides mentoring opportunities. The program is offered at no cost to OD federal staff; participants are nominated by their supervisors.
Dr. Bryan Traynor of NIA’s Laboratory of Neurogenetics and Dr. Rosa Rademakers of the Mayo Clinic have been awarded the 2016 Potamkin Prize for their contributions to research in Pick’s, Alzheimer’s and related neuromuscular diseases.
Presented by the American Academy of Neurology on Apr. 18 in Vancouver, the award specifically recognizes their discovery of the genetic mutation in the C9ORF72 gene responsible for a large number of cases of frontotemporal dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). This finding provides an important mechanistic link between the two diseases.
The mutation in the C9ORF72 gene is a repeat expansion—small blocks of DNA are repeated over and over again, hundreds or even thousands of times.
“The repetitive nature of this mutation makes it particularly amenable to therapeutic interventions using gene therapy and has many in the field wondering if these two diseases can be treated with the same, or similar, interventions,” Traynor said. “This work is already being pursued in laboratories around the world.”
Chief of the lab’s neuromuscular diseases research section since 2009, Traynor focuses his efforts on unraveling the genetic etiology of ALS and other neuromuscular disorders. His research team is also noted for conducting the first genome-wide association study of ALS, identifying the chromosome 9p association signal for ALS in the Finnish founder population and discovery of mutations in other genes that cause familial ALS and dementia.
George E. Jarboe, 85, who had a 26-year career at NIH, died Mar. 18 from complications of dementia.
A native Washingtonian, he attended St. John’s College High School, graduating in 1948. He spent 4 years (1950-1954) in the U.S. Air Force, stationed at Lowry Air Force Base in Colorado and Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha. After 3 years of undergraduate study, he received his B.A. degree from the University of Maryland in 1958.
After graduation, he was employed by the Department of the Navy. He came to NIH in 1959 as a management intern and, on completion of a 1-year training program, was employed by the Personnel Management Branch, Office of the Director, where he worked until he joined the staff of the Division of Research Grants in 1962.
Jarboe served as DRG administrative officer until January 1964, when he became a staff specialist in the DRG Career Development Review Branch. In the later 1960s, he held several posts in the office of the NIH assistant director for extramural research and training. In 1972, he became the first director of the Executive Secretariat at NIH. He subsequently became DRG’s executive officer, a position he held until his retirement in 1985.
Jarboe is survived by his daughter, Kathleen Jarboe Marsden, his grandchildren Ashley and Justin Van Steelant, his sister, Kathleen J. Hanlon and many nieces and nephews.
Inurnment will take place in Arlington National Cemetery at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to the Children’s Inn at NIH, 7 West Dr., Bethesda, MD 20814.