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July 14, 2017

Engels Named Chief of NCI Branch

Dr. Eric Engels
Dr. Eric Engels

Dr. Eric Engels has been appointed chief of NCI’s Infections and Immunoepidemiology Branch. He is an international leader in research on cancer among immunosuppressed individuals, including persons with HIV and transplant recipients, and on the epidemiology of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He has served as acting chief of IIB since April.

Engels earned a B.A. in mathematics from the University of Virginia and a medical degree from Harvard Medical School. He trained in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and completed clinical training in infectious diseases and earned an M.P.H. from Tufts University School of Medicine.

Engels joined the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics in 1998 as a senior staff fellow, became an investigator in 2000 and was tenured in 2007. In addition, he has served as chair of the DCEG technical evaluation of protocols committee and amember of the senior advisory group since 2011.

Engels received an NIH Merit Award in 2012 in recognition of his research resulting in “improved understanding of the cancer risk and burden in immune-compromised populations.” In 2015, he was recognized by DCEG with the annual mentoring award.

ACS Honors NIDDK’s Jacobson

Dr. Kenneth A. Jacobson
Dr. Kenneth A. Jacobson

Dr. Kenneth A. Jacobson, chief of NIDDK’s Laboratory of Bioorganic Chemistry, received the American Chemical Society’s Bristol-Myers Squibb Smissman Award during its 253rd national meeting in San Francisco recently.

The award is given to a living scientist whose research, teaching or service has had a substantial impact on the intellectual and theoretical development of the field of medicinal chemistry.

Jacobson’s research focuses on the relationship between drug structures and biological activity, specifically to develop drugs that act as agonists or antagonists of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). The study of GPCRs, including purinergic receptors, provides promising avenues for the development of new drug therapy for treating chronic diseases. More than 35 compounds from the Jacobson lab are available commercially as research tools and are used to advance research in hundreds of laboratories.

APS Lauds NIH’s Porter for Public Service

Dr. Kenneth A. Jacobson
Dr. Linda Porter

Dr. Linda Porter, director of the NIH Office of Pain Policy, recently received the John and Emma Bonica Public Service Award from the American Pain Society (APS). The award—which is named for John Bonica, a leading force in the development of the pain treatment movement, and his wife Emma—honors outstanding contributions by an individual or organization to the field of pain through public education, dissemination of information, public service or other efforts to further knowledge about pain.

Porter was recognized for her work in advancing the federal pain research agenda and moving forward the National Pain Strategy. She was honored at an awards reception held recently during APS’s annual meeting in Pittsburgh.

Porter earned her undergraduate degree in physical therapy from McGill University and her Ph.D. in neuroanatomy from Boston University School of Medicine.

Before coming to NIH, she served on the faculty of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences for 15 years. She joined NINDS in 2003 as a program director in the systems and cognitive neuroscience cluster. There she was responsible for managing the institute’s pain research portfolio. She also played an essential role in promoting the objectives and activities of the NIH Pain Consortium, a trans-NIH entity whose mission is to advance the NIH pain research agenda.

In 2011, Porter became director of the NIH Office of Pain Policy. The position was one of two created by NIH based on recommendations in the 2011 Institute of Medicine report Relieving Pain in America. The office supports and guides the activities of the NIH Pain Consortium and those of the interagency pain research coordinating committee (IPRCC), a congressionally mandated advisory committee to the HHS secretary.

Porter co-chaired development of the National Pain Strategy report and currently co-chairs the strategy’s implementation committee. She also co-chairs the committee that oversees development of the Federal Pain Research Strategy on behalf of IPRCC.

NIA Director Hodes Receives Immunology Award

Dr. Kenneth A. Jacobson
Dr. Richard Hodes and Dr. Arlene H. Sharpe

NIA director Dr. Richard Hodes was honored May 12 with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association of Immunologists (AAI). He remains active in research as senior investigator and chief of the immune regulation section in NCI’s Experimental Immunology Branch, with research focused on cellular and molecular events that regulate the immune response.

The award, presented by AAI president Dr. Arlene H. Sharpe of Harvard Medical School, is the highest honor bestowed by the AAI Council upon an AAI member. It recognizes a member for a career of scientific achievement and for contributions to AAI and fellow immunologists.

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