Director/Acting Director's (NCTR) Comments
William Slikker, Ph.D.,
Have you ever stopped to think how lucky we are? NCTR
researchers, both contractor and federal, continue to benefit from the excellent
facilities, the synergy of the energetic and talented staff, and the financial
advantage of government or equivalent salaries in the beautiful land of
opportunity here in Arkansas.
Daniel A. Casciano, Ph.D.,
I guess my tenure as Director was more accidental than
intended because I decided only after I was acting Director for seven months
that I wanted to lead this institute. I initially was interested in the Deputy
Director for Research position because I felt that I could influence the use of
molecular tools in the various toxicological disciplines that make up this
Center, and because I felt that I had accomplished the goals I had set as
Director of the Division of Genetic and Reproductive Toxicology.
Bernard H. Schwetz, DVM, Ph.D.
During this 35th anniversary year of NCTR and the 100th
anniversary year of the FDA, I am pleased to share my thoughts about the Center
during the years that I was the Director, 1993 to 1999. Let me declare my bias
up front—I have said often that being the Director of NCTR was the best job I’ve
Arthur R. Norris, (Acting Director)
(1991 – 1992)
I offer these recollections for the short period of time
that I was Acting Director of the Center. Not only was it a short period, about
two years, it was nearly 15 years ago. Memory fails in general, and memory fails
specifically in trying to single out that short period of the 18 years I was
privileged to be a part of NCTR.
Ronald W. Hart, Ph.D.
(1980 – 1992)
I arrived in Arkansas during the heat wave of 1980. For
over 45 days in a row the temperature exceeded 100 degrees each day without a
drop of rain. The Center had a combined budget from EPA and FDA of less than six
million dollars, and the EPA had just announced that based on the negative
report from the National Academy of Sciences and the failure of the Center to
meet the expectations of the EPA it would be withdrawing its financial support.
Thomas Cairns, Ph.D.
The NCTR Directorship "A Wonderful and Glorious Burden"
Dear FDA Colleagues: As we prepare to celebrate the 35th anniversary of NCTR and
the 100th anniversary of the FDA, I am proud to have been a part of your
history. In the late 1970s my arrival at the gates of NCTR with the then FDA
Commissioner, Donald Kennedy, to assume the leadership role was not exactly
under the best of times.
Morris Cranmer, Ph.D.
In 1969, President Nixon banned the United States participation in the
production, storage, or use of biological weapons for military purposes. Early
in 1970, the Biological Operations function of the Pine Bluff Arsenal became
available for reassignment.
The FDA Centennial occurs on June 30, 2006 and marks the 100th anniversary of
the Agency's founding, and is a major milestone in FDA's celebrated history.
During 2006, NCTR also marks a milestone in its own history - its 35th
FDA Centennial/NCTR 35th Anniversary Calendar of Events
April 17, 2006 (week)
FDA Science Forum
September 14, 2006
NCTR Employee Honor Awards
August 9, 2006
NCTR Centennial Celebration Day
9:30 a.m. - Program begins
Welcome - Dr. William Slikker, Jr., Acting
Presentation of Colors - U.S. Naval Reserve Color Guard
National Anthem - Mrs. Latriana Robertson
9:45 a.m. - Political Perspectives
The Honorable Blanche L. Lincoln, U.S. Senate
The Honorable Mike Ross, U.S. House of Representatives
The Honorable Mark Pryor, U. S. Senate
10:10 a.m. - Keynote Address
Janet Woodcock, M.D., Deputy Commissioner for Operations, FDA
10:25 a.m. - Musical Interlude, Z-Tech
10:30 a.m. - Remarks
Dr. Bernard Schwetz, former Director, NCTR, former
Associate Commissioner for Science and Acting Commissioner for the FDA
Dr. Lawrence Davis, Jr., Chancellor, University of
Arkansas at Pine Bluff
Dr. I. Dodd Wilson, Chancellor, University of Arkansas
for Medical Sciences
Mr. Dennis Baker, Regional Director, Office of Regulatory
Dr. Morris Cranmer, former Director, NCTR
Dr. Ronald Hart, former Director, NCTR
Mr. Arthur R. Norris, former Deputy Director/Acting Director, NCTR
Dr. Daniel Casciano, former Director, NCTR
Dr. William Slikker and Dr. Janet Woodcock
Mr. Burton Love, FDA Alumni Association
Dr William Slikker
11:30 a.m. - Lunch (tickets required)
1:00 p.m. - Tours
NCTR: A Look Back
Established by executive order in 1971, The National Center
for Toxicological Research (NCTR) is internationally recognized for research
that addresses the mechanisms of toxicity of chemicals and pharmaceutical drugs;
the risks associated with chemical and microbial food contamination, and
identifies biomarkers for terrorism due to biological and/or chemical exposure.
Through the past 35 years, the Center has achieved many
achievements of note.
Established principles of operation,
management, and administration of NCTR. (1971).
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) became
a funding member of the Center. (1971).
Establishment of Scientific Advisory Board
to advise the Director, NCTR, in establishing, implementing, and evaluating the
research programs that assist the Commissioner of Food and Drugs in fulfilling
his regulatory responsibilities. The Board provides an extra-agency review in
ensuring that the research programs at NCTR are scientifically sound and
Developed design criteria for a "Barrier
System" (a specific pathogen-free animal holding facility) and criteria for
chemical compound(s) and animal strain(s) selection. (1971-1972).
Initiated the Interdisciplinary Toxicology
Program (INTOX) with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) for
graduate studies leading to a doctoral degree in toxicology. (1972-present).
Detected bacterial pathogens in the cage
water from commercially purchased mice. (1972-present).
NCTR: Looking Forward
NCTR is an internationally recognized resource for innovative and integrative
research and as such, has the staff, the facilities, and the research tools to
conduct innovative, integrative research that is used to guide and support
regulatory decisions. Its research applies to:
- Chemicals and pharmaceutical drugs evaluated for adverse health outcomes
- Cancer, birth defects, neurological disease, and liver toxicity
- Foods safety from microbial and chemical contamination
- Homeland security from biological and chemical terrorism
The NCTR staff includes 115 Ph.D. scientists representing a wide array of
scientific expertise. The program is supported by approximately 470 support
scientists, on-site contractors, and administrative staff. Many of the senior
staff members have extensive experience conducting multi-disciplinary public
health research. Under-graduate and graduate students, post-doctoral fellows,
and visiting scientists come to NCTR to learn new technologies and scientific
disciplines and to contribute their skills and perspectives to the NCTR research
NCTR: Impact on Arkansas
The NCTR definitely strengthens the local and state
economy. The Center is located in the south central area of the state, in
Jefferson County in Jefferson, Arkansas.