Acting Director's Comments: William Slikker, Ph.D.
A Successful Past and a Promising Future
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. As we celebrate the 35th Anniversary of this great institution, we need to appreciate the opportunities before us and the challenges that have been met, time and time again, by our excellent scientists.
Excellence in research is the key to our past successes and promise of the future. Behind each scientific achievement is the resourcefulness and brilliance of our researchers. Our ability to lead the scientific revolution in the application and integration of the post genomic world with traditional toxicological endpoints continues to provide our competitive advantage.
Supporting our researchers are the highly technical and efficient research facilities. With over 700,000 sq. ft. of prime laboratory space and many special purpose structures, including the Phototoxicology and Testing Facility, the Nonhuman Primate Research Facility, and the Biosafety Level 3 laboratories, NCTR is a model toxicological research center. In fact, NCTR’s facilities and organizational structure have served as a model for the development of a toxicological research center in South Korea and continues as the premier toxicological research center in America.
Over the years NCTR has also benefited from the enthusiastic support from the local Jefferson and Pine Bluff Arsenal community, the Pine Bluff Alliance, and the local, state, and national political figures. The high degree of interaction with the colleges and universities, within the state of Arkansas, has been critical to the success of many research endeavors. The rural setting has been a blessing for the laboratory research efforts of our scientists, and the comfort of the piney woods and unlimited parking has always been appreciated.
It is the excellence in science and the cutting-edge research that is the real heart and soul of NCTR. The achievements are too numerous to list here (see our web site at http://www.fda.gov/nctr/ ), but suffice it to say that when it comes to toxicology, NCTR scientist have provided leadership time and time again. It is this cooperative spirit, the willingness to form teams of researchers with diverse but complementary training and experience to solve toxicological problems that sets NCTR apart from other institutions.
So as we look back on our 35 years of research accomplishments, let us congratulate our fellow scientists and enjoy the fruits of our labors. The history of NCTR has set the stage for the integration of the new biology with traditional endpoints and paved the way to a promising future. We are posed on the threshold of providing personalized nutrition and medicine to the American public, and NCTR scientists are ready and able to lead this endeavor to enhanced public health.