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Office of Extramural Research, National Institutes of Health Extramural Nexus
  November 2008
Director's Column
Dr. Sally Rockey Named Acting NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research

image of Sally Rockey

Within NIH, and within the Extramural Research Community, it is important to remind ourselves of the NIH mission: “science in pursuit of fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to extend healthy life and reduce the burdens of illness and disability.” As I assume the role of Acting NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research, I would like to affirm my unwavering commitment to this mission.

We are optimistic that the critical work of NIH will continue full steam ahead, due to the unfaltering commitment of our Staff and the Extramural Community to science that improves health worldwide. Some of the most pressing issues we will continue to vigorously address as we move forward are:

  • • The continued enhancement of the Peer Review process;
  • • The maintenance of robust support for New and Early Stage Investigators; and
  • • The development of resolutions regarding the NIH oversight of Financial Conflict of Interest issues at extramural grantee organizations.

Finally, I would like to stress that I am very excited about developing a dialogue with NIH staff and the Extramural Community. I hope you will find during my term as Acting Director of OER that I am accessible, and have a good sense of humor and an open mind. I look forward to communicating with you through the Nexus and other channels as together we find solutions to the challenges that await us.

- Sally Rockey, Ph.D.
Acting NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research

Dr. Sally Rockey joined the NIH in late January 2005 as the OER Deputy Director. Dr. Rockey’s career has been in extramural and electronic research administration. Prior to arriving at NIH, she was the Chief Information Officer at the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES), U.S. Department of Agriculture. In that role, she provided leadership for and managed all aspects of the agency’s information technology and software applications, spearheading the successful reconstruction of its IT environment.

Prior to the CIO role Dr. Rockey spent sixteen years in various positions in research administration at CSREES, including leading the competitive extramural research arm of the Agency. With a background in research administration, IT and all things extramural, she was a natural match to OER. In her relatively short time at NIH, Dr. Rockey has either lead or closely participated in an extremely broad array of projects: from leading the transition from paper to electronic applications; acting as the NIH Research Integrity Officer; and contributing to nearly every major initiative set forth by the Office of Extramural Communication. There is little doubt that the diversity of roles Dr. Rockey has held will be of great benefit as she helps NIH and OER address their current challenges.

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