skip navigation nih record
Vol. LIX, No. 25
December 14, 2007

previous story

next story


Singh To Lead Minority Initiatives Branch at NIGMS

Dr. Shiva P. Singh

Dr. Shiva P. Singh, a microbiologist and educator who has devoted much of his professional career to mentoring and training high school, undergraduate and graduate students in the biomedical sciences, has been appointed chief of the newly formed Special Initiatives Branch of the Division of Minority Opportunities in Research (MORE) at NIGMS.

Singh has been a program director in the MORE division since 2004. Prior to that, he was a scientific review administrator in the NIGMS Office of Scientific Review, where he managed the review of applications to the MORE division as well as other selected research training, program project and center grant applications.

He came to NIGMS in 2001 from Alabama State University in Montgomery, where he was chair of the department of biological sciences and director of the university’s biomedical research and training programs, including the MORE-sponsored Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS) and Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) programs. His research interests focused on the biochemistry and immunology of the outer membrane proteins of gram-negative bacteria. “Dr. Singh’s experience at a minority-serving institution, coupled with his expertise in the review and administration of NIGMS’s minority programs, will be valuable assets in his new position,” said Dr. Clifton Poodry, MORE division director.

“Dr. Singh will be responsible for managing the new branch’s nine existing program activities, as well as others not yet imagined,” Poodry added. Current activities aimed at increasing the number of minority scientists include the Bridges to the Baccalaureate and Bridges to the Doctorate programs, which are cosponsored with the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities; the Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program; Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Awards; Native American Research Centers for Health, which are co-sponsored with the Indian Health Service; research on interventions that promote research careers; diversity supplements; and faculty development awards.

Singh earned a Ph.D. in microbiology from Auburn University. He conducted postdoctoral research at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois and Auburn and was an extramural associate at NIH. He has served on several scientific review committees, including NIGMS-MBRS review panels and the NIGMS-MARC review subcommittee. He is a recipient of numerous honors and awards and is a member of several professional societies including the American Society for Microbiology and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.—

Hrynkow Appointed NIEHS Associate Director

Dr. Sharon Hrynkow

Dr. Sharon Hrynkow joined NIEHS as a new associate director on Oct. 15. She will work with senior leadership on a range of program and management activities including trans-NIH initiatives, partnership-building with federal agencies and others and extramural community outreach. She is assigned to the NIEHS office in Bethesda and will represent the mission of NIEHS/NTP to various communities in the Washington area.

“I am very pleased to welcome Dr. Hrynkow to NIEHS,” said Dr. Samuel Wilson, NIEHS acting director. “I have known her professionally for several years and believe she will be an extremely effective advocate for NIEHS.”

Hrynkow has held leadership positions at NIH for 10 years. For much of that time, she worked at the Fogarty International Center, first as deputy director and, from 2004 to 2006, as acting director. During the past year, she took a sabbatical from her permanent position in the NIH Office of the Director to serve as senior advisor for the United Nations Foundation.

Hrynkow is well-known at NIH for her ability to build new partnerships and develop innovative research and training programs. She worked with virtually every IC during her tenure at FIC and helped establish and maintain particularly strong ties to NIEHS.

“I am delighted and honored to have the opportunity to help NIEHS advance its critical mission,” she said. “In many ways, the role at NIEHS builds on my previous experiences [and] I look forward to the action agenda.”

A career civil servant and member of the Senior Executive Service with advanced training in neuroscience, Hrynkow brings to her position a wealth of leadership experience in tackling global health issues. Prior to joining NIH, she was a science officer at the Department of State, where she played a key role in helping the diplomatic corps address the emerging issue of HIV/AIDS.

Hrynkow serves on a number of professional and non-governmental committees and boards, including the Institute of Medicine roundtable on environmental health sciences, research and medicine, and the AAAS committee on science, engineering and public policy. She has received numerous awards and honors in recognition of her achievements, including the Presidential Meritorious Executive Rank Award and the King of Norway’s Order of Merit.—

NIEHS Chemist Honored for Free Radical Research

Dr. Sharon Hrynkow

NIEHS chemist Dr. Ronald Mason has received the 2007 Senior Investigator Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for Free Radical Biology and Medicine (SFRBM). As part of the honor, he presented a lecture at the 14th annual SFRBM meeting at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 14. He also received a $2,500 cash award and an invitation to publish a review article in the society’s journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine.

The award is an acknowledgement of Mason’s major contributions to the detection and study of free radicals derived from or dependent on the metabolism of toxic chemicals, drugs and biomolecules. In the course of his 29 years with NIEHS, he has built on his original training as a physical chemist in electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy, which is the only general, yet selective, method for the detection of free radicals.

Mason has made several groundbreaking discoveries related to the role of nitroreductase in drug toxicity and the free radical post-translational modification of proteins. His group has been successful using experimental rodent models in in vivo detection of the free radical mechanisms of diseases such as endotoxin-induced acute respiratory distress syndrome, alcohol-induced liver damage and diabetes mellitus.

Currently a senior investigator and head of the free radical metabolite section in the Laboratory of Pharmacology and Chemistry, Mason invented a novel immuno-spin free radical assay in 2002 that, according to SFRBM, “democratizes rigorous free radical detection.” The new methodology offers researchers a cost-effective, validated assay that eliminates the need for highly expensive ESR equipment and the quantum mechanical expertise needed to operate it. The new technique produces orders-of-magnitude higher sensitivity and requires one-thousandth of the sample size needed for ESR—while also giving researchers the ability to analyze multiple samples simultaneously.

The author of more than 450 studies, Mason has also been honored with the International ESR Society Silver Medal and the Southern Chemist Award and Gold Medal given by the southeast region of the American Chemical Society. He is an accomplished instructor and mentor for junior scientists in training at NIEHS. In 2006, he received the institute’s Scientist of the Year Award.—

NCRR’s Kulp Retires After 40 Years at NIH

The National Center for Research Resources recently bid a fond farewell to Billie A. Kulp, one of its most dedicated employees. After four decades of continuous service, she retired from her position as administrative officer on Sept. 30.

Kulp began working for NCRR almost from its inception. “You don’t plan to stay at one institute for 40 years, but when the work is interesting and the people are great, time flies,” she said.

She came to the center in March 1967, only 5 years after it was established. While at NCRR, Kulp worked under 7 directors, saw 4 institutional name changes and survived 5 relocations as NCRR moved to and from various sites on and off campus.

Although her entire federal career was at NCRR, Kulp held several positions. Her first assignment was for what was then called the Division of Research Facilities and Resources, where she worked as an administrative clerk and later a grants management clerk. Eventually, she found her niche in the administrative office, where she worked until retirement.

Kulp has always been the go-to person at NCRR when colleagues needed administrative help or had a question about property, building facilities or acquisitions. “Billie’s desire to lend a hand and assist where needed is just one of the qualities that made her a wonderful resource to NCRR,” said Bonnie Richards, director of the Office of Administrative Operations. “She also has served on numerous administrative working groups and various committees for NCRR.”

NCRR staff acknowledged Kulp’s career at a retirement party and shared many fond memories of working with her. “Billie Kulp has been a mainstay of the NCRR administrative office for many years. It is hard to imagine what it will be like for us once she has gone,” said Erin Shannon, NCRR executive officer. “Her sincere desire to help employees has been a welcome and significant asset as she provided quality service to all NCRR staff over the past 40 years. She will be sincerely missed by all.”

In retirement, Kulp looks forward to spending more time with friends and family—especially her grandchildren. She has several interests that will fill her days, including dancing, classic cars and crafts.

Gladstone To Direct NINR Communications

Elisa H. Gladstone

Elisa H. Gladstone has been named the new communications director at the National Institute of Nursing Research. She joined NINR on Oct. 15 after a successful tenure at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

At NINR, Gladstone manages the communications team within the Office of Science Policy and Public Liaison and is responsible for outreach both to internal and external audiences regarding nursing research and NINR research activities and initiatives. She also leads the development and implementation of communication strategies that will further the mission of the institute and increase awareness of NINR programs and research accomplishments throughout the United States.

“NINR is very pleased to have Ms. Gladstone join our institute at such an exciting time in our history,” said NINR director Dr. Patricia Grady. “Ms. Gladstone’s expertise in health education will enhance our efforts to inform the American public about the many nursing research discoveries that have reduced the impact of disease and disability, lowered health care costs and improved health and quality of life for individuals at all stages of life.”

At NIDDK, Gladstone was associate director of the National Kidney Disease Education Program (NKDEP) for more than 4 years. In this capacity, she planned, implemented and evaluated NKDEP as it transitioned from a pilot effort in four communities to a national education program aimed at changing clinical practice and public awareness related to kidney disease.

Gladstone received her masters of public health degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and earned her undergraduate degree in sociology from Emory University.

NIDCD Council Welcomes Five

Dr. Karen Cruickshanks, Dr. Albert Feng, Dr. Charles Greer, Dr. Charlotte Mistretta, and Dr. William Yost

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders welcomed five new members to its advisory council at its fall meeting, held in September. The new members (shown at right, from top) include:

Dr. Karen Cruickshanks, professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. She is principal investigator of a large cohort study on age-related hearing loss and other sensory impairments.

Dr. Albert Feng, professor of molecular and integrative physiology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is studying the neural basis of sound communication, using the frog and bat auditory systems as models and leads a team of researchers in the development of biomolecular high-resolution cochlear implants.

Dr. Charles Greer, professor and vice chairman for research in the department of neurosurgery, Yale University School of Medicine. He is internationally recognized for his work on local synaptic circuit organization in the olfactory system and the capacity of the nervous system for plasticity.

Dr. Charlotte Mistretta, associate dean for research and Ph.D. training and William R. Mann professor of dentistry at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. Her area of study is the development of the sense of taste, with emphasis on the regulation of taste papilla development and innervation to the tongue.

Dr. William Yost, chair of speech and hearing sciences at Arizona State University. His research interests include auditory perception and psychoacoustics in areas of pitch perception, sound localization and the processing of sounds with modulated waveforms.

Five Appointed to NICHD Council

NICHD director Dr. Duane Alexander (front, r) and deputy director Dr. Yvonne Maddox (front, l) welcome new council members (front, c) Dr. Margaret
Stineman, (back row, from l) Dr. Ronald Lee, Dr. Robert Zanga, Dr. Vivian Lewis and Dr. Jonathan Gitlin.
NICHD director Dr. Duane Alexander (front, r) and deputy director Dr. Yvonne Maddox (front, l) welcome new council members (front, c) Dr. Margaret Stineman, (back row, from l) Dr. Ronald Lee, Dr. Robert Zanga, Dr. Vivian Lewis and Dr. Jonathan Gitlin.

Five new appointments have been made to the National Advisory Child Health and Human Development Council. The new members are:

Dr. Margaret Stineman, professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. She investigates disability issues such as quality of life and obstacles in daily living.

Dr. Ronald Lee, professor of demography and economics at the University of California, Berkeley, and director of the Center for the Demography and Economics of Aging. He studies the aging population and uses statistical models to predict changes in the composition of this group.

Dr. Joseph Zanga, assistant dean for generalist programs at East Carolina University School of Medicine. His research interests focus on primary care and injury prevention.

Dr. Vivian Lewis, director of the division of reproductive endocrinology at the University of Rochester Medical Center and medical director of the university’s planned Women’s Health Pavilion. She is currently studying the causes and treatment of male and female infertility.

Dr. Jonathan Gitlin, professor of pediatrics and of genetics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He is also scientific director of the Children’s Discovery Institute, a joint research venture between Washington University and St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

NIGMS Council Welcomes Four

Shown with NIGMS director Dr. Jeremy Berg (c) are Dr. Clifford W. Houston (l), associate vice president for educational outreach and Herman Barnett distinguished endowed professor in microbiology and immunology at the University of Texas Medical Branch, and Dr. W. James Nelson (r), professor of biological sciences at Stanford University.

Three new members and one ex officio representative joined the National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council recently. Shown with NIGMS director Dr. Jeremy Berg (c) are Dr. Clifford W. Houston (l), associate vice president for educational outreach and Herman Barnett distinguished endowed professor in microbiology and immunology at the University of Texas Medical Branch, and Dr. W. James Nelson (r), professor of biological sciences at Stanford University, where he also serves as Rudy J. and Daphne Donohue Munzer professor in the School of Medicine. Not pictured are Dr. Steven L. McKnight, professor and chairman of the department of biochemistry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, and the ex officio representative from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Dr. Timothy O’Leary, who directs VA’s Biomedical Laboratory Research and Development Service.

FIC Names Eiss Senior Advisor

Dr. Roger Glass.

The Fogarty International Center has named Robert B. Eiss as senior advisor to its director, Dr. Roger Glass. Eiss previously has served as the center’s senior advisor for strategic initiatives and acting director of the Division of International Relations, and earlier as an international program officer.

He led the effort to create the center’s first long-range plan, reorienting FIC programs toward the persistent burdens of communicable disease and emerging chronic disease trends in low- and middle-income countries. He also was lead writer for the National Science and Technology Council’s reports on U.S. government science and technology relations with Russia, as well as European economic integration and science and technology cooperation.

In addition to his positions at NIH, Eiss has been chief executive officer of a non-governmental organization supported by the Rockefeller Foundation to promote innovative management of intellectual property to speed the development of medical products for developing countries. He also has served as associate director for planning and budget at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, where he was responsible for the development of policy and budget recommendations in support of the national drug control strategy.

Eiss holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, a master’s degree from Oxford University and has been a volunteer at the Children’s Inn.

ORF’s Leifer Recognized by Energy Department for Conservation Efforts

ORF’s Greg Leifer (c) accepts conservation honors from Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman (r) and Assistant Secretary Alexander Karsner.
ORF’s Greg Leifer (c) accepts conservation honors from Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman (r) and Assistant Secretary Alexander Karsner.

Greg Leifer, energy engineer in the Office of Research Facilities, was recognized recently by the Department on Energy for his significant contributions to energy and water conservation at NIH.

Leifer was presented with the Exceptional Services award by DOE at the 2007 Federal Energy and Water Management awards ceremony on Nov. 1 in Washington, D.C.

Since 2001, Leifer’s conservation strategies have led to significant annual savings to NIH. His comprehensive and coordinated energy conservation program included the study and subsequent construction of nearly 15 energy and water conservation projects, with several more in progress. His work has led to an estimated savings of more than 24,000,000 kWh, 4,000 kW and 216,000,000 BTUs of energy and 100,000,000 gallons of water, resulting in an annual cost savings of nearly $5,000,000.

Examples of cost-saving measures he has instituted during his tenure include the installation of high-efficiency lighting and control systems, variable frequency drives, electric motors, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning upgrades, as well as water, steam and condensate-saving technologies. He has also coordinated installation of a utility metering system (steam, chilled and potable water) and an electrical metering and monitoring system for the main campus. These systems will allow NIH to review energy and water consumption at the building level in real time and historically, well ahead of any federal mandates.

back to top of page