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NIDA Home > Publications > Director's Reports > May, 2009 Index    

Director's Report to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse - May, 2009

Staff Highlights

Staff Honors and Awards

Richard A. Jenkins, Ph.D., DESPR, received the 2008 Award for Distinguished Contributions to Practice in Community Psychology from the Society for Community Research & Action (Division 27 of the American Psychological Association).

Dr. Stefanie Geisler, IRP, from the Behavioral Neuroscience Section won the NIDA Fellow Award from the Women Scientists Advisor Achievement Award.

Dr. Amy Newman, IRP, was the first recipient of the NIDA/NIH Women in Science Achievement Award in March 2009.

In January 2009, Dr. Mary Kautz, DCNBR, was appointed as Co-Chair of the NIDA Neuroscience Consortium Workgroup and as Co-Chair, along with Dr. Minda Lynch, DBNBR, of the newly formed NIDA Behavioral Science Interest Group.

Staff Changes

Dr. Cheryl Anne Boyce joined NIDA as Chief of the Behavioral and Brain Developmental Branch within DCNBR on March 1, 2009. She will also serve as the Institute's Associate Director for Child and Adolescent Research. Previously, Dr. Boyce served for over ten years as a program officer and most recently as Associate Director for Research Training and Career Development, and Chief of the Trauma Program, within the Division of Developmental Translational Research at NIMH. Dr. Boyce serves as a member of the scientific technical working group for the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NASCAW) and a member of the CTSA Consortium Child Health Oversight Committee. Dr. Boyce also co-chairs the NIH Child Abuse and Neglect Working Group. She has received numerous awards including the 2008 Lifetime Award for Distinguished Contributions to Diversity in Clinical Psychology, Science and Practice in the Public Interest. In 2007, she received the NIH Office of the Director Merit Award in recognition for administrative management of leadership initiatives. Her doctoral studies were completed in clinical psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as an American Psychological Association (APA) Minority Fellow. Building upon clinical and research training and fellowships at the Children's National Medical Center and the University of Maryland Department of Psychiatry, she began her Federal career as a Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) Executive Branch Policy Fellow and American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow. Her research interests include child maltreatment, stress and trauma, early childhood influences on drug use vulnerability, health disparities, developmental psychopathology, HIV/AIDS and pediatric health risk behaviors. To facilitate cross-cutting collaborations, she will assume the role as chair of the Child and Adolescent Workgroup (CAWG) and Dr. Denise Pintello, OSPC, will serve as co-chair. Dr. Nicolette Borek who took on additional duties to lead the CAWG during the interim and worked tirelessly as Acting Chief of the Behavioral and Brain Developmental Branch (BBDB), DCNBR has resumed her role as Deputy Branch Chief for BBDB.

Dr. Kejun Cheng joined IRP's Drug Design and Synthesis Section in CBRB as a Staff Scientist in December, 2008. He received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Fudan University, Shanghai, China, in 1997, and was selected for a highly competitive fellowship sponsored by the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science. This fellowship allowed him to work on asymmetric drug synthesis with the 2001 Nobel Laureate in chemistry, Professor Ryoji Noyori. He has also studied also with the internationally known Professor H-J. Gaiss in Aachen, Germany, and Professor S.M. Hecht, at the University of Virginia, and joined NIDA as a Research Fellow in 2005. Dr. Cheng is an expert in the asymmetric synthesis and chirality of complex organic chemical entities as drugs and has published his work in renowned scientific journals such as the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS), Tetrahedron Asymmetry, Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry, and the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.

Dr. Ron Edgar joined NIDA on May 11, 2009 as the new Director for the Office of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics. Dr. Edgar comes to us from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the National Library of Medicine where he headed NCBI's Reference Collections Section. Dr. Edgar's research has been focused on the creation and continued development of the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) resource for functional genomics data and the newly released resource for mass spectrometry data. Dr. Edgar earned his Bachelor of Science from the Department of Chemistry from the Tel-Aviv University in Israel, his Master of Science in Organic Chemistry, and his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel. At NIDA, Dr. Edgar will provide scientific and executive-level management, leadership, and direction for the scientific computational biology and bioinformatics Office.

Michele M. Straus, R.Ph., M.S. became a member of the CCTN team on February 17, 2009. Before joining NIDA, Ms. Straus served as principal investigator for the Clinical Coordinating Center of NIDA's NDAT CTN. In this capacity she also served on the Steering and Executive Committees of the CTN and was integral to the development and implementation of CTN clinical trials. Ms. Straus has over 20 years of experience coordinating and directing clinical research and regulatory affairs-related projects in a variety of settings and organizations. She holds a B.S.P. in Pharmacy from the University of Florida and an M.S. from the University of Maryland UC in Technology Management.

Brenda Fogel, OSPC, accepted a new position in the Office of Human Resources, NIH as a Human Resource Specialist. Ms. Fogel served as a Program Analyst in OSPC for 10 years.

Sheryl Massaro, OSPC, retired at the end of February 2009 after 21 years at NIDA, ending 35 years of Government service. She began at NIDA in late 1988, writing speeches for then director Dr. Charles Schuster. In 1994 she became deputy press officer and in 1999 she assumed responsibility for developing communications programs for targeted audiences such as special populations, students, and physicians. She spearheaded NIDA's marketing program using promotional postcards to drive audiences to NIDA's web site and created annual calendars highlighting drug abuse and geared toward Native Americans and Asian Americans. Most recently she oversaw NIDA's active collaboration with Scholastic magazines and our Physician Outreach activities including the Centers of Excellence for Physician Information. Before joining NIDA, Sheryl served briefly as a review team writer/editor at the General Accountability Office and for many years as a managing editor and technical writer at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.


Research Findings

Program Activities

Extramural Policy and Review Activities

Congressional Affairs

International Activities

Meetings and Conferences

Media and Education Activities

Planned Meetings


Staff Highlights

Grantee Honors

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