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National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

Thursday, January 27, 2005

NIAID News Office

NIH Names Four to NIAID Advisory Council

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced the appointment of four new members to the National Advisory Allergy and Infectious Diseases Council, the principal advisory body of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). NIAID is part of NIH, an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services.

The council provides recommendations on the conduct and support of research, including training young scientists and disseminating health information derived from NIAID research. It embodies a diverse perspective on science, health, and the human impact of disease. The council is composed of physicians, scientists and representatives of the public who contribute their time and expertise for a four-year term.

The new council members are: Richard Insel, M.D., executive vice president of research at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International (JDRF), New York; Martin G. Myers, M.D., professor of pediatrics and preventive medicine and community health at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston; Shelley M. Payne, professor of molecular genetics and microbiology at the University of Texas at Austin; and Gary Schoolnik, M.D., professor of medicine, microbiology and immunology at the Stanford Medical School.

Dr. Insel leads the strategic direction and oversight for the approximately $100 million in research grants annually awarded to universities and researchers by JDRF — the world’s largest charitable supporter of juvenile diabetes research. He previously served as a professor of pediatrics, microbiology and immunology at University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry Medical Center. Dr. Insel’s research interests include the somatic hypermutation of immunoglobulin genes, generation of memory B-cells, Haemophilus influenza vaccines and developmental immunology.

Dr. Myers serves as the Associate Director for Public Health Policy and Education of the Sealy Center for Vaccine Development at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Dr. Myers also is the President and Board Chair of a new nonprofit corporation, Immunizations for Public Health, and is the director and editor for National Network for Immunization Information. Dr. Myers previously served as Director of the National Vaccine Program Office at HHS. Prior to that appointment, he was Director of Pediatric Infectious Diseases first at the University of Iowa in Iowa City and then at the Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati.

Dr. Payne is a member of the Institute of Cellular and Molecular Biology, and Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Payne’s research focuses on the molecular biology of bacterial pathogens including Shigella and Vibrio cholerae, and she received an NIH MERIT award for studies on Shigella pathogenesis. She has served as a member and chair of an NIH study section and is on the editorial board of Infection and Immunity.

Dr. Schoolnik is an attending physician in infectious diseases at Stanford Medical Center. Dr. Schoolnik’s research employs molecular genetic and genomic methods and combines laboratory and field work (in Mexico and Bangladesh) to study infectious agents that are significant causes of disease in developing countries. A particular current interest is the molecular ecology of infectious agents in natural environmental habitats. He served as a co-chair of the NIAID Blue Ribbon Panel on Bioterrorism Research and was a founding editor of Molecular Microbiology.

NIAID is a component of the National Institutes of Health, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIAID supports basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose and treat infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, influenza, tuberculosis, malaria and illness from potential agents of bioterrorism. NIAID also supports research on transplantation and immune-related illnesses, including autoimmune disorders, asthma and allergies. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID Web site at http://www.niaid.nih.gov.

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