Department of Health and Human Services

News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 13, 2005

Contact: Jilliene Mitchell, NIGMS
301-496-7301

NEW MEMBERS APPOINTED TO NATIONAL ADVISORY GENERAL MEDICAL SCIENCES COUNCIL

HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson has appointed five new members to the National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council. They are Francine Berman, Ph.D., of the University of California, San Diego; Kathleen M. Giacomini, Ph.D., of the University of California, San Francisco; John C. Goodman, Ph.D., of the National Center for Policy Analysis; Brian W. Matthews, Ph.D., of the University of Oregon; and Lisa Staiano-Coico, Ph.D., of the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University. In addition, the Department of Defense has appointed as its ex officio member to the council Jeffrey T. Mason, Ph.D., of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology.

The council, which meets three times a year, is composed of leaders in the biological and medical sciences, education, health care and public affairs. Its members, who are appointed to four-year terms, perform the second level of peer review for research and research training grant applications assigned to the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), one of the National Institutes of Health. Council members also offer advice and recommendations on policy and program development, program implementation, evaluation and other matters of significance to the mission and goals of NIGMS.

Dr. Berman directs the San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California, San Diego, where she also serves as professor of computer science and engineering and endowed chair in the Jacobs School of Engineering. Her research interests include high-performance, parallel and grid computing. Dr. Berman earned a B.A. in mathematics from the University of California, Los Angeles, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Washington in Seattle.

Dr. Giacomini is chair of the department of biopharmaceutical sciences and professor of biopharmaceutical sciences, pharmaceutical chemistry and cellular and molecular pharmacology at the University of California, San Francisco School of Pharmacy. Her research focuses on the transport of drug molecules into and out of cells as well as how genetic variations can influence the way people respond to medicines. She earned a B.S. in pharmacy from the University of Houston, Texas, and a Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Dr. Goodman is founder and president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research organization in Dallas, Texas. He is an author of a number of books including Economics of Public Policy, a college textbook, and Lives: at Risk, Single-Payer National Health Insurance Around the World. Dr. Goodman earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration at the University of Texas at Austin and a Ph.D. in economics at Columbia University in New York City.

Dr. Matthews is professor of physics, Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, and member of the Institute of Molecular Biology, University of Oregon, Eugene. His research focuses on protein structure, folding and design. Dr. Matthews earned a B.S. in physics, a Ph.D. in physics and X-ray crystallography, and a D.Sc. in structural studies of proteins from the University of Adelaide in Australia.

Dr. Staiano-Coico is dean of the college of human ecology at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., where she also serves as professor of nutritional sciences. In addition, she is professor of microbiology in surgery, microbiology in dermatology, and public health at the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York City. Dr. Staiano-Coico's research involves the biology of skin cells, from the basic level through applications to wound healing and burn treatment. She earned a B.S. in biology from the City University of New York, Brooklyn College, and a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from the Cornell University Graduate School of Medical Sciences.

Dr. Mason is chair of the department of biophysics at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Rockville, Md., where he also serves as administrative director of the magnetic resonance microscopy facility. His research interests include magnetic resonance imaging, proteomics, and technologies for the detection of biological toxins, chemical warfare agents and disease biomarkers. Dr. Mason earned a B.S. in biology from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., and a Ph.D. in physical biochemistry from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

Last year, Secretary Thompson appointed Eric N. Jacobsen, Ph.D., to the council. Dr. Jacobsen is the Sheldon Emery Professor of Chemistry at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. His research centers on the development of broadly applicable new methods for synthesizing organic molecules with great selectivity. Dr. Jacobsen is also active in developing novel and practical ways to synthesize biologically interesting natural products. He earned a B.S. in chemistry from New York University in New York City and a Ph.D. in organometallic chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley.

NIGMS funds research and research training in the basic biomedical sciences. This support enables scientists at universities, medical schools and research institutions to expand knowledge about the fundamental life processes that underlie human health and disease.

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