Thursday, May 9, 2002
Contact: NIGMS (301) 496-7301
Susan Athey


HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson has appointed two new members to the National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council. They are Ira Herskowitz, Ph.D., of the University of California, San Francisco, and Laura Weiss Roberts, M.D., of the University of New Mexico School of Medicine.

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 for 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. 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. Herskowitz is co-director of the program in human genetics in the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, where he is also a professor in the department of biochemistry and biophysics. His research interests include the control of gene expression in yeast, cell signaling, cell morphogenesis and growth control, and pharmacogenetics. Dr. Herskowitz is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Microbiology. He is also a former MacArthur Foundation Fellow. He earned a B.S. in biology from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena and a Ph.D. in microbiology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, where he also conducted postdoctoral research.

Dr. Roberts is an associate professor and vice chair for administration in the department of psychiatry at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. She recently founded and is the director of the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center Institute for Ethics, and since 1996 she has served as the director of the Empirical Ethics Group, a multidisciplinary research team focusing on ethical issues in clinical care and research with special populations. Dr. Roberts is also editor in chief of the journal Academic Psychiatry. She has received many national honors and awards in the fields of psychiatry and medical education, and is a leader in several professional organizations, including the American Psychiatric Association and the Association for Academic Psychiatry. She earned a B.A. in the history and philosophy of medicine and science, an M.A. in the conceptual foundations of science, and her medical degree, all at the University of Chicago in Illinois. She performed her residency in psychiatry at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine.

A component of NIH, one of the Public Health Service agencies within HHS, 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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