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Thursday, October 30, 2003

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NIH Director Names Dr. Norka Ruiz Bravo Deputy Director for Extramural Research

Bethesda, Maryland — National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D., today announced the appointment of Norka Ruiz Bravo, Ph.D., as the NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research. Dr. Ruiz Bravo will assume her duties in early November 2003.

“The nature of the science that NIH supports and its management are evolving very quickly,” Dr. Zerhouni said. I look forward to working with Dr. Ruiz Bravo to help ensure that the NIH and the extramural community meet the many challenges posed by this evolution. We are fortunate to have her represent the NIH in this capacity.”

In her new role, Dr. Ruiz Bravo will be the Director of the NIH Office of Extramural Research. The OER is NIH’s focal point and voice for all policies and guidelines for extramural research grants, which represent approximately 85 percent of the NIH budget. The office is responsible for the complete range of issues associated with scientific program implementation, management of grants, and peer review, including the roles and responsibilities of grantee institutions and their compliance with policies and regulations.

Dr. Ruiz Bravo came to the NIH in 1990 as a scientific review administrator in the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. She has completed various special assignments in NIGMS and other NIH institutes during her NIH career, and has also served as a program director for the Division of Genetics and Developmental Biology, NIGMS, deputy director for the Division of Cancer Biology in the National Cancer Institute, and acting director for Division of Cancer Biology in the NCI.

Most recently, Dr. Ruiz Bravo was the associate director for extramural activities at NIGMS, where she oversaw the Institute’s $1.7 billion (FY 2003) research and research training grant programs from a policy, business, and scientific perspective. This included providing advice to the director in the planning, development, and scientific administration of NIGMS’ program areas; developing methods to improve grants management operation and oversight; and fostering collaborations between and among the institute, NIH and other organizations to address emerging or cross-cutting scientific areas.

Dr. Ruiz Bravo has served in a leadership capacity on various NIH work groups, including the NIH Extramural Programs Management Committee, and has represented NIH on external work groups such as the Subcommittee on Research Business Models of the National Science and Technology Council regarding aligning mechanisms with scientific opportunities.

Dr. Ruiz Bravo received her Ph.D. in biology from Yale University in 1983. She then completed an NIH postdoctoral fellowship in physiological chemistry at Johns Hopkins University and biochemistry and molecular biology at M.D. Anderson Cancer Research Center. Prior to coming to NIH, Dr. Ruiz Bravo held faculty positions at M.D. Anderson Cancer Research Center and the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.

The National Institutes of Health is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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