News Release

Monday, December 14, 2009

Peer Review Veteran John Raymond Awarded NIH Center for Scientific Review’s Top Honor

Dr. Raymond will receive the 2009 Marcy Speer Outstanding Reviewer Award, which highlights the vital contributions of CSR reviewers who evaluate NIH grant applications. In an average year, about 16,000 reviewers volunteer about 150,000 days to assess the scientific merit of approximately 56,000 applications. Their scientific evaluations help NIH invest more than $20 billion in the most promising research grants, paving the path to biomedical breakthroughs that improve public health and save lives.

"Dr. John Raymond personifies the humbling dedication of our reviewers, who give so much to advance science and health here and around the world," said CSR Director Dr. Toni Scarpa. "He has served at nearly 100 review meetings, demonstrating a tireless commitment to fair and rigorous reviews."

Dr. Raymond's many years of service include a 4-year term as a chartered member of CSR's Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Neurosciences-5 study section. When this study section evolved into the Molecular Neuropharmacology and Signaling study section, he took on the role of chair for two years to help it get established. Most recently, Dr. Raymond began another 4-year term on CSR’s Pathobiology of Kidney Disease study section.

"His commitment is all the more astonishing given his responsibilities at the Medical University of South Carolina," said Dr. Scarpa. There, he is vice president for academic affairs and provost in addition to being a professor of medicine, a practicing nephrologist and an NIH-funded researcher.

Dr. Raymond will receive his award at the February 1, 2010, meeting of the NIH Peer Review Advisory Committee, in Bethesda, MD:

The Marcy Speer Award recognizes scientists who demonstrate extraordinary commitment to CSR peer review groups making it possible for NIH to fund the best applications, and, ultimately, improve public health. The award's namesake exemplified this commitment by continuing to review grants during her treatment for breast cancer, and extending her term as a regular member of one of CSR's genetics review panels to make up for meetings she missed during chemotherapy. She died Aug. 4, 2007.

The next nomination deadline is April 8, 2010. More information on the Marcy Speer Award is available by going to

CSR organizes the peer review groups that evaluate the majority of grant applications submitted to NIH. These groups include experienced and respected researchers from across the country and abroad. Since 1946, CSR’s mission has been to see that NIH grant applications receive fair, independent, expert, and timely reviews — free from inappropriate influences — so NIH can fund the most promising research. CSR also receives all incoming applications and assigns them to the NIH institutes and centers that fund grants. For more information, go to CSR’s Web site — — or phone 301-435-1111.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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