News Release

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Richard Leapman, Ph.D., Named NIBIB Scientific Director

The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), announces the appointment of Dr. Richard Leapman as the Scientific Director of its Intramural Research Program. As Scientific Director, Dr. Leapman will be responsible for planning, evaluating, and directing all aspects of NIBIB’s intramural research.

“Dr. Leapman is a highly respected scientist with tremendous support across the NIH. His enthusiasm, energy, and perspective on the most promising research opportunities and directions in the future will be critically important as the NIBIB advances its Intramural Program,” said NIBIB Director Roderic I. Pettigrew, Ph.D., M.D. “I am delighted that he will be leading our Intramural Research Program.”

“The new intramural research program of NIBIB provides exciting opportunities to develop innovative imaging and bioengineering technologies related to both clinical and basic biomedical sciences,” said Dr. Leapman. “As a beginning, I envision that components of our program will serve as points of focus for the current trans-NIH research initiative, Imaging from Molecules to Cells, as well as for initiatives in nanotechnology and nanomedicine. In this regard, I look forward to NIBIB’s collaboration with other institutes at the NIH to apply these new technologies to a wide range of biomedical research. I am proud and honored to be given this opportunity to develop and lead this effort.”

Prior to his appointment at NIBIB, Dr. Leapman was the Acting Director of the Division of Bioengineering and Physical Science in the Office of Research Services at NIH. He served in a dual capacity as the Chief of the Supramolecular Structure and Function Resource. Dr. Leapman received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Cambridge, England.

Dr. Leapman’s research interests are in the development and application of quantitative electron microscopy and the application of novel nanoscale imaging methods to solve problems in structural and cellular biology. He has been particularly active in developing the techniques of electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) and combining it with x-ray spectroscopy and scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) to provide an unprecedented high spatial resolution for nanoanalysis of biological structures. Dr. Leapman has devised new methods for quantifying both elemental and chemical information obtained from inelastic electron scattering, a research area in which he has more than 100 peer-reviewed publications.

Dr. Leapman has been an active member of the scientific community. He has been an officer or board member of many scientific review and professional society committees, and is currently a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Burton Medal from the Microscopy Society of America, the Samuel Wesley Stratton Award from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and two NIH Director’s Awards. Over the years, Dr. Leapman also has served on various editorial boards of scientific journals and is currently serving as the editor of the Journal of Microscopy.

Dr. Leapman will assume his new position effective October 29, 2006.

The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is dedicated to improving human health through the integration of the physical and biological sciences. The research agenda of the NIBIB seeks to dramatically advance the Nation’s health by improving the detection, management, understanding, and ultimately, the prevention of disease. Additional information and publications are available at

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