News Release

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Scientific community leaders meet May 2 to begin advising NIH's Center for Scientific Review

Scientific experts from across the country have joined a new council that will begin meeting May 2, 2011, to advise the Center for Scientific Review (CSR) at the National Institutes of Health on the peer review of NIH grant applications in scientific review groups at CSR.

"We're thrilled so many exceptional scientists have joined our council," said CSR Director Toni Scarpa, M.D., Ph.D. "Their input will help ensure the vitality of CSR peer review groups so the billions of dollars NIH invests in biomedical research grants each year advances research with the most promise for saving lives and improving public health."

The new council will be keenly focused on enhancing CSR's operations. The CSR Advisory Council (CSRAC) replaces the NIH Peer Review Advisory Committee, which advised the CSR Director as well as the NIH Director and NIH Associate Director for Extramural Research.

"CSR was the main focus of the old committee, and other advisory groups have been providing the needed advice on trans-NIH peer review issues," said Dr. Scarpa, "so it made sense for CSR to have its own council."

CSRAC will meet twice a year. The council will also provide input concerning CSR’s policies and practices related to the receipt and referral of NIH grant applications to CSR review groups.

CSRAC meetings are open to the public, and the council's first meeting will be held on May 2, 2011, on the NIH campus in the Natcher Building, 45 Center Drive, Room E1/E2, in Bethesda, Md. The meeting will begin at 8:15 a.m. and end by 4:00 p.m.

Agenda for CSRAC's First Meeting

NIH Deputy Director Dr. Larry Tabak will discuss NIH plans and priorities with council members, and CSRAC members will discuss their views and provide advice on CSR peer review efforts.

Dr. Scarpa will present the 2010 Marcy Speer Outstanding CSR Reviewer Award to Dr. Alice Clark, vice chancellor for Research and Sponsored Programs and the F.A.P. Barnard Distinguished Professor of Pharmacognosy at The University of Mississippi, Oxford. CSR senior staff will make presentations on realignments of CSRs scientific review groups and a new tool to assess the fields of science covered by CSR study sections.

Additional information on the council and its first meeting is available on its Web site:


Bruce Alberts, Ph.D., professor, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco.

Etty Benveniste, Ph.D., professor and chair, Department of Cell Biology, The University of Alabama at Birmingham.

John Cacioppo, Ph.D., Tiffany and Margaret Blake Distinguished Service Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Chicago.

Alice Clark, Ph.D., Frederick A.P. Bernard Distinguished Professor of Pharmacognosy and vice chancellor for Research and Sponsored Programs, University of Mississippi.

Garret Fitzgerald, M.D., chair, Department of Pharmacology; director, Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics; and McNeil Professor in Translational Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Heidi Hamm, Ph.D., professor and chair, Department of Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tenn.

David Korn, M.D., professor of pathology and vice provost for research, Harvard University, Boston.

Marie Krousel-Wood, M.D., M.S.P.H., director, Center for Health Research, Ochsner Clinic Foundation; and clinical professor of epidemiology and family medicine, Tulane University, New Orleans.

Peter MacLeish, Ph.D., George H.W. and Barbara Bush Professor of Neuroscience; chair, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology; and director, Neuroscience Institute, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta.

Andrew Murray, Ph.D., professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology and director, Bauer Fellows Program, Harvard University.

Keith Yamamoto, Ph.D., executive vice dean, School of Medicine, Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, University of California, San Francisco.

About CSR: 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 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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