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About NIA

NACA meeting: January 25–26, 2011

Staff Changes

Dr. Anna McCormick, Chief of the Genetics and Cell Biology Branch, retired fromgovernment service in January 2011, after 21 years of service. In addition to her BranchDuties, Dr. McCormick was responsible for the Genetics portfolio, and indeed her most important contribution to DAB and the NIA was the development of the Longevity Assurance Genes (LAG) initiative and network, a prime example of how government administration can advance science.

Susan Zieman, M.D., Ph.D. has joined the Division of Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology as a Medical Officer in the Geriatrics Branch. Dr. Zieman comes to the NIA from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where she was Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Divisions of Cardiology and Geriatrics. After graduating from Cornell University with a BA in Genetics, she taught high school biology for several years before attaining her M.D. degree at the University Of Connecticut School Of Medicine. She then completed her training in Internal Medicine, Cardiology and Geriatric Medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital and is Board Certified in all three disciplines.  She received her PhD from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Clinical Investigation.  At Johns Hopkins, Dr. Zieman ran a unique geriatric cardiology clinical practice and lectured locally, nationally and internationally on the impacts of aging on the cardiovascular system, cardiovascular syndromes, medications and specific care practices in older adults.  Her research focused on clinical trials using novel therapies for arterial stiffness, advanced glycation endproducts, hypertension, diabetes and heart failure in older adults.  She was the principal investigator on a John A. Hartford funded grant to develop and implement a national curriculum in geriatric cardiology for cardiology fellows in partnership with the American College of Cardiology and remains focused on the synergy of medical and surgical specialists in geriatrics. To this end, she carries leadership roles in the formation of new geriatrics focused sections in the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association and is a T. Franklin Williams Scholar Alumnae.

Marcel Salive, MD, MPH, joined the Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology, and is involved in the research portfolio on comorbidity treatment and prevention, polypharmacy and comparative effectiveness.  He earned chemistry and medical degrees from the University of Michigan and completed his preventive medicine residency and a master’s in public health at Johns Hopkins University. From 1990-1995, he was a senior investigator in the Laboratory of Epidemiology, Demography and Biometry in the intramural program.  Subsequently he has held leadership positions in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, and Food and Drug Administration.  From 2003-2010, he served as Director of the Division of Medical and Surgical Services within the Coverage and Analysis Group of CMS and was responsible for developing and maintaining national coverage decisions for Medicare beneficiaries using a rigorous and open evidence-based process. His work in developing Medicare coverage of new and innovative services was recognized with the PHS Meritorious Service Medal in 2010. He has developed and led research initiatives in several areas including outcomes research, Alzheimer disease etiology, vaccine safety, and translation of clinical research into primary care practice. He is a Captain in the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.

Dr. John Phillips, who left NIA for the Social Security Administration (SSA), will be returning to BSR on January 3, 2011.  At SSA, Dr. Phillips led the newly established Office of Policy Research where he supervised both extramural and intramural research efforts to design evidence-based interventions to promote financial literacy and encourage savings for retirement.  He returns to NIA to serve as the Science Officer for the Health and Retirement Study Cooperative Agreement and to lead BSR’s portfolio in labor, pension and retirement economics.

Ms. Farheen Akbar will join BSR’s Individual Behavioral Processes Branch on January 17, 2011, as a Research Program Analyst.  Farheen earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology, and her master’s degree in Public Health – Social and Behavioral Science, at the University of Florida in Gainesville.  She is an experienced researcher in psychology and public health, most recently at ORISE in Atlanta Georgia, where her research was on tobacco use and its association with educational factors.

Laboratory Reorganization - In the interest of strengthening the excellent ongoing immunology research within the intramural program the Laboratories of Immunology and Cellular and Molecular Biology were consolidated under the leadership of Dr. Ranjan Sen, the current chief of the Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Biology. The new laboratory name is the Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Immunology (LMBI).   In addition, noted expert in somatic hypermutation, Dr. Patricia Gearhart, currently chief of the Antibody Diversity Section in the Laboratory of Molecular Gerontology, moved her section to the LMBI to complete the unification of our very diverse and productive intramural immunology program.  These changes were effective October 1, 2010.

Laboratory Name Change - The Laboratory of Personality and Cognition, under the leadership of Dr. Susan Resnick, Acting Laboratory Chief, has changed their name to the Laboratory of Behavioral Neuroscience in order to more accurately convey the research that is being performed.