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About NIA

NACA Meeting: June 4-5, 2013

Staff Changes

After 33 years of service at the National Institute on Aging, Dr. Mark Talan retired from his position in January 2013. Dr. Talan was trained as a physician at the First Leningrad Medical School in Russia. He received his Ph.D. in Physiology at the Pavlov Institute of Physiology in Russia where he continued to work as a principal researcher before coming to the NIA in 1980. His studies at the NIA in the area of thermoregulation, regulation of hemodynamics, and operant conditioning of autonomic functions evolved into his interests of development and assessment of genetic therapeutic interventions in cardiovascular pathology using different experimental models.

Dr. D. Stephen Snyder, deputy director of NIA’s Division of Neuroscience, is retiring after 23 years of service at the NIH. A native of Baltimore, Dr. Snyder received his B.S. in biology from Loyola College, his M.S. in cell biology from Adelphi University, and his Ph.D. in pathology from Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He performed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Neurology at the University of Tennessee Medical School. He held concurrent positions at the University of Tennessee Medical School and the VA Medical Center in Memphis from 1984 until his move to NIA in 1990. Dr. Snyder played an instrumental role in building NIA’s extramural research program with a focus on fundamental neuroscience related to Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. His research interests were wide-ranging, from the cell biological aspects of Alzheimer’s disease, to neuronal and vascular stress, to aspects of prion biology that could have implications for the development of Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Snyder is optimistic about his upcoming move to Baton Rouge, LA with his wife Elaine. While the primary draw is proximity to his young grandchildren, art classes and opportunities for mentoring and advising young scientists are also in his future.

Dr. Nalini Raghavachari joined the Division of Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology on January 27, 2013, as a Health Scientist Administrator. Dr. Raghavachari will be overseeing DGCG’s research program on the translation of genetics/genomics into novel therapeutic targets and/or interventions for healthy aging. Dr. Raghavachari was previously affiliated with the intramural research program at NHLBI where she was the Director, NHLBI Genomics Core Facility and Deputy Director, DNA Sequencing Core Facility.

Rosaly Correa-de-Araujo, M.D., M.Sc., Ph.D. is working with us in the Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology as a Senior Scientific Advisor to the Director while on detail from the Administration for Community Living. Dr. Correa-de-Araujo has extensive experience in aging-related research and policy issues, including disabilities, medication management, ethnogeriatrics, and women’s health. She’s served with several DHHS components, including the Office of the Secretary and AHRQ. She’s also an active member of the American Geriatrics Society, serving on its Ethnogeriatrics and Quality Committees. Her clinical training and experience are in pathology. She is a cardiovascular pathologist trained at the NHLBI. At NIA she is working on the FNIH-NIA project to develop clinical outcome measures related to sarcopenia, and planning for long-term support of repositories for SWAN and other studies.

Dr. Melissa Gerald joined BSR in February 2013. Melissa took over the Family and Interpersonal Relationships portfolio in BSR and is helping to build BSR’s human and animal research portfolio on social behaviors and interpersonal processes. From 2008 until joining BSR, Melissa was a Scientific Review Officer at the Center for Scientific Review (CSR) for the Biobehavioral Regulation, Learning, and Ethology Study Section in the Biobehavioral and Behavioral Processes Integrated Review Group. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and received her Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in (biological) anthropology at UCLA, where she studied proximate mechanisms underlying the evolution of communication signals in primates. She then received postdoctoral training in neuroendocrinology at the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (under an IRTA). Before coming to CSR, Melissa was an associate professor at the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus, and she served as the Scientist-in-Charge of Cayo Santiago, an integrated component of the Caribbean Primate Research Center, which is home to 900 free-ranging rhesus macaques. She directed Cayo Santiago’s intramural research program and managed the extramural research program, the Cayo Santiago staff, and the population of rhesus macaques. Her research program was devoted to primate communication and social relationships, individual differences in health measures, and life history parameters of the population.

She brings expertise in animal models of social behaviors, evolutionary theory, and research on social interactions, and a broad knowledge of basic research in the behavioral sciences related to many areas of the Individual Behavioral Processes (IBP) portfolio. She will be managing the Family and Interpersonal Relationships portfolio, and building the BSR portfolio in animal models of social behaviors.

Mr. Dennis Edgar, recently retired from the military, joined BSR as the Extramural Program Office Manager in July 2012. On April 19 he will be leaving BSR to return to a position in the Pentagon.