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About NIA

NACA meeting: May 25–26, 2010

Staff Changes

Departure – Dr. Dan Longo, Scientific Director

After 15 years of service as Scientific Director for the National Institute on Aging’s (NIA) Intramural Research Program (IRP), Dan L. Longo, M.D., retired from his position on March 1, 2010. Dr. Longo joined NIA in 1995. Under his leadership, the NIA intramural program has become an exemplar of excellence in biomedical research and most specifically in research on aging and aging-related processes. Dr. Longo showed extraordinary vision and applied the highest standards of scientific rigor in developing and overseeing a program of excellence in basic research and translation to clinical relevance.

After completing medical school at the University of Missouri, Columbia, and internal medicine training at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, he obtained fellowship and laboratory training at NIH and was here for 31 years. Before becoming Scientific Director, NIA in 1995,

Dr. Longo was the Director, Biological Response Modifiers Program, and Associate Director, Division of Cancer Treatment, National Cancer Institute (NCI), Frederick, Maryland. He is the author of over 750 articles and book chapters. He is an editor of Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, and Cancer Chemotherapy and Biotherapy. He is an associate editor of Journal of the National Cancer Institute and Clinical Cancer Research and he sits on the editorial boards of six other peer-review journals. He has been cited by Good Housekeeping as one of the “Best Cancer Doctors in America” and listed in every edition of Best Doctors in America.

In 2008 a review of the NIA Scientific Director was conducted by an outside panel of experts. The final report stated in part “By all accounts and by virtually every measure, since Dr. Longo became SD in 1995 the quality of the scientific productivity of the IRP has improved remarkably under his leadership. It is likely that the improvement in the scientific quality exceeds that realized by any other IRP during this period. This success is attributed to Dr. Longo's unambiguous insistence on scientific excellence and his willingness to support high-risk, innovative research. Dr. Longo is highly intelligent and an excellent scientist in his own right and has been able to successfully recruit many superb investigators to the IRP during his tenure. With Dr. Longo, "it is always about the science." He is dedicated to his mission to support the IRP's scientific productivity and eschews self-aggrandizement.”

In the words of Richard J. Hodes, M.D., Director, NIA, “I am grateful for the opportunity that I have had to work in partnership with Dan over the past years and for the legacy of excellence that he leaves us. I know that Dan's decision to leave his position at NIA was a difficult one for him, after 15 years of service as our Scientific Director. But his exceptional and highly regarded talent as a clinician and clinical scientist will serve the research community well in his new position, as Deputy Editor at the New England Journal of Medicine. We are fortunate that Dan will also continue to be a part of NIA, working as a very special guest scientist and directing his own NIA intramural laboratory. Please join me in thanking Dan for all that he has contributed to NIA and in wishing him the best in his future work.”

(Excerpt taken from the Geron News April 2010 Edition)

Acting Scientific Director – Dr. Michele Evans

With Dr. Longo's departure, Michele K. Evans, M.D., NIA Deputy Scientific Director, has taken on the role of Acting Scientific Director, effective March 1, 2010. Dr. Evans will also maintain her role as Deputy Scientific Director.

Dr. Michele K. Evans, a board certified internist and a medical oncologist, received her medical degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-The Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Piscataway. She received her postgraduate training in internal medicine at Emory University School of Medicine and fellowship training in medical oncology within the Medicine Branch of the Clinical Oncology Program at the National Cancer Institute. Interest in human cancer prone disorders and DNA repair led her to study the role of DNA repair in cancer susceptibility as a Senior Clinical Investigator in the Laboratory of Molecular Pharmacology, NCI. At the NIA, her major research interest centers on the clinical implications of eukaryotic DNA repair in cancer pathogenesis and aging. She also conducts epidemiologic work in the area of health disparities as head of the Health Disparities Research Section and co-principal investigator and medically responsible investigator for Healthy Aging in Neighborhoods of Diversity across the Life Span (HANDLS) study.

(Excerpt taken from the Geron News April 2010 Edition)

Acting Clinical Director – Dr. Egan

With Dr. Longo’s departure, Josephine Egan, M.D., Chief, Laboratory of Clinical Investigation has agreed to serve as Acting Clinical Director. The Office of the Clinical Director has the overall responsibility for the administration of the Clinical Research Branch and oversight of the clinical research program through the Protocol office as well as providing central support for laboratory and pharmacy services to all clinical trials requiring these services through the Clinical Core Laboratory and Pharmacy Units. Through the MedStar Research Institute (MRI) support contract, the Clinical Research Branch also provides other support services including medical records, nursing, and other patient care. Patient travel in support of the BLSA and other protocols is also provided through use of central branch resources.

Dr. Egan has been a Board Certified Endocrinologist since 1989. After completing a medical residency and clinical pharmacology fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine in 1987, she completed further training in endocrinology at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. Dr. Egan joined the NIA in July 1990, and is currently Chief of the Diabetes Section and Chief of the Laboratory of Clinical Investigation. In the words of Dr. Evans, “I am grateful that Dr. Egan is willing to step into this role upon Dr. Longo’s departure as we move forward to continue to conduct clinical research at the high level that he has set for the intramural program.”

(Excerpt taken from the Geron News April 2010 Edition)

Chief Comparative Medicine Section – Dr. Rezanka

Dr. Louis Rezanka has been named as the permanent Chief of the Comparative Medicine Section (CMS) in the Research Resources Branch. Over the past year Dr. Rezanka served as the Acting Chief of CMS. During that time he demonstrated his detailed knowledge of animal husbandry and his expertise in the management, care, and production of transgenic mice. In addition to providing essential guidance to complete our move to the Biomedical Research Center, Dr. Rezanka also supervised our recent re-accreditation by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC). The site visitors were particularly impressed by Dr. Rezanka’s role in managing the animal colony and especially laudatory of the overall program and his plans for the future.

Departure – Dr. Fenton

Robert Fenton, M.D., Ph.D., Staff Clinician, Clinical Research Branch, National Institute on Aging (NIA), resigned on December 31, 2009. The NIA has not been informed of his current employment.

Retirement – Dr. Anderson

With over twenty three years with the Federal government, David Anderson, Ph.D., Research Psychologist, Clinical Research Branch, National Institute on Aging (NIA) retired on December 31, 2009.

Scientist Emeritus – Dr. Costa

With his recent retirement, Paul T. Costa Jr., Ph.D., former Senior Investigator and Chief, Laboratory of Personality and Cognition (LPC), National Institute on Aging (NIA) was unanimously approved by the Scientific Directors as a Scientist Emeritus.

Kevin Kinsella retired from BSR and the Federal Government on March 3, 2010, after 30 years of service. Kevin managed a portfolio of grants related to demography and sociology of aging. His contributions to NIA’s mission date back much longer than this – at the Census Bureau, he was chief of the Aging Studies Branch, directing projects that NIA supported through inter-agency agreements. He took leaves of absence from Census, once to direct staff work for an NAS panel that produced a very influential NIA-funded report on the incorporation of biologic measures into population studies, and once to come on a detail to work in BSR. Kevin has been the lead author of several NIA-funded publications that have been very widely distributed, including Why Population Aging Matters, Sixty-Five Plus in America, and An Aging World. We will miss Kevin, but hope to use his expertise for special projects.

Colin Baker joined BSR on April 26, 2010, as a Health Scientist Administrator in BSR’s Population and Social Processes Branch. Colin will manage and develop BSR’s growing portfolio of health economics research, and possibly our portfolio on labor and retirement economics as well. Colin comes to BSR from the Congressional Budget Office where he was most recently Principal Analyst in the Division of Health and Human Services. At CBO Colin conducted economic analysis in many areas of health economics, including long-term growth in health care costs and public health expenditures, medical technology, the economics of public and private health insurance, behavioral health and its relationship with health care spending, and pharmaceutical markets. He also lead CBO analysis of numerous legislative proposals concerning health policy, including changes to Medicare and Medicaid payment policies and expanded efforts to promote smoking cessation and other healthy behaviors. Colin’s doctoral degree from Harvard University is in Health Care Policy with a concentration in Economics. He holds a masters degree in Public Policy with a concentration in U.S. Health Policy from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Colin’s BA in Economics is from Oberlin College. We look forward to Colin’s participation as an important part of the BSR team.