About the Authors

Current Contributors


Dr. Jon Lorsch

As NIGMS director, Jon oversees the Institute’s research, training, and other programs. He’s committed to engaging the scientific community on a wide range of topics, including funding policies and trends, research evaluation, and workforce development and diversity.



Dr. Alexandra Ainsztein

Dr. Alexandra Ainsztein

A cell biologist, Alexandra manages research grants related to membrane trafficking, organelle biogenesis, and the molecular mechanisms and dynamics of the nucleus.


Dr. Vernon Anderson

Dr. Vernon Anderson

Vernon, a former biochemistry and chemistry professor, manages grant portfolios spanning the areas of bioinorganic chemistry, bioenergetics and mitochondrial physiology, oxidative stress, and enzymology.



Dr. Richard Aragon

Dr. Richard Aragon

As chief of the NIGMS Office of Program Planning, Analysis, and Evaluation, Richard advises on the institute’s strategic planning activities, analyzes and evaluates its research and training programs, and serves as its legislative liaison.


Dr. Krishan Arora

Dr. Krishan Arora

Krishan is a biochemist and molecular biologist by training. He manages multicomponent grants supported through the Institutional Development Award (IDeA) program and is also involved in promoting and fostering SBIR/STTR applicants and biomedical entrepreneurship in IDeA states.


Susan Athey

Susan Athey

Susan writes about NIGMS’ diversity and capacity building programs and manages a number of social media and electronic outreach products, including the Feedback Loop blog.


Dr. Jake Basson

Jake, who trained in biostatistics and cardiovascular genetics, is a statistical policy analyst in the NIGMS Office of Program Planning, Analysis, and Evaluation. He uses a diverse suite of data science tools to study the Institute’s research portfolios, training programs, and funding policies.



Dr. Michael Bender

Dr. Michael Bender

Michael is a geneticist who handles grants in the areas of RNA processing, protein synthesis, mRNA metabolism and translational control, and regulatory RNAs as well as grants for the Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program. He also oversees the NIGMS Human Genetic Cell Repository.


Dr. Anissa Brown

Anissa manages the Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) initiative and administers diversity-focused institutional research training grants and individual diversity fellowships.



Dr. Patrick H. Brown

A protein chemist and former teacher, Patrick administers diversity-focused institutional research training grants, individual fellowships, and administrative supplements.



Dr. Jeremy Brown

Dr. Jeremy Brown

Jeremy, an emergency medicine physician with a clinical research background, directs the NIH Office of Emergency Care Research. He’s currently on detail to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.


Dr. Alison Cole

Alison handles research and training grants in anesthesiology and peri-operative pain as well as predoctoral training grants on molecular medicine.



Stephanie Constant

Dr. Stephanie Constant

Stephanie directs the NIGMS Office of Scientific Review that oversees the peer review of a broad range of research, training, education, and center grant applications assigned to NIGMS.



Dr. Luis Cubano

A former cell biology professor, Luis administers diversity-focused institutional research training grants and diversity supplements.



Dr. James Deatherage

Dr. James Deatherage

Jim manages grants on cell division, motility, and organization, and on technology development of light microscopy.


Dr. Sarah Dunsmore

Dr. Sarah Dunsmore

Sarah manages a variety of grants involving drug targets, innate immunity, and inflammation. She also is the program director for several clinical trials related to the treatment of sepsis.


Dr. Miles Fabian

Miles manages research grants and postdoctoral fellowships in the areas of bioorganic and medicinal chemistry.



Dr. Jessica Faupel-Badger

Dr. Jessica Faupel-Badger

Jessica, a tumor biologist trained in epidemiology and biostatistics, manages the Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Awards (IRACDA). In addition, she directs the Postdoctoral Research Associate (PRAT) Program, an intramural training program at NIH.



Dr. Paula Flicker

An early user of cryo-electron microscopy, Paula oversees research grants in this field as well as those in other areas of structural biology. She also manages training grants in molecular biophysics, postdoctoral fellowships in biophysics, and K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Awards in cell biology and biophysics.


Dr. Alison Gammie

Dr. Alison Gammie

Alison directs the NIGMS division that supports a variety of research training, career development, and diversity-building activities at the undergraduate through faculty levels.


Dr. Kenneth Gibbs

Dr. Kenneth Gibbs

Kenny manages Predoctoral MD/PhD or Other Dual-Doctoral Degree Fellowships for Students at Institutions Without NIH-Funded Institutional Predoctoral Dual-Degree Training Programs (F30), the Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP), and predoctoral T32 biostatistics grants. He also manages research grants in the area of developmental signaling.



Dr. Joe Gindhart

Dr. Joe Gindhart

Joe is a cell biologist who manages grants involving cytoskeletal motor proteins, cell motility, intracellular transport, and bacterial chemotaxis. He also coordinates the NIGMS SBIR/STTR grant portfolio.



Dr. J. Rafael Gorospé

Dr. J. Rafael Gorospé

Raffy, a geneticist by training, has conducted and published research on a number of childhood genetic disorders of brain and skeletal muscle. He manages multicomponent grants supported through the Institutional Development Award (IDeA) program.



Dr. Judith Greenberg

Dr. Judith Greenberg

Judith is the deputy director of NIGMS. In the past, she’s also served as the acting director of the Institute and as the director of the Division of Genetics and Developmental Biology. She led the development of the NIGMS strategic plan issued in 2008 and the development and implementation of the NIGMS strategic plan for training issued in 2011.



Dr. Susan Gregurick

Dr. Susan Gregurick

Susan directs the NIGMS division that supports a range of research and training activities, including in the fields of computational biology, bioinformatics, mathematical and statistical biology, and biomedical technology development.



Dr. Ann Hagan

Dr. Ann Hagan

As director of extramural activities, Ann sets and coordinates grant funding policies and procedures, and she advises staff on the best grants management practices. She also sits on the NIH committee that makes policy recommendations for managing extramural programs.


Dr. Tanya Hoodbhoy

Dr. Tanya Hoodbhoy

A developmental and reproductive biologist, Tanya manages developmental genetics research grants. She is a member of the Sex Differences Trans-NIH Working Group.


Dr. Sailaja Koduri

A biochemist with previous biotech industry experience, Sailaja administers the MARC Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research and Initiative for Maximizing Student Development programs, and research grants in the areas of receptors, drug targets, and signal transduction.



Mitzi Kosciulek

Mitzi Kosciulek

Formerly a member of the NIGMS grants management team, Mitzi works in NIH’s Office of Human Resources, Corporate Recruitment Unit, where she helps to develop a continuous pipeline of diverse, high-caliber candidates for jobs across NIH.



Dr. Donna Krasnewich

Dr. Donna Krasnewich

Trained as a pediatrician with a specialty in clinical biochemical genetics, Donna manages research grants dealing with the genetic basis of human biology as well as grants on ethical, legal, and social issues in genetics.


Dr. Bob Lees

Dr. Bob Lees

Bob, who is trained in synthetic and bioorganic chemistry, manages research grants in organic chemistry. Prior to joining the Institute, he served as a scientific review officer in the NIH Center for Scientific Review and as a program director at the National Cancer Institute.


Dr. Rochelle Long

Dr. Rochelle Long

Rochelle directs the NIGMS division that funds a broad range of research from basic studies in synthetic chemistry, enzymology, biotechnology, chemical biology, and glycosciences to clinical areas that include pharmacology, anesthesia, sepsis, traumatic injury, and wound healing. She is a pharmacologist who has played leading roles in fostering research in pharmacogenomics through national and international collaborations.



Dr. Peter Lyster

Dr. Peter Lyster

Peter manages grants in biological modeling and bioinformatics, and he plays an active role in the NIH Biomedical Information Science and Technology Initiative.



Dr. Stefan Maas

Dr. Stefan Maas

Stefan, a molecular biologist, manages research grants in the areas of cell growth, differentiation, homeostasis, and cell death. He also oversees SBIR/STTR small business grants in genetics and developmental biology and institutional training grants in systems and integrative biology.



Alisa Zapp Machalek

Alisa Zapp Machalek

Originally trained in biochemistry, Alisa writes about the full range of NIGMS-supported research. She is part of the Findings magazine editorial team, manages the NIGMS image and video gallery, and helps foster science education at NIH.



Dr. Stephen Marcus

Dr. Stephen Marcus

Stephen is a clinical and psychosocial epidemiologist with expertise and long-standing interest in applying systems science approaches and other innovative methods to issues in population and public health. He manages scientific programs in basic behavioral and social science research and in modeling social behavior at multiple scales.



Dr. Pamela A. Marino

Pamela handles grant portfolios in glycobiology and molecular immunology, serves as a project team leader for the NIH Common Fund Glycoscience Program, and is a steering committee member for the NIH Alliance of Glycobiologists for Detection of Cancer Exit icon. She chairs the NIH Intramural Glycobiology Scientific Interest Group Steering Committee and the glycobiology interagency working group.



Dr. Andrew Miklos

Andrew, who trained in biochemistry and biophysics, is a program analyst in the NIGMS Office of Program Planning, Analysis, and Evaluation. He uses a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods to study the Institute’s research portfolios, training programs, and funding policies.



Dr. Nathan Moore

Nathan, who was trained in high energy physics, is a data scientist in the NIGMS Office of Program Planning, Analysis, and Evaluation. He uses numerous mathematical and computer science techniques to study the Institute’s research portfolios, training programs, and funding policies.



Tony Moore

Tony Moore

As chief of the financial management branch, Tony leads a team that has fiscal oversight for all facets of the Institute’s appropriation. His office develops financial management plans, formulates budgets, and coordinates Congressional budget justifications.



Dr. Richard Nakamura

Dr. Richard Nakamura

As director of the NIH Center for Scientific Review, Richard oversees the receipt and referral of about 80,000 NIH grant applications a year. He leads the professionals who coordinate the peer review groups that evaluate the majority of these applications for scientific merit, and he works across NIH to improve the effectiveness of peer review.



Dr. James Onken

Dr. James Onken

Jim, who previously worked at NIGMS, directs NIH’s Office of Data Analysis Tools and Systems. In addition to managing the development and maintenance of NIH’s Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools, including RePORTER, he analyzes and presents data on NIH research programs and research personnel for use in program evaluation and policy studies.



Dr. Chris Palmer

Chris communicates about NIGMS-funded research through blog posts and videos.



Dr. Brian Pike

Brian is a scientific review officer in the NIGMS Office of Scientific Review. He oversees the review of a broad range of basic and clinical research applications, research education and training programs, and various NIGMS special initiatives.


Dr. Peter Preusch

Dr. Peter Preusch

Peter handles grants on the structural biology of nucleic acids, proteins, and their complexes, and computational studies of nucleic acid and protein interactions with ligands. An advocate for membrane protein structure determination efforts and a long-time leader in administering training programs—he currently manages the Medical Scientist Training Program, Peter also is chair of the NIGMS committee for the Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) program.



Dr. Veerasamy Ravichandran

Dr. Veerasamy “Ravi” Ravichandran

Ravi manages research, resource, and training grants related to his areas of expertise: bioinformatics and computational biology. In addition, he’s focused on facilitating and coordinating trans-NIH activities related to big data.



Dr. Michael Reddy

Dr. Michael “Mike” Reddy

Mike manages research grants on DNA replication, organismal response to the environment, and microbe-host interactions.


Christa Reynolds

Christa works on expanding the Diversity Program Consortium’s outreach through social media, blogs, and other communication approaches.


Dr. Mercedes Rubio

Mercedes oversees research supplements to promote diversity in health-related research and re-entry into biomedical and behavioral research careers, the National Research Mentoring Network, and the Bridges to the Baccalaureate program.



Dr. Michael Sakalian

Dr. Michael Sakalian

Michael is a virologist who manages grants in the areas of virus and AIDS-related cellular and structural biology. He also serves as the Institute’s AIDS-related research coordinator.


Dr. Michael Sakalian

Dr. Michael Sakalian

Michael is a virologist who manages grants in the areas of virus and AIDS-related cellular and structural biology. He also serves as the Institute’s AIDS-related research coordinator.


Dr. Paul Sammak

Dr. Paul Sammak

Paul manages grants in technology development and collaborative science. A biophysicist, Paul’s interest in interdisciplinary research was developed through his academic background in physics, cell biology, and pharmacology, and work in the biotech industry.


Dr. Michael Sesma

Dr. Michael Sesma

Mike, previously a scientific review administrator and program director at NIGMS, returned to the Institute after a 10-year career at the National Institute of Mental Health. He now oversees our postdoctoral training branch, which includes research training, fellowship, and career development programs.


Dr. Shiva Singh

Dr. Shiva Singh

Shiva, a microbiologist with a lot of experience in scientific administration, oversees predoctoral T32 training programs, predoctoral F30 and F31 fellowships, as well as a broad array of undergraduate student development programs.



Dr. Darren Sledjeski

Darren, a microbiologist, oversees grants in the areas of transcription mechanisms and symbiotic relationships and community ecology. His background includes prior NIH experience as a postdoctoral researcher, scientific initiatives manager, and scientific review officer.



Dr. Ward Smith

Dr. Ward Smith

Ward, a structural biologist, manages grants in biophysics. He directs the Protein Structure Initiative and guides the scientific course of several protein databases as well as biomedical research at NIH-supported synchrotron facilities.



Dr. Scott Somers

Dr. Scott Somers

Scott manages grants that examine the body’s responses to burns, traumatic injuries, and surgery at all levels—from molecular and cellular changes to the body-wide reactions seen in critically ill patients.


Dr. Fred Taylor

Dr. Fred Taylor

Fred oversees the NIGMS center that manages a variety of research, research training, faculty development, and research infrastructure improvement grants, including the Institutional Development Award (IDeA) program.


Dr. Janna Wehrle

Dr. Janna Wehrle

Janna manages both experimental and computational projects studying how proteins fold, survive stress, form complex cellular machines, and are removed from cells—and what happens when these processes go awry.


Dr. Kristine Willis

Dr. Kristine Willis

Kris oversees grants in the areas of mutagenesis and the repair of DNA damage. She’s involved in several NIGMS initiatives to promote rigor and reproducibility in biomedical research.



Dr. Mary Ann Wu

Mary Ann manages Biomedical Technology Research Resources awards primarily in the area of structural biology and also serves as an NIGMS contact for the SBIR/STTR program.


Dr. Hinda Zlotnik

Dr. Hinda Zlotnik

Hinda, a medical microbiologist, brings her broad academic, administrative, and research experience to NIGMS, where she leads efforts to increase the participation of underrepresented students and faculty in biomedical research.



Dr. Dorit Zuk

Dorit directs the NIGMS Division of Genetics and Developmental Biology, which supports basic research on the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie inheritance, gene expression, and development.


Former Contributors

Dr. Richard Anderson

Dr. Richard Anderson

Before his retirement in June 2010, Richard administered research grants focused on the mechanisms that control cell growth and differentiation. He also oversaw the NIGMS Human Genetic Cell Repository.



Dr. Jim Anderson

Dr. Jim Anderson

Before his retirement in May 2012, Jim had a long-standing interest in systems biology, promoting its approaches to study cell and molecular biology. He also fostered the development of bacterial informatics, including the establishment of an online genomic resource for the E. coli K12 bacterium.



Dr. Ravi Basavappa

Dr. Ravi Basavappa

Before transferring to the NIH Office of the Director in October 2010, Ravi administered grants in the Division of Cell Biology and Biophysics and was the Institute’s AIDS-related research coordinator. He also was involved in several NIH Common Fund programs, including the NIH Director’s Pioneer and New Innovator Awards and the nanomedicine initiative.



Dr. Jeremy Berg

Dr. Jeremy Berg

As former NIGMS director, Jeremy oversaw the Institute’s programs to fund biomedical research and to train the next generation of scientists. He was a leader in many NIH-wide activities and also found time to study a variety of molecular recognition processes in his NIH lab.


Rosalina Bray

Rosalina Bray

Before transferring to NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in January 2012, Bray contributed her expertise in program development, strategic planning, and evaluation to the NIGMS Office of Program Analysis and Evaluation.


Dr. Paul Brazhnik

Dr. Paul Brazhnik

Paul oversees grants in the areas of bioinformatics, computational biology, systems biology, biostatistics, and biological network modeling. In addition, he directs the Joint DMS/NIGMS Initiative to Support Research at the Interface of the Biological and Mathematical Sciences Exit icon.



Emily Carlson

Emily Carlson

Before transferring to the NIH Office of the Director in October 2017, Emily oversaw the Feedback Loop and other efforts to inform and engage different audiences on NIGMS’ goals, activities, and results.


Dr. Jean Chin

Dr. Jean Chin

Before her retirement in March 2017, Jean managed research grants in membrane biochemistry and biophysics, transport and lipid metabolism, and she served as the NIGMS contact for Academic Research Enhancement Awards (R15). Her other activities included supporting the development and maintenance of research resources, such as the Lipidomics Gateway Exit icon and the PSI:Biology Materials Repository Exit icon.


Travis Dorsey

Travis Dorsey

Travis, an economist by training, was a program analyst in the NIGMS Office of Program Planning, Analysis, and Evaluation. He used statistical and other methods to study the Institute’s research portfolios, training programs, and funding policies.


Dr. Régine Douthard

Dr. Régine Douthard

Before transferring to the NIH Office of the Director in January 2017, Régine, who trained in family care and environmental and occupational medicine, managed grants supported through the Institutional Development Award (IDeA) program as well as the dual-degree predoctoral F30 fellowship program.


Jilliene Mitchell Drayton

Jilliene Mitchell Drayton

Jilliene wrote about NIGMS diversity programs and also disseminated information about NIGMS-funded research and programs through a number of outreach activities, events, and meetings.



Dr. Irene Eckstrand

Dr. Irene Eckstrand

Before her retirement in December 2014, Irene was our expert on evolutionary biology and managed scientific programs to develop models of disease spread as well as models of scientific workforce dynamics.



Dr. Charles G. Edmonds

Dr. Charles G. Edmonds

Before his retirement in August 2017, Charles managed research grants in the development and application of proteomic and structural biology methods and techniques.



Dr. Shawn Drew Gaillard

Dr. Shawn Drew Gaillard

Before transferring to NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in November 2015, Shawn, a molecular biologist, managed both research and research training programs. Her research portfolio focused on cell growth and differentiation, and her research training portfolio was aimed at increasing the number of historically underrepresented populations pursuing leadership positions in science.


Dr. Barbara Gerratana

Dr. Barbara Gerratana

Before transferring to NIH’s Office of the Director in January 2017, Barbara handled research grants in enzymology and biotechnology, including natural products biosynthesis, as well as institutional predoctoral training grants in biotechnology and NIH Pathway to Independence Awards in pharmacology, physiology, and biological chemistry. Barbara played an active role in the International Cooperative Biodiversity Group program, which is co-funded by NIH.


Dr. Alison Hall

Dr. Alison Hall

Before leaving NIGMS in July 2017, Alison was deputy director of the Division of Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity. She has 30 years of experience in academia, including conducting research, overseeing graduate education at a medical school, serving on and chairing T32 study sections, and directing NIH-funded diversity programs.


Dr. Sue Haynes

Dr. Sue Haynes

Before her retirement in August 2017, Sue specialized in reproductive biology and embryonic development, including the basic biology of embryonic and adult stem cells. She started her career studying the fruit fly’s genetic control of early embryonic and reproductive development.


Dr. Warren Jones

Dr. Warren Jones

Before his retirement in May 2012, Warren handled research grants in enzymology, particularly those concerned with the chemical and structural basis of catalysis, and he had a long-standing interest in metabolic engineering. He also managed post-award aspects of the NIH Director’s Pioneer Awards program and served as the NIGMS liaison for legislative affairs.


Dr. Story Landis

Dr. Story Landis

Before her retirement in September 2014, Story directed the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and co-chaired the search committee for a new NIGMS director.



Dr. Cathy Lewis

Dr. Cathy Lewis

Until her retirement in January 2017, Cathy directed the NIGMS division that supports basic research and training in cell biology and biophysics. She played an active role in developing new NIH initiatives in single molecule biophysics and live cell imaging.


Dr. Clifton Poodry

Dr. Clifton Poodry

Until his retirement in January 2014, Clif oversaw the NIGMS Division of Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity (TWD).


Dr. Matt Portnoy

Dr. Matt Portnoy

Before transferring to the NIH Office of the Director, Office of Extramural Research, in February 2011, Matt was responsible for grants related to DNA repair and recombination and also coordinated SBIR and STTR small business grants for NIGMS.




Dr. Alberto Rivera-Rentas

Dr. Alberto Rivera-Rentas

Before transferring to NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health in February 2012, Alberto managed research training programs that increase the participation of underrepresented students in biomedical research. He represented NIGMS on the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research.


Dr. Sally Rockey

Dr. Sally Rockey

Until September 2015, Sally was NIH’s deputy director for extramural research. She oversaw the development and implementation of NIH research funding policies, which she discussed on her blog Rock Talk.



Dr. Mike Rogers

Dr. Mike Rogers

Until his retirement in May 2015, Mike was a division director with his hands in several research and training pots: chemistry, biochemistry, biotechnology, pharmacology, anesthesiology, and the physiological response to trauma and burns. He also had a major interest in fostering both drug discovery and development and cooperation between NIH and industry.


Dr. John Schwab

Dr. John Schwab

Before his retirement in May 2011, John handled grants in synthetic organic chemistry, natural products chemistry, and high-throughput chemistry. He was heavily involved in chemical methodologies and library development, including a related NIH Roadmap initiative.


Dr. Paul Sheehy

Dr. Paul Sheehy

Before transferring to NIH’s National Eye Institute in May 2016, Paul worked on various aspects of grants policy. One of his major interests was in IT systems for grant application and administration, including Grants.gov and the eRA Commons.



Dr. Douglas Sheeley

Dr. Douglas Sheeley

Before transferring to NIH’s National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research in October 2017, Doug co-lead the Biomedical Technology Research Resources program and served as the program director for the Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study . He also was the project team leader for the NIH Common Fund Technology Centers for Networks and Pathways program.


Dr. Helen Sunshine

Dr. Helen Sunshine

Until her retirement in April 2016, Helen oversaw the review of a broad range of research, research training, research education, and center grant applications assigned to NIGMS. She also sat on the NIH committee that develops, implements, and evaluates review policies and procedures for all types of grant applications.


Dr. Amy Swain

Dr. Amy Swain

Before leaving NIGMS in January 2016, Amy oversaw a portfolio of biomedical technology programs. With a background in crystallography, she specifically managed technology grants for structural biology and for informatics, and she was a key contact for NIH synchrotron activities.


Dr. Laurie Tompkins

Dr. Laurie Tompkins

Before her retirement in December 2012, Laurie was our expert on the genetics and genomics of behavior and circadian clocks in a wide variety of model organisms. She also managed grants on transcription mechanisms.



Nancy Vess

Nancy Vess

As former chief of the financial management branch, Nancy oversaw the NIGMS budget and led a team responsible for developing the Institute’s fiscal management plans, preparing Congressional budget justifications, and coordinating the support of all NIGMS research and training grants.



Dr. Jennifer Villani

Dr. Jennifer Villani

Before transferring to the NIH Office of Disease Prevention in April 2014, Jen contributed her expertise in program planning, management, and evaluation to scientific programs in bioinformatics and computational biology.



Sarah Wallen

Sarah Wallen

Sarah, the 2015 summer intern in the NIGMS Office of Program Planning, Analysis, and Evaluation, is a math major at James Madison University who collected data for a variety of projects.


Dr. Peggy Weidman

Dr. Peggy Weidman

Before her retirement in April 2017, Peggy organized the scientific review of grant applications for programs that seek to increase the diversity of the biomedical research workforce.



Dr. Marion Zatz

Dr. Marion Zatz

Before her retirement in January 2015, Marion managed grants involving research on cell cycle control, programmed cell death, and stem cells as well as predoctoral training grants in cellular, molecular, and biochemical sciences and molecular medicine. She also administered NIGMS’ Diversity and Career Re-entry Supplements program.