Committee Member Biographies
Thomas R. Cech, PhD, Committee Chair, is president of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, succeeding Purnell Choppin in January 2000. He is also Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He received his BA degree in chemistry from Grinnell College and his PhD degree in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. His postdoctoral work in biology was conducted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Cech is a strong advocate for science education at all levels and has worked to improve the career development and mentorship of young scientists. Dr. Cech is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, and American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Among the honors he has received are the Lasker Award, the National Medal of Science, and the 1989 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Aaron DiAntonio, MD, PhD, is currently assistant professor of molecular biology and pharmacology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Dr. DiAntonio’s research interests focus on the molecular mechanisms that regulate synapse size and strength during development. His studies combine genetics, electrophysiology, and neuroanatomy to characterize the plasticity of neural circuits in both Drosophila and mouse. Dr. DiAntonio received an A.B. in biochemistry and molecular biology from Harvard in 1988, an MPhil in biochemistry from Cambridge University in 1989, an MD from Stanford University School of Medicine in 1995 and a PhD in molecular and cellular physiology in 1995 from the same institution. He previously held a postdoctoral fellowship
within the department of molecular and cellular biology at the University of California, Berkeley (1995–1999). Some of his many honors and awards include the Keck Foundation Young Scholars Award, McKnight Scholar Award (2002–2005), Sloan Research Fellow (2001–2003), Whitehall Foundation Award (2000–2003), HHMI Faculty Development Award (2000–2002), and the Burroughs Wellcome Career Award in the Biomedical Sciences (1998–2003).
Janice G. Douglas, MD, is currently professor of medicine, physiology and biophysics and professor of pharmacology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. She was formerly the director of the Hypertension Division and vice chair for academic affairs for the Department of Medicine. Dr. Douglas is internationally renowned as a physician-scientist and conducts studies on cellular and molecular mechanisms of blood pressure regulation with a focus on the kidney and the renin angiotensin system and racial/ethnic diversity in the pathophysiology of essential hypertension. She has extensive authorship of medical publications and is (or has been) a member of editorial boards, publication committees and/or associate editor (guest editor) for a number of prestigious medical journals including the Journal of Clinical Investigation, the American Journal of Physiology, Circulation, Hypertension, the Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine, Ethnicity and Disease, and the Endocrine Society, to name a few. Dr. Douglas has been elected to membership in the most prestigious organizations for physician scientists, which include the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association for American Physicians, Fellow of the High Blood Pressure Council of the American Heart Association, the Association for Academic Minority Physicians, the Central Society for Clinical Research, and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. She has served on the Board of Directors of the ABIM. Dr. Douglas has served on numerous policy and review committees for the National Institutes of Health and other organizations. National Academies experience includes membership on the Committee on National Needs for Biomedical and Behavioral Scientists (1997–2000) and the Committee on Career Paths for Clinical Research (1991–1993). Dr. Douglas received her BA from Fisk University, Nashville (1964) and her MD from Meharry Medical College, Nashville (1968).
Susan A. Gerbi, PhD, is currently the George Eggleston Professor of Biochemistry and founding Chair of the Department of Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry at Brown University. Current research interests include regions and sequences of DNA synthesis initiation, further exploration of the interplay between regulation of replication and transcription, and rRNA biogenesis. Among her honors, she received the State
of Rhode Island Governor’s Award for Excellence in Research. She received her PhD from Yale (1970). Previous positions include a 2-year spell as a NATO and then Jane Coffin Childs Postdoctoral Fellow at the Max Planck Institute in Germany, and as an assistant and associate professor at Brown University. Dr. Gerbi has been a member of the American Society of Cell Biology (ASCB) for over 30 years and while ASCB president, Gerbi formed the International Affairs Committee and the ASCB Archives. Gerbi has served on ASCB Council, as a chair of women in Cell Biology, and also on the Advisory Panel for Biomedical Research for the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). She is a founding member and past chair of the AAMC Graduate Research Education and Training (GREAT) Group. She has been active, in collaboration with the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), in considering the education and employment of biomedical scientists in the United States.
Bruce R. Levin, PhD, is currently the Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor in the Department of Biology at Emory University. He received his BS in zoology, his MS and PhD in genetics, all from the University of Michigan. The research performed in his laboratory includes theoretical and empirical studies of the population and evolutionary dynamics of infectious diseases and their control. Their theoretical work involves the development and analysis of mathematical and computer simulation models. Their empirical studies include in vitro and in mouseo experiments with E. coli and other bacteria and their plasmids, phage, and transposons. Dr. Levin has taught at Brown University (1967–1971) and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (1971–1992). Since 1992, he has been at Emory University. He has also been the Tage Erlander Guest Professor at Lund University and Uppsala University (1998). Dr. Levin has organized an array of conferences and symposia, including the first Microbial Population Biology Gordon Conferences in 1985. He has served and/or currently serves on the editorial boards of Evolution, Theoretical Population Biology, Evolutionary Ecology Research, The American Naturalist, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, and Emerging Infectious Diseases. He served on the National Research Council’s Committees on Pesticide Resistance and Trends in Early Careers of PhDs in the Biological Sciences and is a past member of the NRC’s Board on Biology. Dr. Levin is a member of the American Academy of Microbiology and a Foreign Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
Carol L. Manahan, PhD, is currently an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellow placed at the National Science Foundation. She is in the Division of Sci-
ence Resources Statistics (SRS) working on the Postdoc Data Project. This project is a multi-year process to determine the feasibility and design for ongoing data collection on postdoctorate researchers (foreign as well as domestic) in the United States. Prior to the National Science Foundation, she was a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in the laboratory of Dr. Peter Devreotes, director of the Department of Cell Biology (2000–2004). Her research focused on determining the mechanisms of adaptation to chemotactic signals in the social amoeba, Dictyostelium discoideum. While at Johns Hopkins, she was president (2002–2003) and treasurer (2001–2002) of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Postdoctoral Association (JHPDA). Dr. Manahan is one of the founders of the National Postdoctoral Association and was chair of the Executive Board (2002–2004). In addition, she has served as chair of the Executive Director Selection Committee, member of the Board Development and Finance Governance Committees, and member of the AAMC GREAT Group Postdoctoral Committee.
Georgine M. Pion, PhD, is a research associate professor in the Department of Psychology and Human Development at Vanderbilt University and senior research associate in the Center for Evaluation Research and Methodology, Vanderbilt Institute for Public Policy Studies. Dr. Pion’s research has focused on career development and human resource policy, particularly as it pertains to the education, training, and employment of scientists and clinical personnel. Much of her work has focused on issues surrounding the education and employment of doctoral-level personnel, including those trained in research or clinical/professional fields. She recently directed a customer satisfaction survey of R01 applicants and an evaluation of their predoctoral work. Additionally, she also performed a large-scale evaluation of predoctoral research training programs in the biomedical and behavioral sciences for the National Institutes of Health. Her survey work at the NIH earned her a Merit Award in 1999. In collaboration with Vanderbilt special education faculty, she has completed two national surveys of doctoral students and recent doctoral recipients from graduate programs in special education in order to address issues related to the imbalance between faculty supply and demand in this field. She has served as chair of the Technical Advisory Committee for the Survey of Earned Doctorates, a member of the National Research Council’s Panel on the Career Outcomes of Men and Women Scientists and Engineers, and a review group member for NSF’s Science Policy and Indicators Research Program. At present, she is a member of the National Research Council’s Advisory Group on the Evaluation of the Lucille S. Markey Charitable Foundation, the National Research Council’s Committee on the Training Needs of Health Professionals in Domestic Violence, the Na-
tional Science Foundation’s Doctoral Data Advisory Committee, and the Center for Mental Health Services Human Resource Data Committee. Dr. Pion obtained her PhD from Claremont Graduate School in 1980.
Dagmar Ringe, PhD, is Lucille P. Markey Professor of Biochemistry and Chemistry at Brandeis University. She received her BA degree in chemistry from Barnard College, Columbia University and her PhD in organic chemistry from Boston University. After postdoctoral work at the University of Munich and MIT, she joined the staff at MIT and moved to Brandeis in 1990. She has served as the chair of the biophysics program at Brandeis and as the program director for biophysics at the National Science Foundation. She has also investigated funding models for scientific research. Dr. Ringe’s research interests are in the areas of structure and function of proteins, enzyme mechanisms, protein-drug interactions, time-resolved protein crystallography, synthesis of enzyme inhibitors, and control of cofactor chemistry by protein structure. She has published over 160 journal articles in the areas of her research interests. Dr. Ringe was co-chair of the Gordon Conference on Enzymes, Coenzymes and Metabolic Pathways and has participated in the Conferences on Proteolytic Enzymes and Their Inhibitors, Quantitative Structure and Activity Relationships, Metals in Biology and Microbial Stress Response. Her awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Biophysical Society Margaret Oakley Dayhoff Award for Outstanding Performance in Research.
Julie A. Theriot, PhD, received her PhD from the University of California, San Francisco, and is now associate professor of biochemistry and of microbiology and immunology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Theriot is studying the transformation of chemical energy to mechanical energy in cell movement. Her work focuses on understanding the mechanisms of actin-based movement of the intracytoplasmic pathogenic bacteria Listeria monocytogenes and Shigella flexneri. She is investigating these systems at the molecular level, to yield insights into the mechanisms of whole-cell actin-based motility, as well as bacterial pathogenesis. Other research interests include establishment and maintenance of bacterial polarity, quantitative videomicroscopy, and image and motion analysis. Honors include a Whitehead Fellowship and a Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering. Dr. Theriot recently received The School of Medicine Award for Graduate Teaching and was named a 2004 MacArthur Fellow.
Keith R. Yamamoto, PhD, is professor of cellular and molecular pharmacology and executive vice dean of the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. He has been a member of the UCSF fac-
ulty since 1976, serving as director of the PIBS Graduate Program in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (1988–2003), chair of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology (1994–2003), vice dean for research (2002–2003), and was made executive vice dean in 2004. Dr. Yamamoto’s research focuses on the mechanisms of signaling and gene regulation by intracellular receptors, which mediate the actions of several classes of essential hormones and cellular signals. Dr. Yamamoto was a founding editor of Molecular Biology of the Cell, and serves on numerous editorial boards and scientific advisory boards, and national committees focused on public and scientific policy, public understanding and support of biomedical research, and science education. Dr. Yamamoto has played a key role in recent changes to the grant peer review process at the National Institutes of Health, most recently serving as chair of the Advisory Committee to the NIH Center for Scientific Review (CSR) (1996–2000) and a member of the CSR Panel on Scientific Boundaries for Review (1998–2000). Dr. Yamamoto was elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1988, the National Academy of Sciences in 1989, the Institute of Medicine in 2003, and as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences in 2002.