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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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New Chief for NIH's Basic Research Institute
18 October 2011 4:44 pm
The National Institutes of Health's (NIH's) basic research institute has a new director. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) cell biologist Chris Kaiser will take the helm of the $2 billion National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) next spring.
Kaiser is now chair of MIT's department of biology, where he uses yeast to study how proteins fold and transport molecules within cells. He will replace NIGMS acting director Judith Greenberg, who has been filling in since Jeremy Berg left in July.
He will join NIH's fourth-largest institute at a time of ever-tighter budgets. Maintaining NIGMS's basic R01 research grants and strengthening the peer review process are his top priorities, he told ScienceInsider. He also plans to continue Berg's practice of blogging about how NIGMS makes funding decisions. "There is massive concern bordering on panic at the academic institutions about getting grants reviewed and so forth," Kaiser says. "It's really important even if times get tougher for stakeholders to understand how the money is being deployed."
Kaiser also expects to move forward with a new NIGMS strategic plan for its training programs. In implementing the plan, he intends to draw on lessons learned from expanding the proportion of minority graduate students in MIT's biology department from 5% to 18% over 6 years. One key step was to reach out to faculty mentors at historically minority colleges, who then suggested that their best students consider MIT for graduate school. NIGMS could look for ways to encourage such interactions, Kaiser says. "The real issue is that there's actually a huge talent pool of minority students out there but they're one step removed from applying to a place like MIT."