WVU Neuroscientists Appointed as NIH Panel Chairpersons

Two researchers from West Virginia University’s Center for Neuroscience have been named chairpersons of two different committees of the National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review.

Aina Puce, Ph.D., was named chairperson of the NIH Cognition and Perception Study Section.  Puce is director of the WVU Center for Advanced Imaging and a professor of radiology.  Her research investigates how the brain uses multiple senses to comprehend other people’s actions.  It is funded by an NIH grant from the National Institute for Neurological Diseases and Stroke (NINDS).

George Spirou, Ph.D., will serve as chairperson of the NIH Auditory System Study Section.   Spirou is director of the WVU Center for Neuroscience and director of research in otolaryngology.  He holds NIH grants from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communicative Disorders and the National Center for Research Resources.  


The NIH lists WVU’s Department of Otolaryngology as one of the top ten ear, nose and throat research departments in the country. Spirou helped increase that department’s annual NIH funding to nearly $2.8 million. 

“We select members based on their achievement in their scientific discipline, which is evident by the quality of their research accomplishments, publication in scientific journals, and other honors,” said Toni Scarpa, M.D., Ph.D., director for scientific review at NIH.

Chairpersons are typically selected after being promoted from an ad hoc participant to a full committee member.   They have often served two years of a four-year term before their promotion.  The multidisciplinary committees normally consist of 20 permanent, and ten ad hoc members.

 West Virginia University neuroscientists George Spirou, Ph.D., and Aina Puce, Ph.D., were selected as chairpersons of two separate NIH committees. “This is such a valuable experience because I have the opportunity to work with top researchers in my field and see what’s up and coming in research,” Puce said. 

“These appointments reflect the national and international visibility that is being achieved by members of the WVU Center for Neuroscience,” said Spirou. 

For more information on the WVU Center for Neurosciences, visit www.hsc.wvu.edu/wvucn/.

- WVU -

For more information:
Amy Johns, HSC News Service, (304) 293-7087
cw: 08-06-07

Return To News Releases