WVU researcher heads NIH panel

New study section to score research grant applications

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. –James M. O'Donnell, Ph.D., of the West Virginia University School of Medicine has been appointed to lead a newly organized study section within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that will review grant applications from scientists across the country.

The peer-review panel called Pathophysiological Basis of Mental Disorders and Addictions will study about 180 applications each year for the NIH Center for Scientific Review and provide NIH program staff with scientific critiques and priority scores. O’Donnell will chair the meetings of the group’s 15 members – mostly research faculty at other universities – three times each year to discuss and evaluate the research proposals.

“This is recognition of Dr. O’Donnell’s research expertise and his leadership in the scientific community,” said Fred Butcher, Ph.D., interim vice president for health sciences at WVU. “It is indicative of the growing presence of West Virginia University scientists at the leading edge of discovery in the biosciences.”

NIH formed the section because of a mushrooming interest across the biomedical research world in studying the molecular and chemical effects, along with behavioral effects, of a range of drugs, O’Donnell said. The group’s responsibilities include reviewing studies of medicines created for treatment purposes as well as drugs of abuse.

“We are really focused on studies that take an integrative approach to research questions – pulling together diverse teams of researchers from biochemical, molecular, genetic and behavioral research and other fields that can look at things from a systems perspective,” O’Donnell said.

O’Donnell is an assistant vice president for research and professor and vice chair of the Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry. 


For more information:
Andrea Brunais, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087
bc: 9-9-09

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