UNTHSC researchers tapped for NIH leadership roles

June 30, 2017

By Alex Branch

SingCum_web

Meharvan “Sonny” Singh, PhD and Tom Cunningham, PhD

Two UNT Health Science Center researchers have been selected for leadership roles on National Institutes of Health scientific review boards.

Meharvan “Sonny” Singh, PhD, Dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Interim Director for the Center for Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Disease Research, will chair the Aging Systems and Geriatrics Study Section.

Tom Cunningham, PhD, Professor in the Institute for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease, will chair the Neuroendocrinology, Neuroimmunology, Rhythms and Sleep Study Section.

Their terms as chair begin July 1.

Study Sections are panels of 25 to 30 scientists who review and score for scientific merit the grant applications submitted by researchers from across the United States. The scored applications are then forwarded to program directors within specific health institutes, where the decision is made whether or not proposals are funded. The study sections’ scores play a key role in the process.

Dr. Cunningham and Dr. Singh both served on study sections prior to being selected as chairpersons.

“There are always more good proposals then there is money to fund them,” Dr. Cunningham said. “My experience with study sections is of members taking careful and reasonable approaches to judging the scientific merit of each proposal we consider. There is a lot at stake.”

Study sections members are chosen as content experts for having expertise in certain fields. Section chairpersons, who fill two-year terms, are responsible for ensuring proposals receive high quality, fair reviews.

Study sections meet three times per year and members are generally each assigned seven to 12 proposals to review prior to each meeting.

“Participation on study sections can create professional relationships that lead to future collaborations among study section members, who are chosen from research institutions across the country,” Dr. Singh said. “It also offers invaluable insight into factors that can determine whether a proposal is funded or not.

“Such service is not just a privilege, but a valuable lesson in grantsmanship that we can share with our colleagues here at UNT Health Science Center,” he said.

Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent Adams
HSC announces hiring of U.S. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health as Chief Strategy Officer

Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams, U.S. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, will join The University of North Texas Health Science Center (HSC) at Fort Worth as Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, President Michael Williams announced.   Dr. Trent-Adams, who se...Read more

Aug 13, 2020

Sujita Adhikari
COVID contact tracing uncovers the stories behind the numbers 

By Sally Crocker  Behind the numbers of COVID-19 are real people. Real stories. Real experiences.   In her final term as an HSC School of Public Health student, Sujita Adhikari joined Tarrant County Public Health’s (TCPH) contact tracing team, calling quarantined, COVID-positi...Read more

Aug 11, 2020

Dr. Priya Bui
Pandemic spurs pediatric faculty and students to create mental health plan calls

By Steven Bartolotta It was mid-March, as COVID-19 was spreading across the world, when Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Dr. Priya Bui, an Assistant Professor in Pediatrics, started seeing an even more disturbing trend. Local cases of child abuse were rising, and fast.   T...Read more

Aug 10, 2020

Deterra Pouch
HSC, Deterra launch campaign to protect families from unused medications

By Diane Smith-Pinckney The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth is launching an educational campaign to prevent overdose deaths by teaching families how to properly dispose of unwanted or leftover prescription medications.   Through a collaboration with ...Read more

Aug 10, 2020