Aryn Gittis Appointed Member of NIH Peer Review Group
Aryn Gittis, associate professor of biological sciences, was recently appointed to serve as a member of the Sensorimotor Integration Study Section, Center for Scientific Review for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The Center for Scientific Review organizes the peer review groups that evaluate NIH grant applications and helps direct the NIH in funding the most promising current research.
“Membership on a study section represents a major commitment of professional time and energy as well as a unique opportunity to contribute to the national biomedical research effort,” said Richard Nakamura, Director of the Center for Scientific Review. “Study sections review grant applications submitted to the NIH, make recommendations on these applications to the appropriate NIH national advisory council or board, and survey the status of research in their fields of science. These functions are of great value to medical and allied research in this country.”
The Sensorimotor Integration Study Section reviews applications concerned with the structure and function of motor, sensorimotor and vestibular systems. Emphasis is on integrative approaches to elucidating neural substrates of these systems employing neurophysiological, molecular/genetic, neuroanatomical, biophysical, behavioral, neuroimaging, bioengineering and computational methods.
“I am excited by this opportunity to serve in the scientific review process,” Gittis said. “With funding so tight, making sure that the best science gets recognized and supported is a huge responsibility.”
Implementing peer review groups insures that NIH grant applications receive fair, independent, and expert reviews. It also keeps the members of each study section well-informed with the latest research being done in the field.
“Serving on a panel where I get to hear the ideas of other scientists with different perspectives on research provides an understanding of the breadth of depth of scientific exploration at the national level which is very exciting,” said Gittis.
As the largest funder of biomedical research, the NIH invests over $32 billion a year in research. As a result, 70% of major drugs were developed or made possible by NIH-funded research, and it is estimated that 1.35 million deaths are prevented each year due to NIH research advances in treating or preventing cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes.