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NIH Announces 3 New Members to Director's Advisory Committee

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The National Institutes of Health (NIH) named Maria Freire, PhD, of New York, New York; Beatriz Luna, PhD, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and James Thrall, MD, of Boston, Massachusetts to the Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD). The committee serves to advise the NIH Director on policy and planning issues related to biomedical and behavioral research, research training, and translating research results for the public.

Dr. Freire currently serves as the president of The Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine, and has been active on a number of national and international boards and committees. Before her appointment at the Lasker Foundation, Dr. Freire served as the chief executive officer and president of the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development. An expert in technology commercialization, she established and headed the Office of Technology Development at the University of Maryland at Baltimore and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and was director for the Office of Technology Transfer at the NIH from 1995 until 2001. Dr. Freire trained at the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia in Lima, Peru. She earned a PhD in Biophysics from the University of Virginia and completed postgraduate work in immunology and virology at the University of Virginia and then at the University of Tennessee. In addition to being a Fulbright Fellowship recipient, she received 2 US Congressional Science fellowships and has earned numerous awards and distinctions. She was awarded the Health and Human Services Secretary's Award for Distinguished Service, the 1999 Arthur S. Flemming Award and the 2002 Bayh-Dole Award.

Dr. Luna is an associate professor of psychiatry and psychology at the University of Pittsburgh, and training faculty in the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition and the Center for Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. She is …

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