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Home » News & Events » NIAAA Newsletter » Newsletter 25

NIAAA Newsletter

Personnel News

New Appointments

Photo of Dr. Lorenzo Leggio

Dr. Lorenzo Leggio

Photo of Dr. Curtis Carey

Dr. Curtis Carey

Dr. Lorenzo Leggio has been appointed acting chief of the Section on Clinical Psychoneuroendocrinology and Neuropsychopharmacology, a joint NIAAA/National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) appointment in the Laboratory of Clinical and Translational Studies.

Ms. Erin Bryant joined the Communications and Public Liaison Branch of the Office of Science Policy and Communications as a science writer and editor on April 23, 2012. Ms. Bryant previously worked in the Office of Autism Research Coordination at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), writing about research advances in the field of autism.

Ms. Judit O’Connor was appointed budget officer on April 2, 2012. Ms. O’Connor comes to NIAAA from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), where she had served as team lead/senior budget analyst in the NIAID Budget Office since October 2009.

Dr. Curtis Carey has been appointed chief of NIAAA’s Communications and Public Liaison Branch. He was most recently the National Weather Service’s Director of Communications and Executive Affairs. He is an adjunct professor of communications at American University, where he teaches social marketing in the graduate school.


Dr. Larry Baizer of the Division of Neuroscience and Behavior has moved to the National Cancer Institute (NCI). He is a program officer in the NCI Clinical Trials Program.

Dr. R. Thomas Gentry of the Division of Metabolism and Health Effects retired in June 2012. He joined the Institute in 1996 after 15 years in research at the Rockefeller University and the Alcohol Research Center at the Bronx Veterans Affairs Medical Center.  Dr. Gentry intends to pursue his life-long interests in alcohol pharmacokinetics and teaching.  He will continue to serve on the Blue Ribbon advisory panel for the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety and will join the Committee on Alcohol, Other Drugs, and Transportation, Transportation Research Board of the National Research Council.


Dr. Joseph Hibbeln, acting chief of the Section on Nutritional Neuroscience, won the Wilhelm Normann Medal, the highest award of the German Society for Oils and Lipids Research. The medal will be awarded at the 10th Euro Fed Lipid Meeting on September 24, in Krakow, Poland. 

Dr. Pal Pacher, chief of the Section on Oxidative Stress–Tissue Injury, is the recipient of the Board of Director’s Young Investigator Award and gave a Plenary Lecture at the International Cannabinoid Research Society’s 2012 Annual Symposium in Freiburg, Germany.

Dr. Mariela Shirley, a program officer in the Division of Epidemiology and Prevention Research, was one of two NIH recipients to be awarded the American Psychological Association’s 2012 Meritorious Research Service Commendation. The award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to psychological science through their service as employees of the Federal Government or other organizations.

Dr. Yossi Tam, staff scientist in the Laboratory of Physiologic Studies, received an Early Career Development Grant Award from the Obesity Society. This is a highly competitive award, given to two individuals annually (out of 87 applications this year). Tam’s proposal aims to explore the role of soluble leptin receptors and their interactions with the endocannabinoid system in obesity-related leptin resistance.

A number of NIAAA employees were recognized by Dr. Francis Collins, Director, NIH, with a 2012 NIH Director’s Award for their exceptional contributions in fulfilling the NIH mission.

Dr. Judy Arroyo was recognized for her contributions to the NIH Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Research Coordinating Committee.

Dr. Vivian Faden, Maureen Gardner, Shuly Babitz, Jo-Ann Kriebel, and Dr. Trish Powell were recognized for their work on the new guide, Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention for Youth: A Practitioner’s Guide.

Keith Lamirande received the Ruth L. Kirschstein Mentoring Award in recognition of "exemplary performance while demonstrating significant leadership, skill, and ability in serving as a mentor."

Dr. Qi-Ying Liu was honored for his role in the launch of the NIH Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network (BPN) and contributions to “the exemplary and speedy establishment of a robust ‘virtuapharma’ infrastructure and novel funding mechanism to execute drug development projects through clinical testing.”

Dr. Margaret Murray received the award for her work on fetal alcohol spectrum disorders research in Russia as part of the Brain Disorders in the Developing World: Research Across the Lifespan Program.

Qiaoping Yuan, Basel Baghal, Elisa Moore, and Pei-Hong Shen were recognized for their work in bioinformatics at NIAAA.