Clinical Center News
Summer 2021

Staff scientists awarded honorific titles

Fewer than 15% of researchers are selected

Congratulations go to six Staff Scientists who recently received the honorific titles of Senior Associate Scientist and Associate Scientist.

Senior Associate Scientists

Anna Lau, Hyesun Kuehn and Liang Ma
Anna F. Lau, Department of Laboratory Medicine - Microbiology Services
Hyesun Kuehn, Department of Laboratory Medicine - Immunology Services
Liang Ma, Critical Care Medicine Department - AIDS Section


Associate Scientists

Ousmane Hamadoun Cisse, Kevin M. Vannella, and Valeria De Giorgi
Ousmane Hamadoun Cisse, Critical Care Medicine Department
Kevin M. Vannella, Critical Care Medicine Department - Research Section
Valeria De Giorgi, Department of Transfusion Medicine - Infectious Diseases Section

The Clinical Center created these titles last year to professionally recognize staff scientists who support research and are functioning at a more senior level. They must be national or international experts in the field, have made scientific or scholarly contributions of major significance, have received honors and awards for those contributions or have special knowledge and skills which benefit their Institute or Center or NIH.

A relatively small number of Staff Scientists may hold these honorific titles. Currently, no more than 15% of the total number of Staff Scientists in any NIH Institute or Center may be Associate Scientists and no more than 10% may be Senior Associate Scientists. Recipients of these titles are selected from nominations by Department Chiefs that are reviewed by an executive committee appointed by Dr. John Gallin, Clinical Center Chief Scientific Officer.

"Staff scientists who support research at the Clinical Center are vitally important to the work here," Dr. Gallin noted. "These titles are comparable to those in universities, allowing Staff Scientists to more easily translate their positions."

Dr. Ana Lau provides microbiological testing services to support the intramural cGMP program. Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations are enforced by the FDA and help assure proper design, monitoring and control of manufacturing processes and facilities.

"I'm excited and humbled to have been selected for the honorific title of Senior Associate Scientist. I am grateful for the recognition and opportunities it provides," said Lau.

Dr. Valeria De Giorgi, currently the acting chief of the Infection Diseases Section and associate director for research in the Department of Transfusion Medicine, was awarded the title of Associate Scientist.

De Giorgi said "This past year has been challenging for the Infection Diseases Section; in a very short time frame we have implemented SARS-CoV-2 testing, both molecular and immunoassay, in order to support NIH SARS-CoV-2 asymptomatic testing and qualification of COVID-19 convalescent plasma unit collected in our department respectively. I am truly grateful for receiving this honorary title. It's such a nice feeling to be recognized for one's hard work. I look forward to continuing to support the Department of Transfusion Medicine, the Infectious Diseases Section and the outstanding CC biomedical research program and would like to thank my mentors, Dr. Alter and Dr. Cantilena, for their invaluable support and encouragement."

These scientists continue to function under the Intramural Professional Designation of Staff Scientist. Although these titles do not automatically mean a pay increase, the performance and achievements that resulted in approval of the honorary title may be used to support a pay increase that is within the Title 42 Pay Model provisions.

Interested in nominating a scientist to join this esteemed group? Nominations for 2022 are due in early September 2021.

- Debbie Accame

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