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Virginia Tech News / Articles / 2005 / 03 

Virginia Bioinformatics Institute's researcher serving on National Institutes of Health study section

March 23, 2005

Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) research associate professor Pedro Mendes, of Blacksburg, has accepted an invitation to serve on a study section for the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) Center for Scientific Review (CSR), which evaluates the majority of the research grant applications sent to NIH.

The CSR is responsible for receiving and processing all grant applications for NIH and reviewing and assessing the scientific merit of 70 percent of the applications. The primary goal of the CSR is to ensure that NIH applications receive fair, independent, and timely reviews, allowing NIH to fund the most promising research.

Review activities for the CSR are organized into Integrated Review Groups (IRGs). Each IRG represents a cluster of study sections around a general scientific area. Applications are generally assigned to an IRG first, and then to a specific study section within that IRG for evaluation. Mendes has accepted an invitation to serve on Modeling and Analysis of Biological Systems study section. His term begins immediately and ends on June 30, 2008.

"Members are selected on the basis of their demonstrated competence and achievement in their scientific discipline as evidenced by the quality of research accomplishments, publications in scientific journals, and other significant scientific activities, achievements and honors," said Brent Stanfield, acting director of the CSR. "Service on a study section also requires mature judgment and objectivity as well as the ability to work effectively in a group, qualities we believe Dr. Mendes will bring to this important task."

"Dr. Mendes is a world-renowned expert in modeling and simulation of biological processes and systems," said VBI Executive and Scientific Director Bruno Sobral. "His leadership in this field and at VBI is reflected in this appointment, where I am sure his service will be invaluable."

Mendes' study section falls under the Bioengineering Sciences and Technologies IRG, which reviews applications that focus on fundamental aspects of bioengineering and technology development in the following areas: gene and drug delivery systems, imaging principles for molecules and cells, modeling of biological systems, bioinformatics and computer science, statistics and data management, instrumentation, chips and microarrays, biosensors, and biomaterials.

Mendes holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Wales Aberystwyth (UK).

Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) at Virginia Tech has a research platform centered on understanding the "disease triangle" of host-pathogen-environment interactions. With almost $49 million in extramural research funding awarded to date, VBI researchers are working on many human, crop, and animal diseases.

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech has grown to become the largest university in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, Virginia Tech's eight colleges are dedicated to putting knowledge to work through teaching, research, and outreach activities and to fulfilling its vision to be among the top 30 research universities in the nation. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 180 academic degree programs.