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Message from Constantine A. Stratakis, MD, D(med)Sci

Scientific Director Constantine A. Stratakis, MD, D(med)Sci

The Division of Intramural Research (DIR) of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) comprises a great number of principal investigators in programs and several independent laboratories, trainees from postbaccalaureate to clinical and postdoctoral fellows, and a staff complement of approximately 1200 people. Together, we have helped to shape the stories contained on the disc enclosed with this mailing.

In August 2011, I was privileged to be selected to lead the DIR after serving the Division as its Acting Director since July 1st, 2009. I am looking forward to working together with our staff, the staff of the extramural NICHD divisions and branches, and our Institute Director, Dr. Alan Guttmacher, to serve our Institute's mission and our Intramural Research Program. NICHD is in the process of finalizing a process that will outline our Institute's vision for the next 10 years. DIR staff along with all other NICHD staff are engaged in this process that is so important for the science we support. For more details on the NICHD vision process and the DIR's participation please visit www.nichd.nih.gov/vision/index.cfm.

The NICHD DIR is committed to support both basic and translational science and to develop the early investigators of tomorrow, both physician-scientists and basic researchers. Our robust group of basic scientists, asking pivotal questions related to human development, have been recognized with awards, editorial leadership positions, and through papers that have fundamentally transformed the way we think about science.

In addition, the DIR supports programs such as the NIH-Clinical Research Center (CRC)'s Bench-to-Bedside awards (BTBA) to fund intramural and extramural scientists who bring novel ideas directly from their laboratories to the CRC. In this past year, the NICHD DIR was the leading Intramural Research Program on the Bethesda NIH campus in funded BTBAs. In 2011, we were one of the leading Intramural Research Programs in emphasizing mentoring in the review of our scientists.

Our record of achievements reflects the passion and dedication of each intramural scientist, who served as a mentor to our trainees. The DIR also supports ACGME-accredited training programs in pediatric and internal medicine endocrinology, and reproduction and infertility in the Bethesda campus; it is also part of a network of other training programs in medical genetics, prenatal care and perinatal medicine, and others, that are supported locally in the Washington metropolitan area, and elsewhere.

Finally, in an era of unprecedented globalization, science as the ultimate global community enterprise connects researchers across continents with speed and energy. The NICHD DIR is at the center of a global research network in which the dots are connected by our laboratories and their collaborators around the globe, in areas that extend from vaccine development to genomics, from reproduction to regenerative medicine, from the neurosciences and early human development to biophysics and imaging.

We hope that you will find this compendium of our research and other activities helpful; on behalf of the Office of the Scientific Director and the DIR's Office of Education, I want to thank everybody who contributed to this volume, and please do not hesitate to send us your comments or any inquiries to nichdsd@mail.nih.gov.

Dr. Stratakis' signature
Constantine A. Stratakis, MD, D(med)Sci

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