Today we share some unfortunate news, and honor the legacy of a world-renowned obesity researcher and psychiatrist. Albert “Mickey” Stunkard, MD, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at the Perelman School of Medicine, passed away on July 12, 2014, at his home in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. His wife, Margaret S. Maurin, and step-daughter, Elana Maurin, were by his side.

Dr. Stunkard, known as Mickey to friends and colleagues, was well-known for his research on obesity and eating disorders. He authored more than 500 publications that enriched the understanding of obesity and advanced the prevention and treatment of the disease.

As shared in a biography by close friend and colleague, Thomas Wadden, PhD, and Mickey’s wife, Margaret Maurin:

“Mickey’s infectious enthusiasm for research, and generosity of spirit nurtured the careers of dozens of young scientists and enriched the work of colleagues throughout the nation and around the world. He educated generations of medical students and psychiatry residents at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine about obesity and eating disorders, while also touching the lives of thousands of patients with his extraordinary compassion, kindness, and clinical acumen. He was the consummate scientist, teacher, and practitioner.”

Mickey’s achievements were recognized in multiple ways, and TOS looks forward to continuing to honor his legacy through the Mickey Stunkard Lifetime Achievement Award. This award is designed to recognize people who, like Mickey, have made a lifetime of outstanding contributions to the field of obesity in the areas of scholarship, mentorship, and education.

A private burial is planned with a memorial service to be held in the fall at the University of Pennsylvania. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy be directed to Doctors Without Borders or the Council for a Livable World.

You can find out more about Mickey’s legacy in his biography here and on here.

This information was shared by Steven Smith, MD

The Obesity Society President

picture of Dr. Lewis from the PRIDE program PRIDE mentee Dr. Lisa Lewis.
Credit: University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing

Dr. Gbenga Ogedegbe from the New York University School of Medicine is sitting in his parked car in the garage of his home in New Jersey. It is 5:30 p.m. on a Thursday evening and he is eager to join his wife and three sons for dinner. But first, he picks up his cell phone to return a call from his mentee, Dr. Lisa Lewis. Dr. Lewis is panicked because her grant resubmission is due tomorrow and she’s unsure how to address the expert reviewer’s comments. For the next hour, Dr. Ogedegbe walks Lisa through every line of the reviewer’s comments and together they determine how best to respond. “I have never before received this level of commitment from a mentor,” says Dr. Lewis.

Dr. Girardin Jean-Louis, co-principal investigator of the PRIDE Behavioral Medicine and Sleep Disorders Summer Instituteexternal link icon along with Dr. Ogedegbe, believes it is interactions like the one detailed above that make the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)-sponsored PRIDEexternal link icon (Programs to Increase Diversity among Individuals Engaged in Health-Related Research) program unique. He said that Dr. Ogedegbe’s thorough and timely response to his mentee is typical of PRIDE mentors, who are extremely passionate about and committed to nurturing the next generation of minority scientists.

In 2010, NHLBI established the PRIDE program. “PRIDE addresses the need for increasing the diversity of the biomedical research workforce by nurturing the next generation of minority scientists in the areas of heart, lung, blood, and sleep research,” explains Dr. Josephine Boyington, the NHLBI Project Officer.

Junior scientists with backgrounds currently under-represented in biomedical research applyexternal link icon to participate in the PRIDE program, which includes mentoring; hands-on practical training; grant-writing skills training and coaching; a mid-year meeting; and an annual conference in Bethesda, Maryland.

Each scientist also participates in one of the six NHLBI-funded PRIDE Summer Institute Training Programsexternal link icon, which forms the backbone of the PRIDE program:

During two consecutive summers, at the all-expenses-paid two-week Summer Institutes, junior scientists further develop their research skills and gain experience in advanced methods and experimental approaches in basic and applied sciences relevant to heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders. PRIDE participants receive advice on research design, skills and methodologies, strategies to prepare research grants, and tips for success in obtaining research funding.

To maximize the career and professional development opportunities beyond what is learned during the Summer Institutes, every PRIDE participant is matched with a team of mentors that includes an NIH program staff member with expertise in their area of research. By working together, this team of mentors helps the mentee enhance and develop all aspects of his or her research career throughout the two-year program.

PRIDE mentor Dr. Karina Davidson from Columbia University says that what makes the program unique is consistent mentoring. At the first Summer Institute, the PRIDE participant is paired with a mentor who is a recognized expert from his or her research field. This expert joins with a team of mentors who work together synergistically to enhance the success of participants. The team includes a career coach, who helps the mentee develop a resume, learn how to network, and practice job interview skills.

Dr. Carmela Alcántara from Columbia University Medical Center took full advantage of the PRIDE team mentor approach. Working closely with her PRIDE mentors gave her the boost she needed to excel in her career as an academic researcher by helping her build her research competency and grant writing skills, and by providing invaluable networking opportunities.

After applying to become an affiliated investigator, Dr. Alcántara gained access to large research networks such as the NHLBI-supported Hispanic Community Health Study (HCHS/SOL), related ancillary studies (HCHS/SOL Sociocultural and HCHS/SOL Sueño), and the MESA Sleep study.

Access to data from these multi-center studies paved the way for Dr. Alcántara to further develop her research program on sleep and cardiovascular health disparities and publish multiple manuscripts on this topic. She also credits the program with helping her develop meaningful relationships that have allowed her to submit several federal grant applications that include PIs from these studies as co-investigators.

“The PIs I have met are eager to work with junior researchers like myself who are motivated to contribute, and this participation has helped me to excel as a researcher focused on Latino health disparities,” she added.

PRIDE mentee Dr. Lisa Lewis, whose evening call with Dr. Ogedegbe led to the acceptance of her grant resubmission, agrees about the value of participating in the program. She credits her recent major accomplishments –promotion with tenure at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and receiving her first R01 grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research – with the training and mentoring she received from the PRIDE program.

“PRIDE has provided me with a cohort of like-minded people and strong mentors to help me stay focused and motivated even when my grant submissions are rejected,” explained Dr. Lewis.

During the next five years, Dr. Lewis plans to expand her research on hypertension-related health disparities by developing and testing interventions for hypertensive African Americans in community settings. Her decision to continue down this research path was reinforced by her participation in the PRIDE program summer institutes where she saw, first-hand, the meaningful work other researchers were doing in this space. She said she’s counting on the PRIDE program for support in these and other future endeavors.

“I plan to keep my PRIDE family close at hand throughout my career,” she added.

Associate Research Scientist of the PET Radiochemistry Laboratories

The Department of Radiology at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University Medical Center invites applications for Associate Research Scientist in the PET Radiochemistry Laboratories in the Kreitchman PET Center.

Reporting to the PET Center Director, the Associate Research Scientist will be responsible for optimization, production and quality control of research radiotracers and for quality assurance and control programs in the Radiochemistry Laboratory at the Kreitchman PET Center. The candidate will ensure that production procedures, laboratory procedures, and facilities and equipment systems employed during the manufacture and processing of PET drug products are in conformity with the PET Center’s SOPs, as well as Food and Drug Administration (FDA), United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) and all other applicable regulatory standards.

Specific duties include:

  1. Produce research PET radiotracers according to the PET Center’s production methods and SOPs
  2. Perform Quality Control of PET radiopharmaceuticals produced by the Kreitchman PET Center to ensure that they are fully compliant with release criteria, written procedures and SOPs.
  3. This position reports to the PET Center Director for all aspects of research and production. Report all QC/QA findings to PET Center Director and work with the Director on development of corrective action plans where applicable.
  4. Perform other duties as assigned.

Position requires

  1. PhD degree in chemistry, radiochemistry or related field, as well as at least five years of radiochemistry experience.
  2. Working knowledge of both manual and automated PET tracer production and analytical HPLC instrumentation

3.  Capacity to integrate Federal and other relevant regulatory requirements into PET tracer production and quality control responsibilities.

Please visit our online application site at for further information about this position and to submit your application. Columbia University is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer. The School is especially interested in qualified candidates whose record of achievement will contribute to the diversity goals of the institution. Excellent salary and benefits.

The Department of Radiology at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University Medical Center invites applications for a senior faculty position and leadership role as Division Chief of Neuroradiology.

Columbia University Medical Center is one of the premier clinical and research institutions in the country, with referrals from world-class physicians across all specialties. New York-Presbyterian Hospital has 977 inpatient beds and an additional 201 beds at the Allen Hospital site one mile north.  There is a dedicated children’s hospital, The Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital and the recently opened Heart Hospital.  New York-Presbyterian is consistently ranked in the top 6 hospitals in the country by US News & World Report.  Among many collaborations, the Radiology Department works in partnership with colleagues in the Medical Center’s many highly regarded Departments and Centers, including the renowned Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center for the investigation of diseases of the central nervous system, the Taub Institute for research on Alzheimer’s disease and the aging brain, the Department of Neurology, the Cerebrovascular Center of the Neurological Institute, the Department of Neurological Surgery, the Department of Radiation Oncology, the Department of Psychiatry, the New York State Psychiatric Institute, and the Department for Biomedical Engineering.

The nationally recognized Department of Neurological Surgery at Columbia University has the most comprehensive multi-subspecialty group in the New York metropolitan area with 15 attending neurosurgeons performing over 3,000 operations per year (including complex cerebrovascular diseases, tumors, spinal instrumentation, epilepsy surgery, and pediatric surgery for congenital tumors, correction of cranial and spinal anomalies, and hydrocephalus).

The Department of Neurology is one of leading academic departments in the United States and is internationally recognized for clinical and research excellence.  The Neurological Institute has numerous faculty with joint appointments in the basic sciences as well as the Graduate Program for Neurology and Behavior.

The imaging resources include >7 MRI scanners which are being upgraded, with most being 3T, 9 CT scanners, and 27 ultrasound machines. Currently, all MRI scanners are undergoing replacement and upgrades. The Division faculty interpret yearly about 15,500 CT scans, 18,500 MRI scans, and 5,000 DR cases; and perform about 1,700 procedures.  The faculty interpret functional MRI and MRI spectroscopic imaging.  The neuroradiology faculty provide training for up to 6 fellows as well as residents and medical students. There are three first-year ACGME fellowship positions available each year.

Dedicated research facilities included the Columbia MRI Center with 3 state-of-the-art MRI scanners and a new Molecular Imaging Center.  The new Molecular Imaging Center houses 2 cyclotrons, 4 PET/CT Cameras and a cGMP facility capable of production of radiopharmaceuticals for clinical use.  Modifications to the facility to enable cGMP production of compounds suitable for MR imaging/spectroscopy are feasible.  The facility has the infrastructure to permit installation of a clinical PET/MR instrument.

Responsibilities include management of the Neuroradiology service, development of a research program focusing both on clinical and basic research, participation in clinical and/or basic research, patient care, active participation and oversight of resident and fellowship education, participation in interdisciplinary conferences, and collaboration with clinical colleagues.  This is a Division Chief, senior faculty position requiring participation in Departmental activities geared towards the continued improvement and development of top-quality imaging and research projects.

The position requires a fellowship-trained neuroradiologist with hands-on experience in neuroradiology and a proven track record in managing a clinical service. A track record of grant funding will strengthen the application.  The candidate must be board certified in Diagnostic Radiology and must be eligible to practice medicine in the State of New York. Narcotics license is desirable. The salary and academic rank will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. We offer a competitive salary and benefits.

The Department of Radiology at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University Medical Center has multiple new subspecialty positions available for full-time hire, and is seeking qualified radiologists to work in a community hospital in one of the most sought after locations in Westchester County, NY, approximately 20-25 minutes from NYC.  Subspecialties include Breast Imaging, Body Imaging, Musculoskeletal Imaging, Neuroradiology, Interventional Radiology and General Diagnostic Imaging.  The positions will be full-time Columbia University faculty positions with full fringe benefits.  Responsibilities will include patient care, active participation in resident and fellowship education, and participation in clinical and/or basic research.

The Department of Radiology at Columbia University Medical Center is a leader in imaging services, research and technology development, and provides over 600,000 examinations per year.   Join our team of 9 subspecialty Divisions to provide comprehensive care to Manhattan and Westchester County in conjunction with the large number of affiliated and integrated Columbia University physicians in the region.

In the Westchester location, construction is underway for a 60,000 ft. comprehensive cancer center with dedicated medical, surgical and radiation oncologists. A new women’s imaging facility has also been completed and will contain state-of-the-art mammography and ultrasound services.

Position requires M.D. or D.O. degrees.   Requirements include board certification and fellowship training in subspecialty area.  Candidate must have or be able to obtain a New York State medical license. Salary and academic rank will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Please visit our online application site at for further information about this position and to submit your application. Columbia University is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer. The School is especially interested in qualified candidates whose record of achievement will contribute to the diversity goals of the institution. Excellent salary and benefits.

Read the full issue online.

Dr. Sally Rockey

Rock Talk

New Efforts to Maximize Fairness in NIH Peer Review

Posted on May 29, 2014 by Richard Nakamura, director of the NIH Center for Scientific Review, and Sally Rockey

We want you to know NIH is working on multiple fronts to get to the bottom of unexplained racial disparities in R01 grant funding and to maximize fairness in NIH peer review. Since the problems and the solutions are bigger than NIH, we have reached out to the scientific community and other concerned citizens for help. Now armed with a team of experts and a set of new initiatives, we’d like to tell you about our efforts to address this important issues –- particularly an exciting opportunity for you to submit your input. …. Continue reading →
Changes to the Biosketch

Posted on May 22, 2014 by Sally Rockey

We’re set for a major change in how you portray your body of work when applying for NIH funds. With strong support from NIH leadership, we will be rolling out a new biosketch format. The new NIH biosketch emphasizes your accomplishments instead of just a list of publications, which, as previously discussed, we questioned as the best way to showcase your scientific contributions. …. Continue reading →

More on Addressing Sex Differences in Pre-clinical Studies

Posted on May 16, 2014 by Sally Rockey

You likely saw the recent Nature policy article, in which NIH Director Francis Collins and NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health Director Janine Clayton discussed ways that NIH is addressing sex differences in research. As our understanding of science evolves, so do our policies that govern research. This commentary cites several studies that highlight the need to further consider sex differences in preclinical research and describes how NIH will enact new policies to expand the consideration of sex differences in research studies using animal models and cells. The article generated quite a buzz in the community, and I wanted to take this opportunity to explain the roll out of our implementation plan. …. Continue reading →

Top Stories

Improvements to Inclusion Data Reporting and Management

A new system for reporting and managing your clinical research inclusion data is on its way. Currently, grantees report on sex/gender, race, and ethnicity information as required by NIH’s policy on the Inclusion of Women and Minorities in Clinical Research, …. Continue reading →

You Ask, We Answer

·      Is it True That There are Special Requirements for Addressing FCOI in Clinical Research?
·      Who Do the Revised 2011 Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI) Regulations Apply To?


July 4, 2014: NIH Closed for Federal Holiday

NIH (including help desks) will be closed Friday, July 4, 2014 (Independence Day). If a postmark/submission date falls on this federal holiday, the application deadline is automatically extended to the next business day.

New Methods to Detect Bias in Peer Review & Strategies to Strengthen Fairness and Impartiality in Peer Review through

Please share this golden opportunity with your colleagues and networks:

The National Institutes of Health, Center for Scientific Review, in collaboration with the ACD Diversity Working Group Subcommittee on Peer Review<>, has announced two America COMPETES Act Challenges. These contests solicit input from the scientific community and other stakeholders to aid our efforts to address the problem of racial disparities in NIH R01 grant funding.

New Methods to Detect Bias in Peer Review: Contestants are asked to submit their ideas for strategies to detect possible bias in the NIH peer review process. Submissions can include approaches, strategies, methodologies, and/or measures that would be sensitive to detecting bias among reviewers due to gender, race/ethnicity, institutional affiliation, area of science, and amount of research experience.  First Place ($10,000) and Second Place ($5,000) prizes will be awarded in two categories, best empirically based idea and most creative idea.

Strategies to Strengthen Fairness and Impartiality in Peer Review: Contestants are asked to submit ideas for reviewer training methods aimed at enhancing fairness and impartiality in NIH peer review. The submission does not require full development of training materials.  However, ideas should be provided in sufficient detail to assess their ability to address fairness and impartiality in review with regards to gender, race/ethnicity, institutional affiliation, area of science, and amount of research experience. First Place ($10,000) and Second Place ($5,000) prizes will be awarded for the best overall idea.

The contest closes June 30, 2014 and winners will be announced September 2, 2014.  Details regarding the rules and submission procedures for these two Challenges can be found on the CSR Challenge website<>.


Future Opportunities – Medical Officer

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s Division of Cardiovascular Sciences (DCVS), Bethesda, MD will be searching for a Medical Officer (Family Medicine, Internist or Cardiologist) who will work on outcome studies in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiovascular diseases.

The position will be located in the Clinical Applications and Prevention Branch (CAPB), which supports, conducts, and initiates population, community, and clinic-based research on the causes, prevention, and clinical care of cardiovascular diseases. CAPB research areas include but are not limited to obesity, physical activity, behavior-oriented trials, health services research, and cardiovascular risk prevention through the lifespan.

We will be seeking individuals with expertise and strong interest in:

  • Comparative effectiveness of commonly used preventive, diagnostic and treatment strategies for adult cardiovascular diseases
  • Randomized intervention trials
  • Strategies to improve the implementation of evidence based clinical preventive and treatment strategies for cardiovascular diseases

Relevant fields of medical specialization include cardiology, internal medicine, clinical epidemiology, informatics, health service and economics.  We especially urge persons who meet the above description to apply if they also have:

  • Research interests relevant to the health of minority and underserved populations
  • The ability to communicate effectively with scientists from a variety of disciplines and with a sophisticated lay audience
  • The ability to synthesize new information and develop a broad vision of research that will advance disease prevention and treatment efforts.

To receive future updates about this position, please email your request to:

DHHS and NIH are Equal Opportunity Employers

Please note the following important change in NIH grant submission policy!!!

“The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) announce a change in policy on application submissions. Effective immediately, for application due dates after April 16, 2014, following an unsuccessful resubmission (A1) application, applicants may submit the same idea as a new (A0) application for the next appropriate due date. The NIH and AHRQ will not assess the similarity of the science in the new (A0) application to any previously reviewed submission when accepting an application for review. Although a new (A0) application does not allow an introduction or responses to the previous reviews, the NIH and AHRQ encourage applicants to refine and strengthen all application submissions.”


And Sally Rockey’s blog:


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