September 2, 2005

Edwards to serve on NIH advisory council

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Kathryn Edwards, M.D.

Edwards to serve on NIH advisory council

Kathryn Edwards, M.D., has been invited to serve on the Advisory Council for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The Council advises the director of the NIAID regarding research initiatives and programs in the areas of allergy and infectious diseases including AIDS, biodefense and tropical infectious diseases.

“I'm very pleased to be invited to serve on the Council,” said Edwards, director of the Pediatric Clinical Research Office and vice chair for Clinical Research in the Department of Pediatrics at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt. “Research is critical to solving the numerous infectious disease problems that face us today. The Council brings infectious disease leaders together to discuss the research agenda and to plan where we need to go and how we need to get there.”

"It is an honor for the Department of Pediatrics at Vanderbilt to be represented by Dr. Edwards on the NIAID council,” said Arnold Strauss, M.D., medical director for Children's Hospital. “Her influence there in providing direction for the NIH's patient-based research initiative, the so-called "road map," will have a substantial impact on the nation's research agenda. This appointment also recognizes Dr. Edwards' influence and excellence in research, a real honor for her."

Edwards said it was an important time to be involved in helping to guide research funding because the growth in NIH funding has slowed in recent years, making careful allotment more important than ever. Although overall funding for the NIH is leveling off, research funding in the Department of Pediatrics continues to climb, with a tripling of NIH funding in the past five years. “We at Vanderbilt are on an exciting trajectory,” Edwards said, “But it takes space, resources and very committed researchers.”

Edwards will begin her service as one of 18 members of the council appointed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Mike Leavitt, this fall and will serve four years on the council.