I am pleased and excited to announce that in August, Dr. Kay Lund will join NIH as the inaugural director of the NIH Division of Biomedical Research Workforce Programs.
As you might recall, the NIH Advisory Committee to the Director‘s Biomedical Workforce Working Group recommended that NIH recruit a leader and establish a dedicated office to guide NIH’s training and development of a well-prepared biomedical workforce. Dr. Lund is both an exemplary leader and a highly accomplished biomedical researcher and mentor. She was the first to clone the proglucagon gene that led to the discovery of two new hormones now being used in clinical trials, and is the holder of two patents, one for the treatment of aged-related cognitive decline and other conditions, and another recently approved patent for combining capsule imaging devices with biological probes to improve capsule endoscopy – a new screening procedure for gastrointestinal disease. Prior to joining NIH, Dr. Lund held the endowed Sarah Graham Kenan Professorship in Cell Biology and Physiology, with joint appointments as Professor in Pediatrics and Nutrition, at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. And highly importantly to her role at NIH, Dr. Lund is recognized as a leader in biomedical workforce training and development. She has trained and mentored over 30 research fellows and junior faculty and 22 predoctoral trainees who have been successful in science. Her dedication to training and mentorship has resulted in many awards and recognition from professional societies, including the American Physiology Society and American Gastroenterology Association.
In her role at NIH, Dr. Lund will lead and continue to implement recommendations from the working group. We have been busy implementing many of these recommendations, such as the expansion of NIH institute and center participation in F30 and F31 training fellowships, the BEST program, the increase of postdoctoral fellow stipends, and the implementation of individual development plan (IDP) expectations. The new division has also been busy embarking on new and exciting projects both recommended by the working group and expanding on the working group goals. As described a recent NIH Guide notice, we are finalizing the development of the xTRACT reporting system to help in gathering better biomedical workforce data. A new training website is now available to help connect trainees with funding opportunities appropriate to their career stage. With the recent recruitment of two labor economists, this division is applying economic research and expertise to better understand how NIH supports graduate students and postdocs. There are many major activities underway related to biomedical workforce and training policy development, research and career development, workforce diversity, and the economics of the biomedical research workforce. Dr. Lund’s strong leadership, vision and experience will further catalyze NIH’s biomedical workforce vision.
I hope you all join me in welcoming Dr. Lund to her new position and stay tuned to hear more about the many initiatives she will lead to strengthen the biomedical workforce.