It gives me enormous pleasure to extend my warm congratulations to a friend and colleague, Noni H. Byrnes, Ph.D., for her recent selection as the new Director for the NIH Center for Scientific Review (CSR).
CSR serves a vital role. Not only does CSR manage the receipt and referral of all grant applications for NIH and for other parts of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, dedicated CSR staff also oversee the peer review of approximately 75 percent of the more than 80,000 grant applications NIH receives each year. One can find more data on NIH peer review “in” the NIH Data Book.
An analytical chemist by training, Dr. Byrnes first joined CSR in 2000 as a Scientific Review Officer. Over the past 18 years, she has taken on increasing degrees of leadership and responsibility, most recently serving as Acting Director following Dr. Richard Nakamura’s retirement. Dr. Byrnes has led a number of high-profile efforts. She oversaw peer review activities related to American Reinvestment and Recovery Act Challenge Grants, the NIH Director’s Common Fund, and the All-of-Us program. She helped launch a new framework to increase collaborations with the scientific community and continuously evaluate all of CSR’s 178 study sections. She spurred on the creation of CSR’s Review Matters Blog, a Facebook page, and a Twitter account to communicate important issues around peer review. She has an extraordinarily deep knowledge and understanding of peer review and the critical role it plays in the health and future of the extramural biomedical research enterprise.
Please join me and welcoming Dr. Byrnes to this new role. My colleagues within the NIH Office of Extramural Research and I are excited to work closely with her.