Norka Ruiz Bravo, Ph.D., has been appointed associate director for extramural activities at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In this position, Dr. Ruiz Bravo will manage a $1.3 billion research and research training grant program in the basic biomedical sciences. She will also advise the NIGMS director on the planning, development, and administration of Institute grant activities.
In announcing the appointment, NIGMS director Marvin Cassman, Ph.D., said, "Dr. Ruiz Bravo is an outstanding scientist-manager who brings a wealth of knowledge to the Institute. Her skills, experience, and personality make her a perfect fit for this important position."
NIGMS supports basic biomedical research that is not targeted to specific diseases, but that increases understanding of life processes and lays the foundation for advances in disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.
Dr. Ruiz Bravo came to NIH in 1990 as a scientific review administrator in the NIGMS Office of Scientific Review. In 1992, she became a program director in the NIGMS Division of Genetics and Developmental Biology, leaving in 1997 to become deputy director of the Division of Cancer Biology at the National Cancer Institute. She was named acting director of the Division in 1998. In 1999, Dr. Ruiz Bravo re-joined NIGMS as the deputy associate director of the Division of Extramural Activities.
Dr. Ruiz Bravo received a bachelor's degree in biology from Goucher College in Towson, Md., and master's and doctoral degrees in biology from Yale University in New Haven, Conn. Her postdoctoral work was done at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas in Houston, where she also served as a research assistant professor and assistant biochemist. Prior to joining NIH, Dr. Ruiz Bravo was an assistant professor in the Department of Urology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.
Dr. Ruiz Bravo has been active in the NIH STEP (Staff Training in Extramural Programs) Committee, serving as its chair in 1996 and 1997. She is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Society for Cell Biology, and the Society for Developmental Biology. Among her honors is the 1996 NIH Merit Award.