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Environmental Factor

June 2011

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NTP achieves division status at NIEHS

By Eddy Ball
June 2011

NIEHS/NTP Director Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D.

Shown above at the January meeting of the NTP Board of Scientific Counselors, Birnbaum has taken an active role in board and technical review peer review meetings. She generally attends the entire meeting, makes a presentation as director of NTP - now the Division of NTP - and participates in board discussions and question-and-answer sessions. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

In an April 28 Federal Register announcement ( Exit NIEHS, NIH Director Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., officially announced establishment of the Division of the National Toxicology Program (NTP), which was formerly a program within the NIEHS Division of Intramural Research (DIR). The announcement is the final step in NTP officially becoming a division at NIEHS, and it marks the achievement of an important goal for NIEHS/NTP Director Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D., the first board-certified toxicologist to serve as the Institute's leader.

In addition to NIH approval, the reorganization was approved by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Congress was also notified, since this was one of the first reorganizations that occurred under the NIH Reform Act of 2006 ( Exit NIEHS, requiring a number of additional steps for Institute reorganizations.

In her email message to employees, Birnbaum outlined the benefits of the reorganization. "The new structure will promote greater efficiency at NIEHS, by making a clear staffing and budgetary demarcation between those components of the NIEHS carrying out work dedicated solely to the pursuit of the goals and initiatives of the NTP, and those principal investigator-initiated efforts carried out by staff in the DIR," she wrote.

The new organizational structure, which became effective Feb. 22, retains four of the previous branches - Biomolecular Screening, Cellular and Molecular Pathology, Program Operations, and Toxicology. Newly established is the NTP Laboratory reflecting the important role of targeted in-house research in achieving NTP objectives.

In addition to holding the position of associate director of NTP, John Bucher, Ph.D. will now serve as the director of the Division of the National Toxicology Program.

"I am very pleased to be overseeing the day-to-day activities of this new division," said Bucher. "Having divisional status provides recognition of the unique mission and goals of the NTP within NIH, and the unique capabilities and talents of our staff."

Learn more about the new division ( Exit NIEHS.

NTP group photo
NTP gathered for a recent group photo at NIEHS with Birnbaum, first row center, in burgundy sweater and print skirt. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

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