Maggie Werner-Washburne, PhD, has been appointed to the advisory council of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). Part of the National Institutes of Health, NIGMS supports research that increases our understanding of life processes and lays the foundation for advances in disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention. Dr. Werner-Washburne is a Regents’ Professor of Biology at the University of New Mexico and a member of the UNM Cancer Center.
As a NIGMS advisory council member, Dr. Werner-Washburne joins a group of the nation’s leaders in the biological and medical sciences, education, healthcare and public affairs. The council provides the final level of peer review for NIGMS research and research training grant applications – a function that is essential to funding the highest quality research and training the next generation of scientists. In addition, council members offer advice and recommendations on policy and program development, program implementation, evaluation and other matters of significance to NIGMS.
NIGMS-funded researchers seek to answer important scientific questions in a wide range of fields. Dr. Werner-Washburne is extraordinarily well-suited to evaluating the merits of such research. She has made a career of studying tiny organisms – yeast cells – and finding in their stationary (non-dividing) phase clues to some of biology’s biggest questions, including the mechanics of aging and genesis of cancer. In addition, Dr. Werner-Washburne has been involved in running the NIH-funded Initiatives to Maximize Student Diversity program, which has trained almost 200 undergraduate and graduate students at UNM in the past seven years.
Internationally known for both her scientific contributions and student mentoring, Dr. Werner-Washburne has garnered numerous local and national scientific awards and honors. Last spring, she received Harvard Foundation’s 2011 Distinguished Scientist Award, one of the nation’s top acknowledgements for scientific excellence and service.