A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

Catherine Lewis, PhD, has taken the reins as director of the Division of Cell Biology and Biophysics at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, a component of the National Institutes of Health (Bethesda, Maryland)

Lewis will oversee more than 1,800 research and training grants totaling about $630 million that support studies in cell biology and biophysics, that research ranging from characterizing molecules and cellular components to understanding the mechanisms of cellular processes. One of four NIGMS scientific divisions, CBB also supports the development of new research tools and methods and houses the Protein Structure Initiative, a 10-year effort to speed the protein structure determination process.

Lewis currently leads the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research initiative to develop high-resolution imaging probes to capture actions of individual molecules in living cells.

"Cathy Lewis is both a skillful administrator and a forward-thinker who has a broad knowledge about the field and a keen sense of how it needs to advance," said Jeremy Berg, PhD, director of NIGMS.

Lewis started her NIH career as a staff fellow in 1983 after earning a PhD in biochemistry from Princeton Universit . She joined NIGMS six years later, initially serving as a program director in its Division of Genetics and Developmental Biology for grants related to chromosome structure and mechanics. She then was named chief of the division's Biophysics Branch in 1997. She has served as acting director of CBB since January, when former director James Cassatt, PhD, retired.

"The biophysical tools developed over the last 10 years have allowed us to make major discoveries about basic life processes," said Lewis. "I see a lot of opportunities to continue this new generation of discovery at the subcellular level."

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