The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) Director Jon R. Lorsch, Ph.D., has announced the selection of Ming Lei, Ph.D., as director of the Institute’s Division for Research Capacity Building (DRCB). Lei is expected to join the Institute later this month.
DRCB is composed of four programs: Institutional Development Awards, Native American Research Centers for Health, Science Education Partnership Awards, and Support of Competitive Research. The division supports research, research training, faculty development, and research infrastructure improvements in states that historically have not received significant levels of research funding from the National Institutes of Health. It also supports faculty research development at institutions that have a historical mission focused on serving students from underrepresented groups, research and research capacity building directed by Native American and Alaska Native tribal organizations, and science education that improves life-science literacy.
“DRCB’s range of programs are core to NIGMS’ mission to support the development of, and widespread access to, high-quality research resources and technologies, and to build capacity in under-resourced institutions and states,” said Lorsch. “Dr. Lei brings the experience, leadership, and vision required to manage DRCB’s far-reaching and highly complex programs.”
Lei, a molecular geneticist, is currently deputy director of the Center for Cancer Training and chief of the Cancer Training Branch at NIH’s National Cancer Institute (NCI). In this position, he oversees NCI’s fellowships, career development awards, and training and education grant programs. He also advises NCI leadership on workforce development and research training needs. Prior to joining NCI as a program director in 2008, Lei was leader of the Genes and Genome Cluster in the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences at the National Science Foundation from 2006-2008, and he was an associate professor of microbiology at the Medical College of Wisconsin from 1999-2008. He served as a research scientist in the Division of Biotechnology at the Monsanto Corporation in St. Louis, Missouri, from 1998-1999.
Lei earned a Ph.D. in molecular biology from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where he also conducted postdoctoral research. His honors include an Award of Appreciation for Outstanding Contributions from the American Association for Cancer Education and several NIH merit awards.
“I’m excited to join NIGMS and I look forward to working with a broad range of stakeholders to strengthen the nation’s biomedical research capacity” said Lei.