Press Releases for 2016


For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Contact: Trish Reynolds
Colleen Labbe
(301) 496-8190


NIAMS advisory council welcomes four new members

The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), part of the National Institutes of Health, has appointed four new members to its advisory council. The council comprises scientific and lay members who have expertise in the mission areas of the institute. Council members provide advice to the institute on broad policy issues, and make recommendations on research proposals.

Photo of new 2016 NIAMS Advisory Council members

NIAMS director Dr. Stephen Katz (third from r) and deputy director Dr. Robert Carter (third from l) welcome new members to the instituteís council. Pictured are (from l) Dr. Stephen Tapscott, Magdalena Castro-Lewis, William Mulvihill, and Dr. Ethan Lerner.

Individuals contribute their expertise over four-year terms and meet three times per year. NIAMS Director Stephen I. Katz introduced the new members at the instituteís Feb. 2 advisory council meeting. "I am delighted to welcome these four accomplished individuals to the council," said Dr. Katz. "Each of them brings a critical perspective to the councilís deliberations as we work together to fulfill the institute's mission."

Magdalena Castro-Lewis is the former vice president for programs at the National Alliance for Hispanic Health in Washington, D.C. In her role, Ms. Castro-Lewis provided oversight of the organizationís national, multi-year programs in the areas of disease prevention and health promotion. She has extensive experience with developing culturally and linguistically appropriate health education materials, and forming national and community-based partnerships to improve the health of Hispanic families.

Ethan A. Lerner, M.D., Ph.D., is an associate professor of dermatology at Harvard Medical School in Boston, and an associate biologist in dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospitalís Cutaneous Biology Research Center in Charlestown, Massachusetts. Dr. Lernerís laboratory focuses on the biology of itch, a widespread symptom of many diseases that affect the skin. His research is keyed to the mechanisms that underlie the itch sensation in order to develop effective anti-itch therapies.

William J. Mulvihill, M.Ed., is a special advisor to the President of the University of Cincinnati, and is the executive director of the University of Cincinnati Presidential Bicentennial Commission. His primary role is to advise and consult on the universityís advancement opportunities and donor-related issues. Mr. Mulvihill currently serves as Trustee Emeritus of the Arthritis Foundation in Atlanta, and is on the board of directors for the Alliance for Lupus Research in New York.

Stephen J. Tapscott M.D., Ph.D., is a full member of the Divisions of Human Biology and Clinical Research at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. Dr. Tapscottís laboratory studies epigenetics and gene transcription in normal muscle development and disease. His research focuses on gene expression in certain cancers and muscular dystrophies, as well as gene and cell therapies for muscular dystrophy.

The next meeting of the NIAMS advisory council will be held on Tuesday, June 7 2016 on the NIH Campus in Bethesda, Maryland. Open session of the meeting will be videocast live at

The mission of the NIAMS, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' National Institutes of Health, is to support research into the causes, treatment and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases; the training of basic and clinical scientists to carry out this research; and the dissemination of information on research progress in these diseases. For more information about the NIAMS, call the information clearinghouse at (301) 495-4484 or (877) 22-NIAMS (free call) or visit the NIAMS website at

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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