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Jennifer Blackford, PhD, named chair of NIH study section

Jennifer Blackford, PhD

Jennifer Blackford, PhD

Jennifer Blackford, PhD, director of research at the Munroe-Meyer Institute, was named chair of a National Institutes of Health study section.

Dr. Blackford will chair a study section that reviews fellowship applications with an emphasis on behavioral studies designed to further the understanding of the nervous system, as well as neurological and mental disorders.

Being invited to be a reviewer for a study section is a reflection of your scientific expertise, Dr. Blackford said, and being asked to chair a study section shows that you also are valued for your leadership skills.

“I was surprised and very honored to be chosen to chair this study section,” Dr. Blackford said. “It puts you in the position where you’re leading other scientists to identify the trainees with the highest potential for future success.”

Dr. Blackford has served on the study section four times over the past decade. This is her first time as chair of an NIH study section.

She previously served on other study sections and was the chair of a VA study.

The NIH behavioral neuroscience fellowship study section will have a group of scientific reviewers evaluating graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who are applying for funding to support their training and research.

The group, which meets three times a year, thoroughly evaluates applications before discussing as a group. The chair, who serves in the role for two years, is responsible for leading the discussions of the applications and summarizing the comments.

Serving as chair also allows Dr. Blackford to help the greater MMI and UNMC communities. She can become a resource for mentors or trainees who may apply for similar types of grants in the future.

“I value the importance of mentorship,” she said. “This study section is selecting junior scientists who will get this award and support. The early funding sets them up to be successful later in science. We have a special responsibility of training the next generation of scientists.”


  1. Howard E. Gendelman, MD Chair of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience says:

    Congratulations! Your work and leadership brings great honor and added prestige to MMI and our UNMC.

  2. Michele Balas says:

    How awesome is this? Congrats Dr. Blackford, so honored to work with you

  3. Joan Smith says:

    Congratulations Dr. Blackford!

  4. Ken Zoucha says:

    Congratulations Dr. Blackford, obviously NIH made an excellent choice! Your collaboration and willingness to mentor our young clinicians is very cool, thanks for your ability to lift them up!

  5. Kristin Morrissey says:

    Well deserved, Dr. Blackford!

  6. Alëna A Balasanova says:

    Congratulations! Thank you for everything that you do for UNMC and MMI!

  7. Jieqiong Wang says:

    Wow, how awesome! Congratulations, Dr. Blackford!

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