OSPA plays vital role in institute’s planning efforts
Rachel B. Scheinert, Ph.D., began work today as Director of NIDCR’s Office of Science Policy and Analysis (OSPA). Dr. Scheinert joins NIDCR from NIH’s National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and succeeds OSPA’s Acting Director Wendy Knosp, Ph.D.
“I am extremely pleased to welcome Rachel to NIDCR,” said Rena D’Souza, D.D.S., Ph.D., M.S., Director of NIDCR. “The stars are indeed aligned to afford oral health for our citizens by advancing our scientific discoveries along translational fronts and to create data-driven approaches that shape clinical and community health practices and hence health care policies. I am pleased that OSPA now has the right individual in place to lead the institute’s critical efforts in areas such as science policy, strategic planning and evaluation, and legislative affairs.”
Dr. Scheinert joins OSPA with strong NIH experience and a solid background in science policy. A former AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow, she rose to the position of lead health science policy analyst in NIMH’s Science Policy and Evaluation Branch. Dr. Scheinert also recently completed a science policy detail in the Immediate Office of the NIH Director. There, she helped to manage critical NIH research programs during the pandemic, including the Long COVID Computational Challenge. She also coordinated with NIH leadership to implement the NIH-Wide Strategic Plan for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility.
Dr. Scheinert earned her Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the University of Florida, Gainesville. Her doctoral work in neural stem cell engineering was supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, and she later completed a postdoctoral fellowship at NIMH studying the neuroimmune response in models of psychosocial stress.
“OSPA performs several vital functions within NIDCR,” said Dr. Scheinert. “I am honored and excited to serve as its director, and I look forward to my opportunity to lead the OSPA team in developing science policy, setting priorities, and conducting evaluations.”
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