UNO Psychology Professor Named Chairperson of NIH Peer Review Group
A University of New Orleans psychology professor has been named chairperson of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) peer review group. Laura Scaramella will chair the Psychosocial Development, Risk and Prevention study section of the Center for Scientific Review, which is the gateway for NIH grant applications and their review for scientific merit.
Her appointment begins September 1 and will last nearly two years.
"I am honored to be selected as chair," said Scaramella, a professor of psychology and graduate coordinator for the psychology department. "As chair, my goal is to preserve the integrity of the peer review process. The peer review process is one mechanism by which scientifically critical research is advanced."
Scaramella's study section reviews applications that focus on the development of psychopathology and problem behaviors, the identification of risk and protective factors, and the design and testing of interventions.
Scaramella's research at the University of New Orleans focuses on social, genetic and biological mechanisms affecting the parenting quality and the emergence of behavior problems during early childhood. Her work seeks to uncover how social contextual stressors, like economic disadvantage and neighborhood danger, and children's temperamental characteristics affect parenting quality and children's behavioral and social adjustment.
The Center for Scientific Review organizes the peer review groups, or study sections, that evaluate 70 percent of the research grant applications sent to NIH. Since 1946, the center has worked to ensure that NIH grant applications receive fair, independent, expert and timely reviews — free from inappropriate influences — so NIH can fund the most promising research.