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UM Faculty Member to Help Decide Who Earns NIH Grants

Kari Harris, an associate professor in the School of Public and Community Health Sciences at The University of Montana, soon will help decide which researchers get federal grants from the National Institutes of Health.

Harris has accepted an invitation to serve with the NIH Center for Scientific Review, which evaluates grant applications from across the nation for scientific merit. She will work in the Risk, Prevention and Intervention for Addictions Study Section. Her term will run from this July to June 30, 2012.

"Our rural state is unique," Harris said. "It is critical to have reviewers who understand the special needs and strengths that exist throughout Montana. I’m delighted and honored to help fill this gap in the grant review process at (NIH)."

Toni Scarpa, director of the Center for Scientific Review, writes that study section members are selected on the basis of their demonstrated competence and achievements in their scientific discipline as evidenced by the quality of their research accomplishments, publications in scientific journals and other significant scientific activities, achievements and honors.

In her own research, Harris holds an investigator award from the National Cancer Institute, which supports her study of smoking-related issues among college students. New grants have extended this research to focus on Montana health concerns.