NINR Strategic Plan (2022–2026) – Under Development
NINR is developing its next strategic plan, which will describe our future research goals and objectives and our vision for the field of nursing science in the coming years. Learn more.
The NINR DESP Team
Part of the NINR Division of Extramural Science Programs (DESP), NINR Program Directors are scientists who oversee the conduct of research programs within the NINR research portfolio. They are the main points of contact between NINR and the extramural research community, and serve as an advocate and resource for applicants and investigators seeking NINR research and training grants.
Individuals are strongly encouraged to contact the Program Director in their area of interest to discuss proposed research projects and/or training opportunities. If you are interested in a topic area not identified, please contact any of the Program Directors listed below and they can direct you to the right person.
Rebekah Rasooly, PhD
Acting Director, Division of Extramural Science Programs
Dr. Rasooly is the Acting Director of DESP. In this role, she is responsible for scientific leadership and overseeing policy and management for grants and contracts to support NINR research and training. Dr. Rasooly is also the Chief of the Office of Wellness, Technology, and Training, with interests in program evaluation and precision medicine. Her background is in genetics, genomics and policy issues related to sharing specimens and data from clinical studies. Prior to joining NINR, Dr. Rasooly was a Program Director and Deputy Division Director for the Division of Kidney, Urologic & Hematologic Disease at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. She also did policy work in NIH’s Office of Extramural Programs. Dr. Rasooly received her undergraduate degree from Harvard and her PhD in genetics from Michigan State University. She joined NIH after serving as an Assistant Professor at St. John’s University, a Visiting Professor at Johns Hopkins University and an Assistant Deputy Scientific Director for the Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man database.
Karen Huss, PhD, RN, ANP-BC, FAAN, FAAAAI, FAHA
Self-Management; Caregiving; Rehabilitative Care
Dr. Huss is a Program Director overseeing a portfolio focused on self-management of acute and chronic conditions, caregiving, and rehabilitative care. Dr. Huss’s portfolio addresses research on the health needs of caregivers and individuals with chronic conditions and self-management interventions and technologies to sustain health and optimize functional capabilities. Dr. Huss’ portfolio encompasses multiple conditions including heart failure, chronic renal failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary conditions, cancer, and the interface between the biological and behavioral sciences. Dr. Huss previously served in the United States Army Nursing Corps. She was an Associate Professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing with joint appointments at the Schools of Medicine and Public Health. Dr. Huss holds a BSN, MSN, and PhD in nursing science.
Lois A. Tully, PhD (Contractor)
Genomics; Symptom Management
Dr. Tully assists with oversight of a portfolio that encompasses (1) genomics, which addresses the roles, interrelationships, or moderating influences of genes, environment, and behavior on symptom manifestation, disease risks, and patient outcomes, and (2) symptom management, which focuses on biobehavioral approaches to reduce or eliminate adverse symptoms resulting from chronic conditions. Prior to her current role, Dr. Tully served as a program director at NINR and managed a portfolio in genomics and symptom science. Her background includes working at the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the research arm of the U.S. Department of Justice, where she served as the Deputy Chief of the Investigative and Forensic Sciences Division and the Program Manager of NIJ’s Forensic DNA Research and Development Program. Dr. Tully holds a BS in medical technology, an MS in forensic sciences, and a PhD in medicine with a concentration in human genetics.
Rebekah Rasooly, PhD
Chief, Office of Wellness, Technology, and Training
Dr. Rasooly is the Chief of the Office of Wellness, Technology, and Training, with interests in program evaluation and precision medicine. Her background is in genetics, genomics and policy issues related to sharing specimens and data from clinical studies. Prior to joining NINR, Dr. Rasooly was a Program Director and Deputy Division Director for the Division of Kidney, Urologic & Hematologic Disease at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. She also did policy work in NIH’s Office of Extramural Programs. Dr. Rasooly received her undergraduate degree from Harvard and her PhD in genetics from Michigan State University. She joined NIH after serving as an Assistant Professor at St. John’s University, a Visiting Professor at Johns Hopkins University and an Assistant Deputy Scientific Director for the Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man database.
Dionne Godette, PhD
Team Lead, Prevention
Epidemiology; Social Determinants of Health
Dr. Godette is a public health researcher who comes to NINR from the CDC, where she served as a Health Scientist in their Office of Medicine & Science for the past 2 years, overseeing extramural research. She is also an NIH extramural veteran, having worked as a program director at ODP and NIAAA. At ODP, Dionne oversaw the Scientific Interest Groups (SIGs) and developed FOAs and workshops. At NIAAA, she managed a portfolio of science focused broadly on the epidemiology and prevention of alcohol use, specifically in the areas of social determinants of alcohol-related health equity and alcohol-related health disparities. Prior to joining the federal government in 2011, Dionne was an Assistant Professor at the University of Georgia studying social determinants of health disparities in alcohol and other substance abuse.
Dionne holds a PhD from UNC (2004) and completed two post-doctoral fellowships at the Harvard School of Public Health and Boston Univ. School of Public Health. She also worked as a substance abuse treatment counselor, case manager for drug and alcohol addicted clients and HIV/AIDS outreach counselor for adolescents before embarking on her research career.
At NINR, Dionne will oversee a program focused on epidemiology and social determinants of health. She will also be working to strengthen our investment in research on housing as a social determinant of health and on vaccine hesitancy.
Kristopher Bough, MS, PhD
Team Lead, Special Programs Team
Technology; Small Business Innovation Research
Dr. Bough is the Director of NINR’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program and oversees a portfolio of healthcare technologies. Prior to joining NINR, Dr. Bough was a Program Director at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) for 12 years where he oversaw SBIR/STTR and research project grants focused on the discovery of new therapeutics for addiction (2008-2020). Prior to joining NIDA, Dr. Bough worked as a clinical pharmacologist at the US Food & Drug Administration/Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (2005-2008). He is interested in the development of biomarkers and AI-based technologies to improve healthcare. Dr. Bough holds a B.S. degree in Biology from Gettysburg College and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Biology (neuroscience) from Georgetown University.
David Banks, PhD, MPH, MSSW, RN
Training; Basic, Biomedical, and Behavioral Research
Dr. Banks is the Extramural Research Training Officer at NINR overseeing NINR’s F and T Series Research Training Programs. Dr. Banks is a nurse scientist who has published articles on blood donation, elder care, HIV/AIDS, and other topics in scientific journals including the American Journal of Public Health; Journal of Black Psychology, and Transfusion. In addition, he represents NINR on the NIH Training Advisory Committee and the Enhancing the Diversity of the NIH-Funded Workforce Working Group. Dr. Banks holds a BSN, BA (economics), MPH, MS (social work), and PhD (human development).
Shalanda A. Bynum, PhD, MPH
Social Determinants of Health
Dr. Bynum is a health disparities researcher who joins NINR from the Center for Scientific Review where she served as a Scientific Review Officer in the Risk, Prevention and Health Behavior Integrated Review Group. Prior to entering the federal government, Dr. Bynum was on faculty at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. As an academician, her research program focused on addressing the unequal burden of disease among minoritized populations. More specifically, she used innovative communication approaches to reduce the discovery-delivery divide, community-engaged and mixed-methods research methods to gain a richer understanding of community problems and solutions to addressing them, and culturally relevant behavioral theory to contextualize research efforts.
She holds a BS in psychology from Florida A&M University and MPH and PhD in health promotion from the University of South Carolina. Dr. Bynum also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in behavioral oncology at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute.
At NINR, Dr. Bynum oversees a research grant portfolio focused broadly on the social determinants of health; violence, adversity, and trauma; and sexual health.
Liz Perruccio, PhD
Health Disparities; Training
Liz Perruccio comes to NINR from NIDCR, where she served as a Scientific Review Officer. Prior to that, Liz worked as a Program Director at the NCI in the Center to Reduce Health Disparities (CRCHD), where she was responsible for the oversight of national research programs that: (1) advanced biological, epidemiological, clinical, and behavioral research to improve cancer control/prevention efforts and promoted health equity; (2) coordinated research, training, and outreach efforts for cancer disparities research, and (3) increased the inclusion/diversity of underrepresented populations and investigators in biomedical research via the CPACHE Program.
Liz began her career as a Regulatory Scientist at the FDA in 2008 before joining NCI in 2010. She holds a PhD from New York Medical College (2001) and completed two NIH post-doctoral fellowships, one at NCI (2001-03) and one at NEI (2003-08). She is passionate about advancing health equity and in 2018 was awarded the NCI Director’s Award for NCI Champions-Leading Diversity for her efforts.
At NINR, Liz will oversee a health disparities research program as well as working on the NINR training program.
Amanda Alise Price, PhD
Dr. Amanda Price is a Program Director overseeing the prevention science portfolio. Prior to joining the NIH, first as a Program Director at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Dr. Price served as a tenured Associate Professor in the School of Health Sciences at Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) and held several key leadership roles at WSSU, the University of North Carolina System, and the American College of Sports Medicine. In academia, she successfully competed for NIH funding as a principal investigator and generated numerous publications and presentations from her work centered on the prevention and management of chronic diseases through promotion of healthy lifestyle behaviors, with an emphasis on addressing health disparities. Furthermore, Dr. Price has specialized expertise in research methods and design, statistics, and training future healthcare professionals. Dr. Price earned both her Ph.D. and B.S.Ed. in exercise physiology with a doctoral concentration in statistics and undergraduate minors in chemistry and sports medicine from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL.
Sung Sug (Sarah) Yoon, PhD, RN
Dr. Yoon is a Program Director overseeing a portfolio focused on women’s health and data science. Dr. Yoon completed post-doctoral training at the National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke, served as a coordinator in the National Stroke Registry at CDC, and was an epidemiologist in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey at the National Center for Health Statistics. Most recently she was a Scientific Review Officer at NIH’s Center for Scientific Review, where she was responsible for the Nursing and Related Clinical Science study section. Dr. Yoon holds a BSN and a PhD (clinical epidemiology).
Shweta Singh, PhD, MSN, RN
AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow
Dr. Singh joins the NINR as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science & Technology Policy Fellow. She holds a PhD from the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania. Her doctoral dissertation was a large-scale study empirically demonstrating that nurse burnout is associated with preventable adverse events, in part due to missed necessary care. Her broader research interests include heath workforce issues, inequities in health care quality, safety, and access, as well as how the organization of nursing impacts nurse and patient outcomes. Bringing academic, clinical, and policy perspectives to healthcare issues, Dr. Singh hopes to use her fellowship to help bridge the gap between nursing research, policy, and practice.
Dr. Singh also holds a BSN and an Adult-Gerontology Primary Care MSN from UPenn. She’s an experienced clinician who worked as an inpatient oncology RN for over six years at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
Lynn S. Adams, PhD
Dr. Adams is a Health Scientist Administrator in the Office of End-of-Life and Palliative Care Research overseeing a portfolio focused on palliative care. Prior to joining NINR, she was a Health Scientist Administrator for the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health, an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow, and cancer subject matter specialist on human health risk assessments at the Environmental Protection Agency. Dr. Adams was also a research fellow at the City of Hope where she led preclinical research studies of breast and prostate cancers. Dr. Adams holds AS, BS, and PhD degrees.
Karen A. Kehl, PhD, RN, FPCN
Dr. Kehl is a Health Scientist Administrator in the Office of End-of-Life and Palliative Care Research overseeing a portfolio focused on end-of-life care and hospice. Dr. Kehl’s research background focuses on improving preparation of families for care in the last phase of life in the home hospice setting. Previously, she was an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing. Dr. Kehl is a Fellow in Palliative Care Nursing and holds BS, MS, and PhD degrees in Nursing.