Dennis A. Twombly, Ph.D.

Deputy Director, Office of Extramural Policy
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), NIH

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Dennis A. Twombly, Ph.D., is the Deputy Director of Extramural Policy at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).   In this position, he is involved in developing and interpreting NIH grant policies and in administering the institute’s extramural funding programs.  He is also NICHD’s Training Officer, overseeing various types of training awards including NRSA fellowships, career development awards, institutional training programs (T32 and K12), and education grants (R25).  Dr. Twombly is Chair of NICHD’s Training Policy Committee and co-Chair of the NIH-wide Training Advisory Committee (TAC).

Dr. Twombly received a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the UCLA Brain Research Institute, with primary focus on the neurophysiology of epilepsy. Prior to joining the NIH, he held a faculty position at Northwestern University School of Medicine (Chicago) in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology.   He was Principal Investigator of a variety of NIH research project grants on mechanisms of action of antiepileptic drugs, effects of alcohol on neuronal ion channels and receptors, and mechanisms of alcohol and aging in cardiac ventricular myocytes. Dr. Twombly came to NIH in 2001, serving for 9 years as Program Director of Neurophysiology & Pharmacology at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).  He assumed his current position at NICHD in 2009.   Along with his scientific and administrative activities, Dr. Twombly has played a major role at NIH in organizing various science education and outreach activities for middle-school and high school students and other members of the public.


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