Elected SSSC Officers (2018-2020)
Bethesda SS Co-Chair - Yoshimi Greer
I joined NCI in 2001 as a visiting fellow and became a Staff Scientist in 2009 in Dr. Rubin’s lab, Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Biology. After his retirement, I transferred to Dr. Lipkowitz lab, Women’s Malignancies Branch in 2014, and have been conducting basic and translational research focused on breast cancer. Over the years, I have been very fortunate to cultivate wonderful friendships and nurture productive collaborations with SSSC in NCI. As central workforce of NCI, every SSSC is a busy multi-tasker conducting research, learning new technologies, mentoring young fellows. SSSC organization is a unique community filled with many talented, driven, creative people with various expertise. I believe connecting with peers promotes personal growth and helps to advance science. Therefore, I’m interested in contributing to the SSSC community. I’ve been working in SSSC retreat committee since 2016 and served as a Co-Chair of SSSC retreat 2018. I’m also one of the facilitators of SSSC brown bag seminar series started 2017. I’d like to continue to assist SSSC organization and enrich our professional advancement.
Bethesda SS Vice Co-Chair - Even Walseng
I have been a staff scientist in Paul Roche’s lab in the Experimental Immunology Branch for 3 years where the focus is MHC-II biology. In addition to the MHC-II related research, I have an interest in utilizing TCRs in various aspects of immunotherapy. I’ve been involved in the SSSC since coming back to the NIH in 2015 and I’m currently serving as chair of the social networking sub-committee and a member of the professional development sub-committee. The SSSC does a very important job on the behalf of the staff scientists and staff clinicians by promoting growth and professional development well as keeping us visible.
SC Co-Chair - Lindsay Rowe
I initially came to the Radiation Oncology Branch at the National Cancer Institute in 2015 as a clinical research fellow, and subsequently joined the branch as a staff clinician with an interest in prostate cancer and primary brain tumors. My ongoing research involves patient reported outcomes and health related quality of life research, and I have had the opportunity to serve as the medical director of the prostate cancer multidisciplinary clinic. My time at NCI has been very rewarding, and I have been presented with many opportunities to improve myself both as a physician and researcher. As a member of the SSSC my goals would be to promote opportunities that encourage mentorship and professional development opportunities for staff scientists and staff clinicians, and encourage multidisciplinary research endeavors within the SSSC.
SC Vice Co-Chair - Esther Mena
I initially joined the Molecular Imaging Program at the National Cancer Institute in 2009 as a clinical research fellow, and subsequently rejoined as a Staff Clinician in 2016, after completing my residency in Nuclear Medicine at Johns Hopkins University. My ongoing research involves the use of novel PET/CT imaging for diagnosis and management of prostate cancer, with the goal of using molecular imaging to understand the tumor biology and further improve clinical outcome. I am a lead and associate investigator of several clinical trials, and work closely with radiation and medical oncologists, radiologists, and computer scientists. As a member of the CCR SSSC, I would like to facilitate collaboration and networking between Staff Scientists and Staff Clinicians and bring opportunities for professional career development and mentorship.
Frederick SS Co-Chair - Jason Stagno
I currently serve as a structural biologist in the Protein-Nucleic Acid Interaction (PNAI) Section of CCR’s Structural Biophysics Laboratory. After completing my postdoc at NCI-Frederick in 2012, I spent two years as a Health Science Policy Analyst in the NIH Office of Biotechnology Activities. This time away from the bench provided me a unique opportunity to apply my scientific knowledge and experience in diverse ways, giving me new perspective and deeper appreciation for science and just how important our work truly is. My passion for scientific research ultimately led me back to the bench at NCI as a Staff Scientist in 2016. With the help and support of colleagues, I have made major contributions to the fields of structural biology, most notably time-resolved crystallographic methods using X-ray free electron lasers to observe, in real time, RNA conformational changes triggered by ligand binding. Our work in this area not only resulted in a major publication, but has been highlighted in numerous press releases, CCR Milestones, PDB molecule of the month, and several invited seminars.
Despite my initial success as a Staff Scientist, however, I acquired a yearning to contribute more to the SSSC community, primarily in addressing two key areas of concern. First, which I believe is (or should be) a concern of all SS/SCs, is professional development. The position of SS/SC is wonderfully unique; it allows for rigorous scientific research at the highest level with minimal administrative or other obligations, such as those associated with the position of PI. The rarity and exceptional nature of the SS/SC, however, makes professional development complicated, and success difficult to measure. During my first quadrennial review period, a myriad of questions plagued my mind, such as “What specific criteria are used to review the SS/SC, and what weight is given to each?” “Are these criteria fair and adequate?” “What additional factors might affect the accuracy of those review criteria, and are such factors even considered?” “What are my career possibilities (if any) toward which I should be working, and how do I measure how close I am to achieving them?” The second area, which is of grave concern, is the lack of interest and involvement amongst members of the organization. In my experience (albeit limited), meetings seem to be very poorly attended, and often involve very little contribution from members to the discussions and topics raised by committee Chairs. What are the reasons for this? Is it the style/structure of the meetings? Is it the topics/issues discussed (or not discussed)? Is it complacency or apathy? If people think the meetings (or worse the SSSC organization in general) are a waste of time, they will not attend. However, the SSSC organization exists for a specific purpose: to advance our professional goals and scientific careers. If we don’t want that for ourselves, no one else is going to fight for it on our behalf. The success and potential impact of our organization hinges on our level of involvement. WE need to be the impetus for change. WE need to pave the way for our advancing our careers. And to do that, WE need greater involvement in our organization.
Frederick SS Vice Co-Chair - Balamurugan Kuppusamy
I served as one of the co-chairs of the 13th annual retreat committee in 2017 and co-chair of the 14th annual retreat communication subcommittee in 2018. Additionally, I was serving as a moderator of the sessions in 2016, 2017, 2018 annual SS/SC retreats. I was the one proposed the idea of having a separate nomination and award for outstanding mentoring award for staff scientists/staff clinicians, which was duly executed by Dr. Abdul Waheed in 2016. If I get an opportunity to serve as a co-chair for 2019-2020, I will definitely speak for the entire SS/SC community.