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Center For Cancer Research National Cancer Institute
CCR SSSC Organization


Connie Sommers, Ph.D., Co-Chair

Qualifications: I obtained my Ph.D. from Georgetown University after studying cellular changes in breast cancer cells during tumor progression. In my postdoctoral fellowship at NICHD, I became interested in studying signal transduction during T cell development. Since 1999, I have been a Staff Scientist in Larry Samelson’s lab in the LCMB studying signal transduction in T cells with particular expertise in mouse models and flow cytometry.

Platform: I have been active in several Staff Scientist/Staff Clinician committees over the years including the Quadrennial Review, Pay Adjustment and Promotions Committee (2005-2006) and the SS/SC Retreat Committee (2010-2011). Together with Smitha Antony, I have also helped organize SS/SC social gatherings in Bldg. 37. I am familiar with the CCR SSSC Organization and its committees and would work with past Organization members to ensure a smooth transition and continue to emphasize training, networking and keeping SS/SCs informed of relevant issues to them.


Christophe Marchand, Ph.D., Secretary

Qualifications: I obtained my PhD in Molecular Pharmacology in 1997 from the University of Paris, Pierre & Marie Curie, France in the area of gene therapy via DNA triple helix formation. In 1998, I joined the Laboratory of Molecular Pharmacology, CCR as a Visiting Fellow where I was appointed Staff Scientist in 2006. In 2007, I was awarded the NCI Director’s Intramural Innovation Award for the development of a novel high-throughput screening assay for the discovery of human tyrosyl DNA phosphodiesterase I (Tdp1) inhibitors. I currently serve as a steering committee member for the Center of Excellence in HIV and Cancer Virology at NCI.

Platform: For the past year, I have been serving as a co-chair for the Professional Development Committee of the NCI Staff Scientist Staff Clinician Organization. In September, our committee was able to propose the first NCI Staff Scientist Staff Clinician Mid-year Training Activity. This NCI event was a great success and will be offered every other year alternatively with a NIH-wide Training Day. We are currently working on the first NCI Staff Scientist Staff Clinician New Hiring Handbook, which should be available in 2011. I will continue to serve actively the NCI Staff Scientist Staff Clinician Organization.



Sergey Tarasov, Ph.D., Co-Chair

Qualifications: I have graduated from Lomonosov State University (Moscow, Russia) and received my Ph.D. in macromolecular chemistry at Karpov Institute of Physical Chemistry (Moscow, Russia). I have joined Molecular Aspects of Drug Design section (Dr. C.J. Michejda) in 1997 to study drug-DNA interactions. In 2000 I became a core manager for the Biophysics Resource in the Structural Biophysics Laboratory (Dr. R. A. Byrd) to provide access, train and collaborate with CCR scientists in need of biophysical characterization of biomolecules and their interactions. Since my college years, I have been an active member of all scientific communities I belonged to. Recently, I have been a co-chair of CCR-DCEG SSSC retreat of 2012 and continue to participate as a member of organizing committee for the year of 2013.

Platform: Through years of its existence, the SSSC organization was very successful in consolidation of SSSC efforts to achieve professional goals. However, many aspects of our professional life are still in need of improvement. For example, of four career groups (fellows, ss, tenure-track and tenured PIs) staff scientists still have the lowest level of job security. Can we have it improved? It is hard to know, but nothing will change if we will not be trying. Everyday work of Frederick SSSC is intermingled with that of a related group of SAIC Scientists. I believe, we need to strengthen and widen these contacts to improve interactions within FNLCR community Another important aspect of our local life is that we, the Frederick SSSC, do not interact much with each other, only a small group of “activists” participates in SSSC events such as professional training events, retreats, etc. We need to make additional efforts to bring us together so that everybody discovers and appreciates the advantages of integrated SSSC scientific community and benefits from it socially and scientifically.


Krista Frankenberry, Ph.D., Secretary 

Qualifications: I am currently a Staff Scientist in the HIV Drug Resistance Program at the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research. Unfortunately for HIV-1 infected patients, drug resistance still remains a major obstacle in the fight against HIV-1 infection and AIDS. My research focuses on evaluating the biochemical mechanisms behind different mutations involved in drug resistance, providing greater understanding on how the virus changes to escape drug pressure and new insights into anti-HIV-1 drug development.

Platform: I thank the other Staff Scientists/Staff Clinicians for the nomination for Secretary and look forward to being able to serve the SSSC community by keeping everyone informed of meetings, ideas, and issues important to our profession and career development.


Staff Clinician

Adam Metwalli, M.D., Co-Chair

Qualifications: I obtained my MD in 2000 from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine after which I completed my urology residency at University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. For fellowship training in urologic oncology, I then completed 2 years of translational research at UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in the laboratory of Dr. David McConkey investigating the restoration of apoptosis in bladder and prostate cancer models. Following that, I spent a year in the Urologic Oncology Branch of the NCI as a clinical fellow, finishing in 2008. I returned as a staff clinician in 2011 and currently serve as the primary kidney surgeon supporting the work of Dr. Marston Linehan on the genetic basis of kidney cancer. In addition, I am deeply involved in the educational mission of the UOB in training residents and fellows in urologic oncology. Since my return to the UOB, I have restructured the educational program for the fellows and arranged a guest lecture series for the fellows to expose them to the extraordinary expertise and educational opportunities available at this incredible institution.

Platform: As a staff clinician in the Urologic Oncology Branch, I would be honored to participate in the CCR Staff Scientists and Staff Clinician Organization in order to promote the goals and scientific careers of the CCR SSSC community. This is a critical time for Staff Scientist and Staff Clinicians as budgetary concerns become a greater issue throughout the NIH, and I believe that the SSSC Organization can and should play a pivotal role in representing the interests of the SS/SC community in these discussions going forward. I believe the profile of the CCR SSSC Organization can be raised so that there is broader participation in this organization among Staff Scientists and Staff Clinicians across the both the Bethesda and Frederick campuses. I think that participation will increase as Staff Scientists and Staff Clinicians see tangible results from the organization and it becomes clearer to them what the SSSCO can accomplish. The previous leadership of the SSSC Organization have done tremendous work to that end in establishing the SSSC Organization website, arranging the SS/SC retreat and organizing career development activities throughout the year; and I am eager in carrying that torch forward in serving on the SSSC Committee if elected.



Calendar of Events for SSSC Committee

Annual Event Planning Calendar