Richard Wainford, PhD, has been named to the Early Career Reviewer (ECR) program at the Center for Scientific Review (CSR), National Institute of Health. As an eligible reviewer, he may be called upon by the Scientific Reviewer Officers (SROs) as they assemble study sections for the applications they are reviewing. The success of Dr. Wainford’s application to participate in the CSR ECR program represents a significant milestone in the NIH CSR policy to train and educate early career scientists in conducting effective grant reviews and to increase the number of Assistant Professor’s participating in the national review of NIH grants. Participation in this program will enhance the ability of Dr. Wainford to act as a critical and well trained reviewer and will advance his career through exposure to the NIH review process increasing the future competiveness of grant applications.
Dr. Wainford’s research focuses on enhancing the current understanding of the brain G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) mediated central neural regulatory pathways operating to prevent the development of the life-threatening pathophysiological condition of hypertension. This is of critical public health relevance as Hypertension affects 1 in 3 US adults and is predicted by the World Health Organization to be the leading cause of death by 2020. Research conducted in Dr. Wainford’s laboratory has revealed the existence of a brain GPCR activated Gαi2-subunit protein-gated signal transduction pathway that regulates the release of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine and directly influences the activity of the renal sympathetic nerves. These studies have provided a novel integrated central molecular/cellular target (brain Gαi2 subunit proteins) for which new therapies can be directed to alter systemic cardiovascular parameters (e.g. anti-hypertensive medications) and/or renal excretory function (natriuretic compounds) to treat the multiple disease states that feature enhanced neural activity (sympathoexcitation) and/or the impaired renal handling of sodium e.g., salt-sensitive hypertension, congestive heart failure, essential hypertension. A member of the department of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics at the BUSM and the Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute since 2011, he currently serves as an assistant professor.