WELLESLEY, Mass. -- Story C. Landis, Ph.D. '67 has been
named director of the National
Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).
Dr. Landis, who is currently the scientific director of
the NINDS intramural program, will begin her appointment
on September 1, 2003.
"I am very pleased that Dr. Landis has accepted this increased
responsibility as Institute Director," said Tommy G. Thompson,
Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services
(DHHS). "Her visionary scientific leadership, together with
her ability to build bridges between disparate scientific
groups, make her the best person to lead the NINDS into
"Dr. Landis is widely recognized for her research on the
development of the nervous system and has already encouraged
close ties among the NIH neuroscience community," said NIH
Director Dr. Elias Zerhouni in announcing the appointment.
"She is a distinguished scientist and a skilled manager
who will be an ideal leader for the NINDS' growing translational
As the new Director of the NINDS, Dr. Landis will oversee
an annual budget of $1.5 billion and a staff of more than
900 scientists, physician-scientists, and administrators.
The Institute supports research by investigators in public
and private institutions across the country, as well as
by scientists working in its intramural laboratories and
branches in Bethesda, Maryland.
"I am delighted to have been chosen to lead an NIH Institute
with an outstanding staff, whose investigators have a wonderful
history of accomplishments in basic and clinical neurology,"
said Dr. Landis. "This is a particularly exciting time in
neuroscience with many opportunities for rapid translation
of scientific discovery into new diagnostics and therapeutics.
I look forward to developing strong collaborations between
the NINDS, the other NIH institutes that fund neuroscience
research, and our most important partners, patient and professional
Dr. Landis joined the NINDS in 1995 as scientific director
and worked with then-Institute Director Zach W. Hall,Ph.D.,
to coordinate and re-engineer the Institute's intramural
research programs. Between 1999 and 2000, under the leadership
of NINDS Director Gerald D. Fischbach, M.D., she led the
movement, together with NIMH Scientific Director Robert
Desimone, Ph.D., to bring some sense of unity and common
purpose to 200 laboratories from eleven different NIH Institutes,
all of which conduct leading edge clinical and basic neuroscience
A native of New England, Dr. Landis majored in biology
at Wellesley and earned her master's and doctoral degrees
from Harvard University where she conducted research on
cerebellar development in mice. After postdoctoral work
at Harvard University studying transmitter plasticity in
sympathetic neurons, she served on the faculty of the Harvard
Medical School Department of Neurobiology.
In 1985 she joined the faculty of Case Western Reserve
University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio, where
she held many academic positions including Associate Professor
of Pharmacology, Professor and Director of the Center on
Neurosciences, and Chairman of the Department of Neurosciences,
a department she was instrumental in establishing. Under
her leadership, Case Western's neuroscience department achieved
worldwide acclaim and a reputation for excellence.
Throughout her research career, Dr. Landis has made many
fundamental contributions to the understanding of developmental
interactions required for synapse formation. She has garnered
many honors and awards and is an elected fellow of the Academy
of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement
of Science, and the American Neurological Association. In
2002, she was named the President-Elect of the Society for
In 2001 she returned to Wellesley to participate as a panelist
in the College's 125th
anniversary conference, "Women Who Will: A Celebration of
Wellesley College Alumnae and Their Life Paths."
Wellesley College has been a leader in the education of
women for more than 125 years. The College's 500-acre campus
near Boston is home to a total of 2,300 undergraduate students.
Among Wellesley's distinguished alumnae are Senator Hillary
Rodham Clinton, former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright,
Madame Chiang Kai-shek, and broadcast journalists Cokie
Roberts, Diane Sawyer, Lynn Sherr and Linda Wertheimer.