13th RCMI International Symposium on Health Disparities

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For Immediate Release

Kermit G. Payne
The 1Joshua Group
1513 East Cleveland Avenue
Building 100-B, Suite 110
Atlanta, GA 30344

RCMI2012 International Health Disparities Symposium Dedicated to Dr. Sidney A. McNairy, Jr.

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO – April 19, 2012 – The Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) 2012 Symposium Planning Committee is pleased to announce the dedication of the 13th International Symposium on Health Disparities to Dr. Sidney A. McNairy, Jr.  Dr. McNairy’s twenty-five years of exemplary leadership contributed to the development and growth of the RCMI program.  He championed the idea that researchers in minority and other small and developing institutions can compete with scientists at majority institutions if presented with the same resources and opportunities.  Dr. McNairy worked to foster biomedical research environments in minority institutions that have given thousands of researcher’s access to scientific and educational resources and ensured that a diverse group of scientists contribute to the biomedical research advances that lead to improved health for all.

Dr. Emma Fernández of the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus and 2012 Symposium Chairperson said, “We dedicate this program in Dr. McNairy’s honor.  He is an outstanding mentor, a role model and visionary to the biomedical research community.”  Dr. Fernández stated further, “The local hosts for the Symposium are honored that this dedication takes place in Puerto Rico where Dr. McNairy’s guidance is so greatly evident.”

An award-winning academician and senior-level federal grants administrator, Dr. McNairy has been the driving force behind other innovative programs at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) such as the Institutional Development Award (IDeA) program, the Animal Facilities Improvement Program (AFIP) and the Research Facilities Improvement Program (RFIP), strengthening the biomedical research infrastructure at emerging and research intensive institutions throughout the nation.  He is also a leader in the development of programs that address health disparities and health-related science education for K-12 students and the general public.

Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Dr. McNairy received his B.S. degree in Chemistry from LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in biochemistry from Purdue University, in West Lafayette, Indiana.  During his graduate career, he isolated, chemically characterized, and determined the molecular basis of the biological actions of triterpenoid glycosides.  He has received numerous awards and honors, including eight honorary doctorate degrees, and was designated an “Old Master” by his alma mater Purdue University.  He is a member of the Golden Parade of alumni, the Board of Trustees of LeMoyne–Owen College, an honorary member of the Tuskegee Veterinary Medical Alumni Association and has been designated an “Arkansas Traveler” by the governor of Arkansas.

Prior to joining NIH, Dr. McNairy was a Professor of Chemistry at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  He was also a visiting scientist at Charles Pfizer, Eli Lilly, General Electric, Standard Oil of California, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  One of the highlights of his research career was his work as part of the pioneering research team at Eli Lilly that isolated proinsulin, sequenced the insulin connecting polypeptide, and developed a radio-immunological assay for proinsulin.

Dr. Sidney A McNairy is often described by his colleagues as “A Beacon of Light for Biomedical Research in the Nation.”

For more information about the 13th RCMI International Symposium on Health Disparities visit www.rcmibiennial.org or call 404.559.6191.


About the 13th RCMI International Symposium on Health Disparities
This special event is hosted by the RCMI Programs at Ponce School of Medicine, Universidad Central del Caribe, and University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus and funded by Grant Number 8U13 MD007596 from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

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