Donald G. Stein, PhD, Asa G. Candler Professor of Emergency Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, has been appointed to serve on the National Advisory Child Health and Human Development Council for a four-year term (Dec. 1, 2004 - Nov. 30, 2008). The 17-member advisory council serves the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), a branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Stein is the first Emory faculty member within the past 20 years to be appointed to the National Advisory Child Health and Human Development Council.
The council is responsible for a second level of peer-review of research grant applications requesting support from the NICHD, following a scientific and technical review of the applications. The council also provides advice to the director of the NICHD on matters relating to maternal health, child health, mental retardation, human growth and development (including prenatal development), population research, special health problems and requirements of mothers and children, and medical rehabilitation research. The council may prepare and contribute to reports and make recommendations concerning progress, objectives, future directions and policy emphasis of the Institute.
The diverse council is made up of two-thirds scientific members and one-third public members. Peers and colleagues nominate members. The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services makes the final decision on appointments.
Dr. Stein joined the Department of Emergency Medicine faculty at Emory in 1999. He is former dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the director of the Emergency Medicine Brain Research Laboratory and a long-time and well-respected researcher focusing on the processes underlying recovery of function after traumatic brain injury.
In the mid-1980's, Dr. Stein found that fetal tissue grafts into the damaged brain could promote cognitive and sensory recovery. His lab was the first to demonstrate sex differences in the outcome of severe injuries to the frontal cortex. Later investigations showed that progesterone played a key role in promoting functional recovery through its ability to eliminate brain swelling in both male and female laboratory animals.
Dr. Stein's current research focuses on the beneficial effects of progesterone in the treatment of traumatic brain injury in laboratory animals and humans. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke is currently funding this research.