Share

Dr. Eric Harvill Invited to Serve as Member of NIH Genetic Variation and Evolution Study Section

Posted: July 16, 2013

The addition of Dr. Eric Harvill to the National Institute of Health (NIH) study section Genetic Variation and Evolution will allow him an opportunity to influence the quality and type of research funded by the NIH. Dr. Harvill already has served on five other study sections in the past and joins at least ten other VBS faculty members who also have served on various study sections.
Dr. Harvill has been a Penn State VBS faculty member since 2000 and heads the Harvill Lab in the Center for Infection Disease Dynamics.

Dr. Harvill has been a Penn State VBS faculty member since 2000 and heads the Harvill Lab in the Center for Infection Disease Dynamics.

The Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences (VBS) department is proud to announce that faculty member Dr. Eric Harvill of the Immunology and Infectious Disease group has been invited to serve as a member of the Genetic Variation and Evolution (GVE) Study Section for the Center for Scientific Review (CSR) at the National Institute of Health (NIH). He will serve a term beginning July 01, 2013 and ending June 30, 2019. Dr. Harvill already has served on five other study sections in the past and joins at least ten other VBS faculty members who also have served on various study sections.

The NIH reviews approximately 80,000 grant applications each year, which are funneled into area-specific study sections for peer review.  Each study section consists of a group of hand-picked preeminent scientists who are recruited based on their demonstrated competence and achievement in their scientific discipline.  “Service on a study section requires mature judgment and objectivity, as well as the ability to work effectively in a group, qualities we believe Dr. Harvill will bring to this important task,” says the NIH’s Center for Scientific Review Director, Dr. Richard Nakamura. 

Dr. Harvill earned his B.S. from Penn State and continued on to earn his Ph.D. and perform post-doctoral research at the University of California prior to coming back to Penn State as a faculty member in 2000. Since then, he has attained tenure and is a Professor of Microbiology and Infectious Disease in the VBS department.

He also is known for his extensive work in graduate education, contributing to two training grants, and training 15 Ph.D. students the Harvill research lab, which examines pathogen-host interactions and the evolution of respiratory pathogens from harmless commensals.  His lab group is highly collaborative and interacts extensively with the Penn State Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics (CMIID) and Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics (CIDD), as well as other research groups across campus.

Interim VBS Department Head Dr. Mary Kennett states, “Dr. Harvill has been a very productive member of the VBS Department. His selection to serve on the GVE study section is based on his many research accomplishments and his excellent standing in the research community. This is a major commitment of time and energy, and the department fully supports him in this endeavor.”

For his role in the NIH study section, Dr. Harvill will be responsible for critiquing grant applications, making recommendations to the appropriate NIH advisory council, and keeping abreast of research in his field. These tasks are not new to him as he has been involved with other study sections in the past. “I have learned a lot by serving on five different NIH study sections in widely disparate fields. I expect my long-term commitment to this particular study section to be an important part of my development in this area over the coming years,” explains Dr. Harvill.

He has served in many other reviewing roles as well, such as: the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), various National Academy of Science committees, the Editorial Board for Infection and Immunity journal, and the Scientific Advisory Board for International Bordetella meetings among others.

“The NIH funds some of the best scientific research in the world, selected by a peer-review system that is revered as the most effective.” Dr. Harvill also adds, “I consider it my civic duty to contribute to this process, but it will also be challenging and fun.”