National, Local Leaders Named to Georgetown, Howard Research Center Advisory Board

WASHINGTON -- Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Science (GHUCCTS) announces its first Community Advisory Board. Comprised of 13 health and community advocates, the board assures research conducted by the Center addresses the unique health issues that exist in the Washington metropolitan area.

The board members are a diverse group – from scientists and researchers to health care providers to community activists -- that can facilitate dialogue between GHUCCTS researchers and local communities.

GHUCCTS was created to transform health care and preventive practices in communities through medical discoveries made in laboratories and clinical settings.  It is funded by a $38.2 million Clinical and Translational Science Award from the National Institutes of Health.

“A major goal of the Center is to rapidly translate research findings that can have an immediate impact on the health of our broader community,” says Joseph Verbalis, M.D., co-director of the center and professor of medicine at Georgetown. “The community advisory board is designed to serve a crucial function for achieving communication with, and guidance from the local community. Its members are highly invested in assuring that the Center research translates to meaningful impact on the health of the local community and the nation.”

The board members include:

  • Uma Ahluwalia, director of the Department of Health and Human Services for the Montgomery County Health Department.
  • Dr. Francyne Anderson, president of the District of Columbia Primary Care Practice Based Research Network.
  • Dr. Alison Bartleman, network director of the Capital Area Primary Care Research Network.
  •  Dr. Yanira Cruz, president and CEO of the National Hispanic Council on Aging.
  • Cyndy Dailey, director of Multicultural Human Services for Northern Virginia Family Service
  • Giovanna Dixon, research participant representative.
  • Steve Galen, president and CEO of the Primary Care Coalition of Montgomery County
  • Millicent Gorham, executive director of the National Black Nurses Association
  • Roy Harrington Jr., research participant representative
  • D. Magrini, director of educational programs for The Mautner Project with the National Lesbian Health Organization.
  • Mat McCollough, executive director of the DC Developmental Disabilities Council.
  • Matthew J. Reinhard, director of Washington DC War Related Illness and Injury Study Center , VA Medical Center  
  • Abyssinia Washington, clinical psychologist and national children’s advocacy expert

GHUCCTS, also has completed a new website,, aimed at creating virtual partnerships with health researchers, community organizations and the public. The website will play a key role in providing resources to health and medical researchers while also connecting people in the community with research advances and opportunities.

“The website will enhance one of the nation’s largest biomedical and clinical research networks while providing key information to community partners engaged in our research endeavors,” says Dr. Thomas Mellman, co-director of GHUCCTS and professor of psychiatry and associate dean for Clinical and Translational Research at Howard University.

GHUCCTS includes researchers from Georgetown University Medical Center and Howard University, both in Washington, MedStar Health/MedStar Health Research Institute in Hyattsville, Md., Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tenn.,and the Washington DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

About Howard University
Founded in 1867, students pursue studies in more than 120 academic areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars, 21 Fulbright Scholars and 10 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on-campus African-American Ph.D.s than any other university in the world. For more information about Howard University, visit the University's website at

About Georgetown University Medical Center
Georgetown University Medical Center is an internationally recognized academic medical center with a three-part mission of research, teaching and patient care through MedStar Health. GUMC’s mission is carried out with a strong emphasis on public service and a dedication to the Catholic, Jesuit principle of cura personalis -- or "care of the whole person." The Medical Center includes the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing & Health Studies, both nationally ranked; Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, designated as a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute; and the Biomedical Graduate Research Organization (BGRO), which accounts for the majority of externally funded research at GUMC including a Clinical Translation and Science Award from the National Institutes of Health.

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