The ECNG is pleased to announce Dr. Ralph Nitkin as the recipient of the 2016 ACRM Early Career Outstanding Mentor Award! This award was established in 2016 to honor those who have significantly contributed through mentoring, to the development of the early career rehabilitation professional, the Early Career Development Course and the Early Career Networking Group’s Mentoring Task Force.
Ralph Nitkin, PhD, is the Deputy Director for the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research (NCMRR), which is located within the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) at the NIH. He received his undergraduate and Master’s degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the area of biological sciences, and his Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego in cellular neurobiology. His postdoctoral studies at Stanford University and later work as an assistant professor at Rutgers University focused on the cellular and molecular basis of nerve-muscle synapse formation. For the past 26 years he has worked as a science administrator at the NICHD, first in the area of mental retardation and developmental disabilities and for the last 16 years in the area of medical rehabilitation.
Dr. Nitkin has been heavily involved in the formation of the rehab research infrastructure networks (www.NCMRR.ORG), the annual rehab grant-writing workshop (formerly ERRIS, currently called TIGRR), and special career-development networks for physiatrists, for physical/occupational therapists, and more recently for rehab engineers. He has helped promote NIH research initiatives in such diverse areas as genomic factors that affect rehab outcomes, promotion of exercise and diet in children with disabilities, clinical trial design in rehab, technologies for healthy independent living, and research workforce diversity. He looks forward to continuing to work with rehab researchers as well as those from allied fields.