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Professors Guiding National Research Funding


Three Fordham faculty members played active roles in the distribution of more than $100 million in federal grant money awarded to battle everything from smoking and alcohol abuse to reckless driving and West Nile virus.

Dan Mroczek, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology; Barry Rosenfeld, Ph.D., professor of psychology; and Richard Falco, Ph.D., medical entomologist at the Louis Calder Center – Biological Station, all served on panels over the past several months to review applications for scientific research grants. Mroczek and Rosenfeld served on review boards for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Falco was a member of a Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) panel. They were selected for their demonstrated expertise in their chosen fields.

Mroczek, who has served for three years on NIH review panels, was named chair this year for an NIH panel on risk prevention and health behavior. The panel of approximately 40 professors from universities nationwide reviewed grant requests for a total of $85 million for behavioral health research, such as drug and alcohol abuse, smoking, heart disease, lung cancer, eating disorders, oral hygiene and reckless driving.

“A surprising amount of health problems in the United States today are the result of various behavioral problems,” said Mroczek. “More and more people today are eating poorly, smoking and drinking; and in the end the taxpayer ultimately foots the bill.”

The panel meets three times a year, and receives approximately 400 annual requests for research grants.

Rosenfeld served on an NIH panel that reviewed grant requests for research on behavioral medicine interventions and outcomes. The panel, which also meets three times a year, typically reviews approximately 100 grant applications in a single meeting, only 15 to 20 percent of which actually receive funding. The topics of applications submitted include mental health, decision-making and quality of life research.

Falco was a member of a CDC panel that reviewed more than 80 grant proposals for research on the West Nile Virus. Ten proposals were ultimately approved with a total of $2.5 million in grants awarded. The 15 members of the panel each reviewed grant applications for research in their area of expertise. Falco reviewed proposals studying the mosquito, and its roll in transporting West Nile virus.


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