Chief of NIH Research Branch Named UB Vice President for Research

By Arthur Page

Release Date: September 6, 2000

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Jaylan Turkkan has been named UB's vice president for research.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Jaylan S. Turkkan, Ph.D., who has an extensive record as an academic researcher at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a research administrator at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and related agencies, has been named vice president for research at the University at Buffalo, effective Oct. 1.

Turkkan has served since 1994 as chief of the Behavioral Sciences Research Branch of the Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Research and as chair of the Behavioral Science Working Group at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). She previously was an associate professor of behavioral biology in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where she was a faculty member from 1981-99.

Turkkan succeeds Dale M. Landi, Ph.D., who will become UB's vice president for special projects and programs, effective Oct. 1. Landi joined UB as vice president for sponsored programs in 1987 and was named vice president for research in 1992. In his new position, he will represent the university in the development of cooperative arrangements with other universities, government agencies, nonprofit corporations, and business and industrial associations, and serve as UB President William R. Greiner's representative to local and state industrial-development organizations.

Turkkan's appointment was announced by Greiner and UB Provost Elizabeth D. Capaldi.

"Professor Turkkan's appointment," he noted, "signals a renewed emphasis on UB's research mission at a time when the increasing competition for federal funds requires a strategic approach.

"Her knowledge of the federal research enterprise, combined with her expertise as an academic scientist, will serve our interests well in the years ahead."

Capaldi added: "I am delighted that Dr. Turkkan will be joining us. Her demonstrated ability to put groups of researchers together in interdisciplinary teams to solve critical research problems is precisely what UB needs at this time to allow us to compete at the cutting edge of many research areas."

A past president of The Pavlovian Society, Turkkan is chair and founder of the Behavioral and Social Sciences Interest Group at the NIH. From July 1993 until November 1994, she was a grants associate in the office of the director of the NIH, one of the world's foremost biomedical research centers and the federal focal point for biomedical research in the United States.

As a research administrator, she established a program to create Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Centers, which is a model for collaboration between the public and private sectors. She recently received two NIH Director's Awards for her contributions to creation of the centers.

As a faculty member in The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Turkkan held a joint appointment in the Department of Psychology and was a principal investigator at the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center. In addition, she was a co-principal investigator in the Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit of the Francis Scott Key Medical Center and a consultant with the Kennedy Krieger Institute for Children.

Born in New York City, Turkkan holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., and a doctorate in experimental psychology (learning) from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She was a National Institute of Mental Health postdoctoral fellow in the Interdisciplinary Training Program in the Neurosciences at The John Hopkins University School of Medicine from 1978-81.

The author of more than 70 peer-reviewed scientific papers and book chapters, and of an edited book, Turkkan's primary area of research relates to the effects of behavior on cardiovascular disease. Her publications have appeared in the American Journal of Physiology, Journal of Studies on Alcohol, Physiology and Behavior, The New England Journal of Medicine, Pharmacology, Journal of Medical Primatology, Biochemistry and Behavior, and Behavioral and Brain Sciences, among others.

She has received research grants from a range of agencies, including the National Heart and Lung Blood Institute, the National Institute on Mental Health and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, all of which are part of the NIH.