BLACKSBURG, Va., Mar. 17, 2004 - Dr. Neysa Call, head of Public Relations and Outreach for Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI), has resigned from her position to join the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Congressional Affairs Team as a Congressional Specialist in Arlington, Va.

“Neysa brought both scientific expertise and unflagging energy to VBI that only someone with her diverse professional background could add,” said VBI Executive and Scientific Director Dr. Bruno Sobral. “She developed all of VBI’s public relations activities, as well as community outreach programs and our contribution to the graduate programs with which we are currently involved. The public relations and outreach department’s growth and success are the result of her outstanding leadership and mentoring abilities.”

Call joined VBI in 2001 after working on the director’s staff at NSF. She played an integral role in the rapid growth of VBI, fostering interdisciplinary collaboration and encouraging faculty to recruit and mentor high school, graduate and undergraduate students. In addition, she independently planned VBI’s first teambuilding and staff development events, which sustained VBI in times of change and expansion.

Under her leadership, the Public Relations and Outreach team developed and maintained the VBI website, created the institute’s first two annual reports and developed all of VBI’s communication tools and materials. Call also established and maintained numerous strong working relationships between VBI and international and community collaborators. Thanks to her efforts, VBI is recognized as a leader in the growing field of bioinformatics.

In her new position, Call will act as a liaison between NSF and U.S. legislators in the areas of public policy and scientific programs. She will be missed by all at VBI, but in her new position will be able to exercise her expertise in governmental affairs.

VBI is conducting a search for Call’s replacement. In the interim, VBI Scientific Research Coordinator Blanche O’Neill will oversee the Public Relations and Outreach team’s operations.

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Published by Public Relations, March 16, 2004