The NIH Director Elias Zerhouni issued a recent press release on the implementation of new “enhancements” of peer review. No kidding this time.

“As we contemplated possible changes, we were guided by several fundamental principles. First, while improving the system, do no harm. That is, ensure that any changes to the peer review system bring significant value and outweigh costs,” said Zerhouni. “Second, continue to maximize the freedom of scientists to pursue high-risk, high-impact research. Moreover, we want to cultivate a sense that we continuously re-evaluate the peer review system to ensure that it is the best that it can be.”

Oh boy.

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RIP: Billy Ray Martin

June 9, 2008

An absolute lion, perhaps even the dean, of exogenous cannabinoid pharmacology has passed away.
The obituary from the Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch is here.

MARTIN, Dr. Billy Ray, 65, of Richmond, died Sunday, June 8, 2008. He was Chairman of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at VCU.

Billy Martin’s scientific output was prodigious, with a majority of it focused on the pharmacological properties of the cannabinoids. His interest dated at least back to 1975 with the publication of this paper:

Martin BR, Dewey WL, Harris LS, Beckner J. Marihuana-like activity of new synthetic tetrahydrocannabinols. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1975 Sep-Oct;3(5):849-53.

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