Leigh Allen, Ph.D., became a program officer with CRB in 2022. Prior to joining NICHD, Dr. Allen spent 6 years at the University of Minnesota in the College of Pharmacy’s Department of Medicinal Chemistry. She was the research program manager for a portfolio of more than 15 different contraception-related projects and the administrative core of a Contraception Development Research Center grant (U54/P50). She managed the submission of more than $125 million in grants and contracts and administered the pre- and post-award grants. She also served on an executive committee of university governance and handled the operations of a 130-person academic department and its affiliated Institute for Therapeutics Discovery & Development.
Dr. Allen earned her Ph.D. in chemistry from Duke University, where she was a trainee in their T32-funded pharmacological sciences training program. She performed postdoctoral studies in structural biology at both Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute in Buffalo, New York, and North Carolina State University. Her primary focus was the study of the mechanisms underpinning antibiotic resistance and bacterial biofilms, solving the structure of several enzymes involved in various key bacterial pathways, synthesizing substrates, and developing novel biochemical assays. During this time, she also was a contract scientific editor for journal articles covering nearly all fields of science.