Kelly Poe, Ph.D., Director of the Division of Extramural Activities

Headshot of Kelly Poe

Kelly Poe, Ph.D.
Director, Division of Extramural Activities 

Credit: NIAID

Kelly Poe, Ph.D., serves as the Director of the Division of Extramural Activities (DEA). Dr. Poe oversees the management of grants, contracts, peer review, training and career development, Small Business Innovation Research programs, and extramural policies for the Institute. Under Dr. Poe’s leadership, DEA performs the following specialized functions:

  • Conducts initial peer review for program projects, cooperative agreements, training and career development grants, and contracts through the DEA Scientific Review Program
  • Oversees the National Advisory Allergy and Infectious Diseases Council and other chartered committees
  • Disseminates information to the extramural community
  • Implements extramural staff training and internal communications

Dr. Poe serves on several trans-NIH extramural oversight groups and is a member of the NIAID Executive Committee.

A viral vaccinologist by training, Dr. Poe began her career at NIAID in 2011 as a Scientific Review Officer in the Program Management and Operations Branch in the Scientific Review Program (SRP) in DEA. In 2018, she became the SRP Deputy Director. She then served as Acting DEA Deputy Director for almost a year before her official appointment in 2022.

Before coming to NIH, Dr. Poe was a Lead Scientist at a not-for-profit vaccine company, Global Vaccines, Inc., in Research Triangle Park, NC. Her team focused on generating self-replicating chimeric virus vaccines using the replication machinery of Venezuelan equine encephalitis (VEE) virus and the structural proteins of HIV using early mRNA technology, and her research was funded by the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative and NIAID. Through a collaboration with the Carolina Vaccine Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she also oversaw the biosafety level 3 virus and animal laboratories for her staff. Dr. Poe received her bachelor’s degree in medical technology from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Ph.D. in molecular virology and microbiology from the University of Pittsburgh.

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