Penny Burgoon is the acting director of the NCATS Office of Policy, Communications and Education, and the chief of the Policy Branch within that office. Before joining NCATS in July 2014, Burgoon was the director of the Salivary Biology and Immunology Program for the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, where she managed a portfolio of research in salivary biology, salivary gland disorders and diseases, host immune responses to infection, autoimmunity, and systemic diseases. Burgoon joined NIH in 2004 as an American Association for the Advancement of Science AAAS Science Policy Fellow. She provided program support for the first trans-NIH projects supported through the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research. Burgoon then served as the senior assistant to the NIH principal deputy director from 2006 to 2010. In that role, she provided primary staff support for several NIH leadership committees, including the NIH Steering Committee and the NIH Advisory Committee to the Director, and for Institute and Center Directors’ meetings.
Burgoon received her bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College and her doctorate in physiology from Ohio State University.
Burgoon enjoys communicating with students about the value of science and the scientific method. She strives to take the mystery out of science and science policy to make it more accessible to those who want to understand and implement it.