Anne E. Schaffner, Ph.D.
Anne E. Schaffner, Ph.D., is the acting director of the National Eye Institute (NEI) Division of Extramural Activities (DEA). She oversees NEI scientific review and grants management.
Schaffner earned a B.A. in biology from McDaniel College and a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Virginia where she studied comparative renal ultrastructure. Schaffner’s research interests subsequently shifted to neuroscience. She did postdoctoral training at the NIH in the laboratories of Marshall Nirenberg and Philip G. Nelson before becoming a collaborative scientist in the laboratory of Jeffery Barker. Over the next 17 years, she studied embryonic brain and spinal cord neurons. Schaffner acted as a consultant for the Worthington Biochemical Corporation and helped with the design of a papain dissociation kit for cell culture, which has been on the market since the mid-1990s.
In 1998, Schaffner joined NIH’s Center for Scientific Review as a review officer. She served on special emphasis panels that reviewed applications for projects on molecular and cellular development, visual science, and neuroinformatics. She joined NEI in May 2002, reviewing grant applications for clinical trials, epidemiology, basic vision neuroscience, training, and research resources.
Schaffner was named chief of the NEI Scientific Review Branch in January 2011 and acting director of NEI DEA in 2019.