John Ohab, Ph.D., is the chief of the Communications and Public Liaison Branch at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). Dr. Ohab leads the institute's communications, public liaison and media relations activities, working closely with NHGRI senior leadership to communicate genomic research advances and how they apply to the scientific community and the general public. He also works with leadership to formulate policy for communications issues and strategies.
Before joining NHGRI, Dr. Ohab was the head of the Communications and Social Media Section at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), the in-house research and development nexus for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. At NRL, Dr. Ohab provided strategic communications guidance to senior leadership and was responsible for integrating emerging technologies into public and internal communications activities. Prior to that, he served as a new technology analyst at the Department of Defense (DOD), where he provided research and evaluation of Web technology initiatives for the DOD Public Web program.
Dr. Ohab joined the federal workforce as a Science and Technology Policy Fellow with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), serving at the Office of the Secretary of Defense in 2008 and at the National Institute of Mental Health in 2007.
Dr. Ohab has been recognized with several awards for excellence in communications and public outreach. In 2014, he was awarded a Department of the Navy Special Act Award for leading the complete redesign and development of NRL's social business intranet. In 2013, he was appointed to the National Academy of Sciences Roundtable: The Public Interfaces of the Life Sciences. In 2011, he was honored at the White House "Champions of Change" ceremony for his work on the presidential initiative Data.gov. He was also recognized by the National Association of Government Communicators for his work in social media and podcasting.
Dr. Ohab received his bachelors in biopsychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and his doctorate in neuroscience from the University of California, Los Angeles. His doctoral work in Dr. S. Thomas Carmichael's laboratory examined the role of neural stem cells in brain repair and functional recovery after stroke.
Dr. Ohab was born and raised in Tempe, Arizona, experienced a moderately successful run in high school varsity tennis, and is waiting patiently for that elusive Arizona Cardinals Super Bowl victory.
Posted: September 14, 2015