National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)

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Carol H. Pontzer, Ph.D.

Carol H. Pontzer, Ph.D.
Program Director

Division of Extramural Research
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
6707 Democracy Boulevard II, Suite 401
Bethesda, MD 20892
(Courier Service - 20817)


As a program director at NCCAM, Carol Pontzer, Ph.D., oversees a portfolio of grants on complementary health practices intended to modulate immunity. This includes mitigation of symptoms, such as inflammation, and use of natural product interventions in diseases such as asthma/allergy and arthritis. She is a basic scientist with expertise in immunological, genomic, and proteomic methodologies.

Dr. Pontzer joined NCCAM in 2002 and served as a scientific review officer prior to her current position in the program. Before joining NCCAM, Dr. Pontzer worked at the Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics at the University of Maryland, College Park. There she worked on the structure/function relationship of immune modifiers, creating a panel of type I interferons with mutations that altered receptor binding, JAK/STAT signaling, and subsequent activity and toxicity.

Dr. Pontzer also was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Florida in Gainesville. It was there that she began working on structural studies of type I interferons and binding of staphylococcal enterotoxins to MHC using synthetic peptide mimetics and inhibitors. Together with Howard Johnson, Ph.D., and Fuller Bazer, Ph.D., she identified and characterized the activity of a novel subtype of interferon, interferon tau.

Dr. Pontzer received a Ph.D. in biology from Marquette University.