Lymn Foundation

Richard W. Lymn Profile

Richard W. Lymn, Ph.D.


Richard W. Lymn received a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics from the Johns Hopkins University. He earned his doctorate in biophysics at the University of Chicago, publishing three papers on the chemical steps producing muscle force that have become the major basic authority on that topic. He worked at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England, for three years correlating chemical and structural changes during muscle contraction, contributing six papers to the field. Dr. Lymn continued his studies of molecular changes during muscle force generation at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in the Laboratory of Physical Biology of the National Institute of Arthritis, Metabolic, and Digestive Diseases (see Publications).


As an NIH Grants Associate Dr. Lymn acquired a broad overview of budget, planning, and management of grants and contracts, through assignments within the Department of Health and Human Services and the United States Congress.  Dr. Lymn joined the Division of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, assisting the Director on policy and budget, research planning, program and administrative management.


Dr. Lymn launched, guided, and directed the growing Muscle Biology Program within the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. He also served as Research Career Training Officer. Dr. Lymn led program development and management activities, organizing conferences to promote understanding of how cells use genetic information to construct and maintain the elaborate structure that generates and controls muscle force. In conjunction with National Aeronautics and Space Administrations Life Sciences Division, he planned and conducted a workshop on "The Effects of Space Travel on the Musculoskeletal System." In 1996, Dr. Lymn was honored for his contributions to the Surgeon Generals Report on Physical Activity. Dr. Lymn prepared and conducted meetings on muscle diseases, including those of the NIH Muscular Dystrophy Research Task Force, and received awards for these activities (see Workshops and Speeches).


As Senior Executive Service Candidate, Dr. Lymn was principal advisor on initiatives regarding research costs and research infrastructure in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Building on his earlier experience in the Health and Human Services Office of Management and Budget, Dr. Lymn participated in preparation of the President's science and technology budget. At Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Lymn enhanced his experience in the challenges and responses of private institutions issues and policies integrating the multiple missions of clinical service, medical education, and research.


Dr. Lymn served the Biophysical Society as Treasurer and as Chair of the Publications Committee. Dr. Lymn's initiatives and efforts resulted in major expansion of the Society's resources and the scope and circulation of the Biophysical Journal. In addition to his membership in the Biophysical Society, Dr. Lymn is a member of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


Currently, Dr. Lymn promotes research on muscular diseases, collaborating with researchers, and private groups. He is a member of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee of the Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation. Dr. Lymn provides advice concerning research, strategic planning and funding; lectures and organizes research conferences; and counsels new investigators on research career development.

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