Sy Retires After 12 Years at NIMHD
Dr. Francisco Sy, a program director and AIDS coordinator in the Division of Extramural Scientific Programs at NIMHD, retired recently after 12 years of service.
Sy served in various leadership positions including: director, Office of Community-Based Participatory Research and Collaboration; director, Office of Extramural Research Administration; and director, Division of Extramural Activities and Scientific Programs. He also served as president of the NIH Asian Pacific American Organization.
“At NIMHD, Dr. Sy was always a loyal and trusted colleague with energy to address challenging tasks and the strength to always do the right thing in the face of adversity,” said NIMHD director Dr. Eliseo Pérez-Stable.
Prior to NIH, Sy was a senior health scientist in the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention for 4 years at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2003, he volunteered and led the CDC severe acute respiratory syndrome community outreach team in Asian communities in the U.S. to mitigate the fear and stigma associated with SARS.
He also was founding president of the Association of Asian Pacific Islander Employees of CDC and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. He taught and conducted research in infectious disease epidemiology for 15 years at the University of South Carolina School of Public Health. Sy has been editor of AIDS Education and Prevention: An Interdisciplinary Journal for 28 years.
In recognition of his contributions, Sy has received numerous awards including: the 2015 NIH Director’s Award for catalyzing the advancement of sexual and gender minority research; 2012 Harvard School of Public Health Outstanding Alumnus for Leadership in Public Health Practice; the 2012 NIH Director’s Award for coordinating LGBT research at NIH; the 2004 HHS Secretary’s Award for Distinguished Service in CDC’s SARS outbreak investigation; and the 1991 James Keith Excellence in Teaching Award from USC.
Sy earned his Ph.D. in immunology and infectious diseases from Johns Hopkins University, M.S. in tropical public health from Harvard University and M.D. from the University of the Philippines.
He was recently appointed chair of the department of environmental and occupational health in the School of Community Health Sciences at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
“Dr. Sy’s contributions, commitment and dedication to the research mission and vision of NIMHD is unparalleled,” said NIMHD deputy director Dr. Joyce Hunter. “His integrity and leadership ability are recognized throughout the NIH community by those who have worked with him. Dr. Sy’s vast knowledge of minority health and health disparities and his experience at NIH will no doubt be of significant benefit to the University of Nevada.”—Gerda Gallop-Goodman