Skip to main content
NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

Retired Communications Director Shure Is Mourned

Jane E. Shure

Jane E. Shure

Jane E. Shure, 71, longtime NIH employee and founding communications director at the National Institute on Aging, passed away in Lexington, Mass., on Apr. 8 of cancer. She will be remembered by her colleagues and the NIH community as an innovator, visionary and mentor.

Shure began her career at NIH in 1967 as an information intern, shortly after graduation from American University with a degree in English literature. She subsequently worked at NIAID as a public information specialist and served as director of the Office of Public Affairs at NICHD. After NIA was formed in 1974, she came on board as its first director of the Office of Communications and Public Liaison. 

“Improving public health is really the bottom line for research,” Shure commented in NIA’s 2001 Portfolio for Progress. “Sharing what we have learned, with clinicians and with the public, is an important part of that effort.”

At NIH, Shure earned a reputation for developing innovative communication programs for the public; she won numerous awards for her promotional campaigns, including an Emmy. In 1998, she oversaw the start of NIA’s national outreach for keeping fit after 50, with astronaut and Sen. John Glenn and other federal agency partners. From there, NIA built a public health campaign, now known as Go4Life, based on Shure’s initial vision.

“Jane was an exceptional person, who combined goodness of heart, strength of purpose and a remarkable gift for communicating facts in a way that people could understand,” said NIA director Dr. Richard Hodes. “Jane was a critical part of the National Institute on Aging and its mission to improve health and quality of life as we age. Some of the research carried out to this end focuses on complex molecular pathways, some on specific diseases and some on behaviors and the social fabric of our lives. Jane was remarkably able to understand how to tell these stories in a way that reached people…All of us are better for Jane’s gifts and we miss her.”

Shure retired from NIH in 2004. She then joined the American Chemical Society, where she served as director of communications until her retirement in 2008.

Always active, she pursued wide-ranging interests after retirement, including glass collecting, theater, travel, baseball and service to numerous nonprofits. Shure is survived by her daughter, son, son-in-law, grandson, a legion of close friends and cousins and current and former NIH colleagues. 

Back to Top