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NIH Record - 75th Anniversary - National Institutes of Health

NIDDK Alumnus Nikodem Mourned

Dr. Vera Marie Nikodem

Dr. Vera Marie Nikodem

Dr. Vera Marie Nikodem passed away on May 17 at Sibley Memorial Hospital at the age of 78, after a brief battle with acute myeloid leukemia.

Nikodem was born in 1940 in the former Czechoslovakia during World War II. She graduated from Charles University in Prague in 1962 with degrees in chemistry and biology. She escaped communism and moved to the United States in 1967 to join her husband, who was pursuing graduate studies at Princeton University.

Nikodem earned her Ph.D. in biochemistry at Rutgers University in 1975, followed by postdoctoral research at Princeton. She and her family moved to the Washington, D.C., area in 1978 and Nikodem began her 30-year career as a molecular biologist at NIH, culminating as a section chief at NIDDK. During her scientific career, she had a large number of publications and acted as a mentor to many scientists-in-training from dozens of different nations.

Nikodem retired in 2008 and spent her time in both Georgetown and at her second home in Breckenridge, Colo. She was a devoted mother and grandmother, world traveler, gardener and gourmet cook.

Nikodem is survived by her husband of 53 years, Dr. Zdenek Nikodem, sons David and Gregory, daughters-in-law Mary and Bridget and six grandchildren.

Memorial donations may be made to the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center at Sibley Memorial Hospital.

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