NCI Scientist Bliskovsky Remembered
Dr. Valery Bliskovsky, a staff scientist in the Genomics Core of NCI’s Center for Cancer Research, died on Nov. 13, in the aftermath of a heart attack suffered while swimming. He was 55 years old.
Bliskovsky obtained his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Moscow State University. He began his NIH career in 1994 as a visiting fellow in NCI’s Laboratory of Biological Chemistry and then moved in 1996 to the Laboratory of Genetics under Dr. Beverly Mock, which later became a part of the Laboratory of Cancer Biology and Genetics (LCBG).
In 2012, in close cooperation with CCR’s Genomics Core and the Office of Science and Technology Resources, Bliskovsky initiated Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) operations to bring NGS capabilities to principal investigators at CCR and NIH. This effort provided NGS services locally in direct interactions with researchers and clinicians to gain NGS-related experience and helped labs set up their own NGS capabilities.
In April 2015, Bliskovsky officially transitioned from LCBG into the CCR Genomics Core and Genetics Branch.
The core’s facility manager, Dr. Liz Conner, noted, “Val served as our genomics expert. His love of science and of people has been echoed by every single person who has reached out to me after learning of this tragedy.”
To his coworkers, he “was a collaborator and friend full of ideas that helped advance our research at a rapid pace,” added Conner. Bliskovsky was known for his wit, humor and Russian anecdotes. He was also famous for being incredibly active; he always took the stairs, walked everywhere and swam every day. Through this active lifestyle, he made many connections and memories at his local pool.
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Bliskovsky is survived by his son, Alexander, daughter, Alla and mother, Alla Lein.