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NIH Record - 75th Anniversary - National Institutes of Health

NINR Mourns Loss of Fourie

Dr. Fourie

Dr. Nicolaas Fourie

Dr. Nicolaas (Nic) Fourie, a longtime member of NINR’s Intramural Research Program, died suddenly on Feb. 23. He came to the program as a visiting fellow in 2012, worked as a research fellow from 2013-2017, and remained a special volunteer until his unexpected passing.  

Fourie received his Ph.D. in hominid paleobiology from George Washington University in 2012. His novel research included morphometric analysis, stable isotope techniques and work in stress physiology, as well as substantial field research experience with wild primates in Africa prior to joining NINR. 

Fourie was a founding inventor on two patents during his time in NINR’s digestive disorders unit. During his research tenure, he discovered miRNA signatures in digestive and liver disorders and significantly contributed to a novel “nucleic acid detection on paper” method for detecting pathogens in resource-limited settings with the potential to save many lives around the world. Fourie was also featured in a LabTV video discussing his research (

“Over the past 7 years, Dr. Fourie actively and immeasurably contributed to NINR’s research,” said Dr. Wendy Henderson, who, as chief of the digestive disorders unit, worked closely with Fourie. “He was a sought-after mentor, winning several mentoring awards for his selfless attitude toward science and approachable human nature. He was energetic and enthusiastic in his life and in his work, yet always sensitive, accommodating and patient.” 

“Nic was a great person. His caring attitude and sense of fun will be remembered by many,” noted Dr. Ann Cashion, acting director of NINR. “He set a strong example for research excellence and human kindness.”

Fourie is survived by his wife Angela and young son Jannie, as well as his sister, mother and father. 

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