NHLBI’s Fakunding Mourned
Dr. John Fakunding, 73, former director of the Heart Research Program in the Division of Heart and Vascular Diseases at NHLBI, died Feb. 21 in Beaufort, S.C.
A native of California, he received a Ph.D. in biochemistry and biophysics from the University of California, Davis. He went on to conduct postdoctoral training in endocrine research at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. His first NIH position was in the intramural program lab of Dr. Kevin Catt at NICHD.
After leaving NICHD, Fakunding went to the Extramural Review Branch of NHLBI, where he was responsible for reviewing training and career development grant applications.
After joining the Division of Heart and Vascular Diseases as a program officer, he eventually was appointed chief of the DHVD Training and Career Development Branch. In that position, he was charged with identifying training and career development needs, providing new opportunities to enhance the cardiovascular biomedical workforce and support new biomedical training programs for underrepresented minority scientists. He developed such programs as the Clinical Scientist Development Award, Short-Term Training for Minority Students and the Research Scientist Award for Minority Faculty.
Fakunding retired in 2005, at age 60. In retirement he taught physiology and chemistry at the University of South Carolina, Beaufort and at the Technical College of the Lowcountry, Beaufort.
He is survived by his wife Patti and his two beloved dogs.