NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

Retired NHLBI Group Leader Ram Remembered

Dr. J. Sri Ram, who retired in 2005 from the Division of Lung Diseases (DLD) in the National Heart, Lung and Blood Diseases Institute (NHLBI), passed away on Mar. 2 at age 95. He first joined NIH in 1965 and spent the last 28 years of his career at NHLBI.

Ram, wearing glasses and a red jacket, smiles at the camera.
Ram spent nearly 40 years at NIH.

A native of India, Ram earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore. Following in his father’s footsteps, Ram embarked on a quest for knowledge that led him to migrate to the United States in 1953, where he furthered his studies at Fordham University in New York. He would spend the next 20 years in the United States, pioneering laboratory research at a variety of institutions. Ram enjoyed not only his work as a scientist, but also gained immense satisfaction from teaching. 

Ram retired as group leader of the Training and Special Programs, Airway Biology and Disease Program. 

During his time at NIH, he returned to the Indian Institute of Science in 1972, for a year, as a Fulbright visiting professor, teaching immunology and organizing workshops on immunochemical techniques. 

Ram will be remembered for his dedication to research and his passion for groundbreaking scientific advancement.

Ram accepts a plaque from Mishoe.
Dr. J. Sri Ram receiving an NHLBI award from Dr. Helena Mishoe in 2005.

“During his time in DLD, Dr. Ram advanced many significant basic science programs in asthma and COPD,” recalled Dr. James Kiley, DLD director. “His efforts had a major impact on understanding lung biology and health.”

Kiley said Ram also made significant contributions to advancing minority investigators’ careers and to efforts to reduce health disparities in minority populations. Ram developed an Academic Award grant program to enhance the ability of physicians and other health care professionals to address disparities in the incidence, management and outcomes of cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematological and sleep disorders among various population groups in the U.S. in a culturally sensitive manner.

“He was a wonderful and kind man who was well liked by all staff,” Kiley said. “He was generous with his time and willingness to help all succeed. He will be sorely missed.”      

Ram is survived by his wife of 75 years; two children, including daughter Kalpana Ram, who works at NIH’s Center for Scientific Review; three grandchildren; and one great granddaughter.

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The NIH Record, founded in 1949, is the biweekly newsletter for employees of the National Institutes of Health.

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