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NIEHS HQ Renamed to Honor Rall

The NIEHS headquarters and laboratory Bldg. 101 in Research Triangle Park, N.C., has been renamed the Rall Bldg. in honor of former NIEHS director Dr. David Platt Rall, who died Sept. 28 after an automobile collision. Both NIH and Rep. David Obey of Wisconsin had recommended the designation, which was approved by HHS.

NIH deputy director Dr. Ruth Kirschstein made the announcement last month at a memorial service honoring Rall; she said Rall "schooled me" in how to be an institute director and was the "soul of integrity in his concerns for the public."

Among other things, she said, Rall taught her that you could answer a question at a congressional committee by saying, "I don't know — I'll get that information for you," rather than jumping into a statement you might regret later.

Obey said he first met Rall in 1973 when he was testifying on asbestos' dangers. Without any knowledge of a risk, the congressman as a young man had worked with the mineral in his father's business. Back then, he said, "Johns-Mansfield knew the problems of asbestos, but I didn't."

Obey said Rall helped create NIEHS and the National Toxicology Program, which is headquartered there, as "the premier source of environmental toxicology in the world today."

Current NIEHS director Dr. Kenneth Olden agreed and said, "Dr. Rall inherited an NIEHS in its infancy and framed the questions and shaped the institute. There was no template. NIEHS was a trailer camp in the woods of North Carolina when Dr. Rall arrived."

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