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NIH Record Retirees

Raymond Bahor Retires from CSR

On Jan. 3, Dr. Raymond Bahor retired from government service at the Center for Scientific Review. Immediately after receiving his Ph.D. in toxicology in 1966, he came to NIH as program administrator and executive secretary for the Pharmacology and Toxicology Program at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. He had planned to stay for only 2 years, but actually stayed at NIH for 32 years.

Dr. Raymond Bahor

After 11 years with NIGMS, Bahor moved to the Division of Research Grants, now the Center for Scientific Review, to become scientific review administrator of the toxicology study section. In 1980, he became chief of the physiology sciences review section in DRG, and then was acting deputy chief for review and associate director for referral and review from 1986 to 1988. He became associate chief for review in the Referral and Review Branch from 1988 to 1995, and then deputy chief for review from 1995 to 1998.

Bahor was also active in managing special reviews in areas such as alternative or complementary medicine, and the encouragement of minority scientists through the Bridges to the Future Program. In the international arena, he organized various workshops and symposia for overseas scientists and administrators visiting NIH, and frequently provided overviews of NIH extramural programs and the peer review system to foreign visitors. He has traveled to China, India, Japan, Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Hungary to help initiate their peer review programs. In 1990, he was detailed to the Human Frontiers in Science Program in Strasbourg, France, to develop a peer review system for a new program in support of the neurosciences and molecular biology.

Bahor has received numerous honors and awards for his work at NIH. He received the NIH Director's Award twice, once in 1992 for his international activities, and again in 1996 for his work on the Bridges to the Future Program. In 1993, he received a PHS Special Recognition Award for assistance with minority extramural programs, and a second PHS Special Recognition Award for outstanding service as part of the DRG review management team. Also in 1993, he received the NIH Merit Award for organizing a workshop for DRG grants technical assistants.

His retirement plans include traveling, designing gardens, and consulting in areas of public health.

NIGMS Program Director Rivera Retires

By Susan Athey

Dr. Americo Rivera, director of the Bridges to the Future Program at NIGMS since its inception, has retired after a 36-year federal career.

He joined NIH as a research chemist in 1965, serving in the Laboratory of Perinatal Physiology (located in San Juan, Puerto Rico) in what was then known as the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness. He transferred to NIH's Bethesda campus in 1970, when the laboratory was moved from Puerto Rico. In 1975, Rivera joined NIGMS as a health scientist administrator in its Biomedical Engineering Program, and in 1992, he assumed the additional role of director of a new NIGMS initiative — the Bridges to the Future Program.

   Dr. Americo Rivera

Over the years, Rivera's name has become synonymous with the Bridges Program, which is cosponsored by NIGMS and NIH's Office of Research on Minority Health. The program helps students in associate's or master's degree programs make the transition to the next level of training (the bachelor's or Ph.D. degree) toward careers in biomedical research.

"Much of the success of the Bridges Program can be attributed to Dr. Rivera's outstanding leadership," said Dr. Clifton Poodry, director of the Division of Minority Opportunities in Research, NIGMS. "He has been a key player at every stage of the program's development and implementation, and in the years since its establishment, he has provided valuable advice to potential Bridges Program applicants. Under his direction, the program has grown from 9 grants in 1992 to 84 today."

In addition to his duties with the Bridges Program, Rivera administered grants in the areas of bioengineering, bioanalytical chemistry, spectroscopy, instrumentation, and biostatistics in the institute's Division of Cell Biology and Biophysics (CBB).

"Dr. Rivera combined a keen interest in science with a genuine concern for the people behind the science," said Dr. James Cassatt, CBB director, noting that during Rivera's tenure at NIGMS, he oversaw tremendous growth in two of the division's grant programs.

"During the 20 years Dr. Rivera has been handling grants in the area of mass spectroscopy, it has gone from being a tool used by the analytical chemist to identify and quantify very small amounts of material to being generally useful to the entire biological community." Cassatt also recognized Rivera's leadership in managing a $12 million portfolio of Small Business Innovation Research grants focusing on instrument development.

Prior to joining NIH, Rivera served from 1946 to 1949 in the U.S. Army Medical Corps. He received his A.B. degree from the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico; his M.S. degree from Fordham University; and his Ph.D. from Columbia University. He did a predoctoral fellowship at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and a postdoctoral fellowship at the McArdle Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Rivera is the recipient of numerous government awards including a Public Health Service Equal Opportunity Achievement Award and a PHS Special Recognition Award.

Four Retire from Project Control in CSR

For the past 20 plus years, they were there. In the early morning hours when most of us were struggling out of bed, they were there. On weekends they were there. They were there to see that the thousands of grant applications submitted each year to NIH or to other agencies in the Public Health Service were opened, checked over, processed and forwarded to the referral officers to be assigned for review.

"There" was the project control section, Division of Receipt and Referral, Center for Scientific Review; and "they" were Jeanne Malcolm, Marcia Farahpour, Nancy Spainhour and Kay Daniels. At the end of 1998, all four retired from government service.

Four Minus One — Recent CSR retirees (from l) Kay Daniels, Jeanne Malcolm and Nancy Spainhour. Not shown is Marcia Farahpour.

Malcolm was head of project control, and Farahpour and Spainhour each headed one of the subunits within the office. Daniels worked within Spainhour's unit, processing applications before they were sent to the print shop for duplication. They functioned as a team or, in their own words, a family. Decisions were team decisions, and while there may have been some disagreements over the years, as there are with most families, there were no "cross words," as Malcolm put it.

Farahpour was the first to arrive in project control in 1974, followed by Daniels in 1975, Spainhour in 1976, and Malcolm in 1978. Farahpour was formerly with NHLBI; Malcolm had been with NCRR before coming to DRG as a grants technical assistant in 1968. For Spainhour and Daniels, project control was their first — and last — stop in government service. For superior service and performance in project control, Farahpour won the NIH Director's Award in 1989 and Spainhour received this honor in 1990; Malcolm received the PHS Superior Service Award in 1994.

In retirement, they all plan home projects that have been postponed for years. Other activities include travel, more time for their families, and volunteer work at local hospitals and organizations. Malcolm and Spainhour will continue working out in the NIH Fitness Center, and Daniels plans to join them shortly.

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