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NIH Record Retirees

CSR's Currie Ends Federal Career After Almost 40 Years

Dr. Julius Currie recently retired from government service after almost 40 years. The last 27 years were spent at NIH, primarily in the Center for Scientific Review.

Before beginning his career at NIH, Currie was a research bacteriologist at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, as well as a lecturer and consultant at several nearby organizations. He then returned to graduate school and received a Ph.D. in environmental health sciences from the University of Michigan in 1971. His entry into NIH was through the Grants Associates Program, a training program for incoming health scientist administrators. He later served on the grants associates board and became its chairperson.

Dr. Julius Currie

His first NIH position was in CSR's precursor, the Division of Research Grants, in 1973, when he became a scientific evaluation officer.

From 1980 to 1986, Currie returned to his home state of North Carolina to become chief of the program analysis and scientific review units of the extramural program at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

In 1986, he returned to DRG to become assistant chief of referral in the referral section. In this position, he was responsible for the scientifically based distribution of grant applications to about 15 referral officers, who in turn assigned the applications to the various review groups in DRG/CSR. For applications that were to be reviewed within the institutes, Currie determined the appropriate review groups. He also engaged in solving many of the problems related to assignment that came into the referral office.

In addition to his administrative experiences, Currie has published articles in the field of microbiology in both national and international peer reviewed journals. While his future plans are not yet firm, his outstanding career will undoubtedly continue into retirement.

NLM Associate Director Colaianni Retires

Lois Ann Colaianni, associate director for library operations at NLM since 1984, retired at the end of 1998. At the September meeting of the NLM board of regents, NLM director Dr. Donald Lindberg presented the NLM Director's Award to Colaianni "for exceptional leadership and innovative contributions to the library's programs and services during her highly successful tenure as associate director for library operations." On the same occasion, the board passed by acclamation a resolution of appreciation acknowledging "...on behalf of the U.S. medical and health communities a debt of gratitude for 17 years of outstanding service to the National Library of Medicine and its users."

Colaianni came to NLM in January 1981 as deputy associate director for library operations after serving as the director of libraries for Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. She became acting associate director in 1982 and was named associate director 2 years later. Library operations, the oldest and largest of NLM's components, is responsible for building and preserving the NLM collection, developing the medical subject headings and directing the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, among other duties.

Lois Ann Colaianni

During her tenure at NLM, Colaianni strengthened basic services and improved the flow of medical information to the user community, while also improving the working environment for NLM staff. Most recently she initiated the development of MEDLINEplus, NLM's consumer health information Web pages.

She also maintained a strong presence outside of NLM, representing the library on the advisory committee to the NIH Office of Research on Women's Health and serving as a member of the Library of Congress network advisory committee, among other memberships.

Dr. Sherrilynne Fuller, a member of the board of regents and director of the Health Science Libraries, University of Washington, views her as "an inspiration to health sciences librarians through her entire career. Her outstanding achievements in a variety of settings from academic to hospital to NLM are a tribute to her breadth of knowledge, dedication and hard work. She will be remembered as a superb role model, mentor and valued friend to hundreds of health sciences librarians in the United States and the world."

Colaianni's contributions to biomedical librarianship have been recognized with the highest professional awards in her field.

Tony McSean of the British Medical Association called her "the most respected figure in the world of health librarianship, as her international honors testify... her contribution to the wider profession has been both broad and deep." He called her "an incomparably dynamic and reliable collaborator."

Colaianni and her husband, Edmund, have returned to southern California.

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