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Robbins Receives Sabin Medal

Dr. John B. Robbins, chief of NICHD's Laboratory of Developmental and Molecular Immunity, is the recipient of the 2001 Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal. He received the award for dedicating his career to developing vaccines that prevent diseases in children such as meningitis, pertussis, typhoid and several others. He and colleague Dr. Rachel Schneerson earlier had received the Lasker Award and the World Health Organization's Pasteur Award for using a new approach to develop a vaccine that virtually eliminated disease caused by the deadly and debilitating bacteria, Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib), from the developed world. This innovative approach involves linking a "weak" bacterial polysaccharide — difficult for the immune system to recognize — to a protein that the immune system recognizes easily. Previously, many researchers believed it was impossible to develop a vaccine by using a polysaccharide. Most recently, Robbins and his colleagues published a report on the development and successful testing of the first vaccine capable of protecting small children against typhoid fever.

Kirschstein Adds to Honors

NIH acting director Dr. Ruth Kirschstein recently accepted a trio of honors acknowledging her distinguished scientific career and leadership in a variety of roles at NIH.

In early April, she accepted the Medal of Merit from Vanderbilt Medical School, and was also Chapman professor there, giving the fourth annual John E. Chapman Lecture on the Ecology of Medicine and Medical Education, in honor of the 25th year of the school's dean. Her lecture topic was "The Intersection of Research, Training and Care."

Kirschstein was also honored by the Anti-Defamation League of Greater Washington, both for her scientific leadership and for a career distinguished by service to others. "She's been a prime mover at NIH for women and minorities, a spokesperson for underserved communities who didn't have access to care," according to ADL, which honored Kirschstein and two other women at an awards dinner in April at the Mayflower Hotel.

In March, Kirschstein received a resolution from the Maryland House of Delegates honoring her years of service and leadership at NIH. Representatives of Montgomery County's District 16 invited her to accept this honor during a House session on Mar. 20.

Awards Presented at Acquisition Symposium

The 6th simplified acquisition training symposium was held recently at Natcher Conference Center for an audience of DELPRO approving and ordering officials, and purchasing agents in the NIH community. The goal was to address changes in the simplified acquisition arena, changes to the Federal Acquisition Regulation, and update the status of streamlining initiatives. Attendees also shared acquisition experiences.

The morning session included an awards ceremony honoring those who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in obtaining quality goods and services to meet the needs of NIH scientists. Dr. Leamon Lee, NIH associate director for administration, presented the following awards: Outstanding Service in Purchasing to Carol Kaplowitz and Donald Coulter of the Office of Logistics and Acquisition Operations; Cynthia Brown, NCI; and Patricia Haun, NIDDK. Special Recognition Awards went to James Kish, OLAO; Tonya D. Anderson, NIDA; Inez Demery, NICHD; Kenneth V. Strauch, NHGRI; and Brenda J. Briscoe, NIDCR. Winning honorable mention were Cliff Ross, Albert W. Harris, Sr., and Brenda Merson, all of the Clinical Center; Shirlee Hebert, NCI; Carole E. Schwenk, NIMH; Thomas A. Smith, NCI; Manuel Gomez, Jr., NIDDK; Loretta Moore and Kathleen P. Barrentine, NIEHS.

There were four workshops presented throughout the day, plus a game of "Who Wants To Be An Acquisition Achiever?" which was informative and fun for all who attended.

NIH System an Award Semifinalist

NIH's Contractor Performance System, an easy, efficient tool for federal agencies worldwide to share contractor performance information, has been named a semifinalist in the 2001 Innovations in American Government Awards competition, sponsored by Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

The CPS is one of 99 semifinalists, including 17 federal programs, in the competition. More than 1,300 groups applied for the award. Five winners will be chosen in October; each will receive a $100,000 award.

Four criteria govern winning entries: originality of approach, effectiveness in addressing important problems, value of service to clients, and potential for replication in other jurisdictions.

In the award nomination, the CPS is described as an innovative way to ensure that reasonably priced, quality goods and services reach American citizens, around the world, on time. For more information about the system, contact Diane Frasier, 496-4422.

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