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NIH Record Retirees

NINDS's Irwin Kopin Retires

Dr. Irwin J. "Irv" Kopin, chief of NINDS's Clinical Neuroscience Branch, retired recently, after a long and distinguished career spanning more than 40 years during which he touched many lives.

Dr. Irwin J. "Irv" Kopin

He began his NIH career as research assistant in the Laboratory of Clinical Science at NIMH in 1957. Over the next 10 years, he published more than 85 peer-reviewed manuscripts, dealing largely with the disposition and metabolism of catecholamines. After a brief period in New York, he returned to NIMH, where he headed the Laboratory of Clinical Science with distinction until 1983. He was then appointed NINDS scientific director, a post he held for more than a decade. Subsequently he headed the Clinical Neuroscience Branch for several years.

Throughout his career, Kopin demonstrated an unstinting commitment to the mission of NIH and more generally to advancing medical scientific knowledge. He has served on numerous committees, won several medals and awards, participated on many scientific advisory boards, and served as a coeditor or an editorial board member for more than 20 scientific journals.

To date, he has authored or coauthored more than 700 articles, reviews and book chapters that together constitute a major part of current scientific knowledge about catecholamines. His collaborations with many of today's leaders in the field of catecholamine research have provided the growing points that have shaped the direction of much of present-day research into catecholaminergic systems.

Perhaps more importantly, he has been a mentor and role model for scores of postdoctoral researchers, many of whom now occupy key positions in academic medicine or the pharmaceutical industry.

To celebrate Kopin's retirement, an extraordinarily diverse group of former fellows, colleagues, administrators, family and friends met at a dinner in his honor at the National Naval Medical Center. There, Dr. Story Landis, NINDS scientific director, congratulated Kopin and noted that the institute will continue to benefit from his experience and mentorship as a scientist emeritus in the independent clinical neurochemistry section headed by Dr. David S. Goldstein. Drs. Mark Hallett and Harold Gainer, directors of the NINDS clinical and basic neurosciences programs respectively, provided vignettes about the "neuroscience triumvirate" that led NINDS for a decade, with Kopin at the helm. Goldstein jokingly demonstrated a bit of "Irwinian logic," applying calculus equations to calculate the flux and maximum number of attendees in the room. He also presented Kopin a caricature Goldstein drew himself. Finally, in a moving tribute, Dr. Alan Kopin referred to his father as both a caring parent and a supportive scientific advisor.

NICHD's Pat Gallahan Says Farewell

By Robert Bock

After 35 years of federal service, NICHD's Patricia Anne Gallahan has retired. Most recently a program analyst in the institute's Office of Science Policy, Analysis and Communication, she joined NICHD about 2 ½ years ago.

"Pat has really been a strong addition to our staff," said her most recent supervisor, Mona Rowe. "She was an extremely hard worker and a perfectionist — I could always count on her to do an outstanding job under a short deadline."

Rowe added, however, that Gallahan's greatest attribute is, perhaps, not her professional strengths, but her thoughtfulness.

"She always lets you know when she's thinking about you," Rowe said. "She even called for Secretaries' Day. She'd leave notes of concern and thanks for everything, and she would be there for everyone."

Gallahan began her NIH career at NCI, in the Clinical Oncology Program, in what was then the Division of Cancer Treatment, where she helped develop the NIH Delegated Procurement System. In 1981, she became a program analyst in the division's administrative office, where she was instrumental in developing NCI's first Clerical Development Program.

Pat Gallahan

"Supervisors learn from their employees," said NHLBI Executive Officer Donald Christoferson, one of Gallahan's supervisors from NCI. "I learned from Pat never to forget the human element in getting a job done, that employees need feedback and support."

Christoferson also said that Gallahan is a really good friend whom he could confide in and count on to provide the best advice in a supportive way.

In 1985-1986, she became an intern in the first DHHS Women's Management Training Initiative Program, where she undertook several rotations throughout the agency. In 1986, she joined the staff at NIAID, where she helped establish the AIDS Research Program and remained with the institute for the next 10 years. In 1985, she undertook a detail with the NIH Office of the Director, to assist with implementation of NIH's centennial observance.

She joined NICHD in 1996, helping develop new systems for the institute's formal planning process and serving as project officer for the institute's first logistical support contract.

Her retirement plans include a change of residence and living arrangements.

"I've always planned on retiring at 55, but never planned on retiring, moving, and getting married all at once — and certainly never planned on marrying my high school sweetheart," she said.

Gallahan spoke to fiancÚ David Williams for the first time in 31 years when she was calling alumni from her high school to find out if they were attending a reunion. The two met, talked for awhile and "the rest," Gallahan said, "is history."

Gallahan also hopes to spend time exploring National Parks, creating jewelry and beadwork, pursuing her interest in rocks and minerals, and initiating a Canadian War Orphans' organization to help the children of World War II veterans who died in action learn more about their deceased parent.

"I've made sure I'm retiring while I still have the 'zip' to 'zip' and excitement in what tomorrow may bring," she said. "And I swear I'll never wear a business suit or pumps again."


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