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Nakamura Wins APAO Achievement Award

By Constance Burr

NIMH deputy director Dr. Richard K. Nakamura won the 2001 NIH Asian/Pacific American Organization's Outstanding Achievement Award in Administrative Work. "With tough competition, the prize is a testimony to Dr. Nakamura's wide-ranging accomplishments," education and awards chairman Dr. Aftab Ansari said. The honor highlights the White House initiative to increase participation of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in federal programs.

Recognized for his ability to improve policy and build research programs, Nakamura is also credited with reshaping the institute's Intramural Research Program, speeding the translation of scientific knowledge to basic, clinical and applied research, and transmitting these advances to Congress and the public.

Dr. Richard K. Nakamura

Since joining NIH in 1976, he has earned a reputation as a leader who keeps scientific research running smoothly while paying close attention to staff concerns and ideas for improvement. He has been working to reduce mental health disparities experienced by minorities and women and to promote diversity and equal opportunity principles for all employees.

Nakamura also played a key role in revamping the extramural research program by helping to direct resources to new areas, restructure top leadership, and consolidate four research divisions into three. He organized the NIMH Blue Ribbon Panel for the Intramural Research Program review.

He has served on a variety of NIH committees, been involved in several projects with the U.S. Surgeon General, and last year received the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary's Award for Distinguished Service.

He reads classic crime writers Raymond Chandler and Ross MacDonald for fun and allows that he has been influenced by "authors I disagree with but will not name." For relaxation, "I coach baseball and chase my children around," he says.

The award was presented during the 29th anniversary celebration of the NIH Asian/Pacific Islander American Heritage Program on May 25 in Masur Auditorium.

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