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NIH Record Awardees

NIGMS Grantee Receives Chemistry Award

Dr. Terrence Collins, an NIGMS grantee for 7 years, recently received the 1999 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Academic Award.

The award, established in 1995 and administered by the Environmental Protection Agency as part of the Clinton administration's reinventing government program, recognizes "outstanding chemical technologies that incorporate green chemistry principles into chemical design, manufacture, and use." The EPA defines green chemistry as that which nurtures the environment and human health through the innovation of chemical technologies that prevent pollution.

Dr. Terrence Collins

Collins, a professor of chemistry at Carnegie Mellon University, received the award for developing a class of molecules, called oxidation catalysts, that reduce the amount of chlorine required for a variety of industrial bleaching processes. The catalysts, crafted from nontoxic components, may find use in the laundry and paper industries and may also someday be used to treat drinking water by cleansing it of harmful parasites.

Collins, who said he was flattered to be chosen for this year's award, noted that previous awards have featured sophisticated chemical wizardry used to tackle very down-to-earth problems. The 1996 award, Collins noted, was granted to "someone who figured out how to use the contents of a cow stomach to break down New York City garbage."

While Collins' innovation won't clean up garbage, it does promise to offer a measurable advantage over current chlorine-based bleaching methods. It works by jump-starting a natural whitening agent, hydrogen peroxide, which is either present in, or can be easily added to, water-based solutions. According to Collins, a key plus to his green catalysts is that he can tailor their shelf life. This feature, called "dial-a-lifetime," permits scientists to control how long the catalysts stick around before they self-destruct.

Collins received the award, consisting of a certificate and a crystal sculpture, at a June 28 ceremony at the National Academy of Sciences.

The 1998 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award went to Dr. Barry Trost, an NIGMS grantee for 33 years who is the Tamaki professor of humanities and sciences at Stanford University. He was recognized for the development of "atom economy," a concept that can be used to simultaneously reduce the amount of feedstocks used and the amount of waste produced in chemical processes.

Six Win Meritorious Rank Award

Six NIH senior executives have won the 1998 Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Executive for sustained accomplishment and leadership that gets results. Each receives a lump-sum payment of $10,000. The awards are limited to 5 percent of the 6,800-member Senior Executive Service; this year, only 252 executives earned this honor.

The winners are Dr. John Daly, NIDDK; Dr. Elke Jordan, NHGRI; Dr. Barnett Kramer, NCI; Earl Laurence, NIDDK; Dr. John McGowan, NIAID, and Dr. John Ruffin, OD.

'Telly' Awards Presented to NIH'ers

Joy Jackson of the Medical Arts and Photography Branch and Bill Holcomb of the Radiation Safety Branch hold a "Telly Award" for producing quality training videos. Telly Awards have, since 1980, recognized outstanding nonnetwork video productions. The 1996 radiation safety refresher training video Labman and Radman won a Gold Telly statuette in the 20th anniversary of the Classic Telly Awards; more than 4,200 NIH'ers have seen this film. The newest 1999 radiation safety training video on radioactive waste procedures in the laboratory won a Silver Telly in the 20th annual Telly Awards competition. Jackson and Holcomb have produced seven training videos in the past 9 years and have won nine awards for their collaborations.

Poodry Receives Honorary Doctorate

Dr. Clifton A. Poodry, director of the NIGMS Division of Minority Opportunities in Research, received an honorary doctorate of science from the State University of New York at Buffalo this past May. He was recognized as being "a leader in biological research and a major advocate for minority education in the sciences." He came to NIH in 1994 from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he was a professor of biology. A native of the Tonawanda Seneca Indian Reservation in western New York, Poodry earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in biology at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He received his Ph.D. in biology from Case Western Reserve University.

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