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NIH Record


Frye Is First NHGRI Retiree

By Judy Folkenberg

After 36 years at NIH, Patsy Frye, deputy administrative officer with the Division of Intramural Research at the National Human Genome Research Institute, has retired.

"Patsy exemplified commitment and competence," said Dr. Jeffrey Trent, NHGRI scientific director. "As the genome institute's first retiree, Patsy has indeed set a standard for others to emulate."

Patsy Frye

Frye's supervisor Linda Adams, NHGRI administrative officer, also praised her. "Patsy and I worked as a team at genome for several years and, even before that, at NIDDK," she said. "As I look back it is easy to see that our overall challenges and successes just would not have been possible without a person of her caliber, her professionalism and her constant diligence. I will greatly miss her both professionally and personally."

Reflecting on her many years at NIH, Frye says she enjoyed her interactions with the staff. "I took pleasure in helping build up the genome institute," she says. "It's a young institute, full of dynamic, energetic and wonderful people."

Frye began her career in June 1962 as a secretary at the Environmental Services Branch, Division of Research Services (now Office of Research Services). She moved to NIDDK in 1968 and in the ensuing years held progressively more responsible positions. One of her most rewarding and challenging experiences was the move of the laboratories in Bldg. 2 to Bldg. 5. Her effort was rewarded with the NIH Director's Award.

"I specifically recruited Patsy Frye to work on my staff," recalls Dr. Ed Steers, former NIDDK deputy scientific director (now retired), who notes that her qualities of competence and reliability made her a major asset in his office at a point when congressional budget cuts made for difficult times and high stress levels.

Steers is not the only NIDDK scientist to speak highly of Frye. Dr. Ira Levin, who is currently deputy director of intramural research, calls Frye, "incredibly outstanding" and says she was instrumental in the Laboratory of Chemical Physics' success, the laboratory he headed in the late 1960's and early 1970's.

Frye joined NHGRI in 1995 as deputy administrative officer for the division of intramural research, where she had a major role in recruiting personnel.

Frye says she looks forward to not having to get up at 4 every morning in order to make her 100-mile roundtrip commute between NIH and her home in Lovettsville, Va. Despite this great distance, she was at her desk by 6:30 each morning.

During retirement, Frye plans to take it easy spending time with her family (particularly her two grandsons, Mark and Matt), gardening, reading, and traveling. She recently was honored with a standing-room-only luncheon at NHGRI that featured gifts, an award and camaraderie with many people with whom she had worked over the last three decades.

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