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NIH Record Awardees

Alcon Institute Honors Zelenka

Dr. Peggy Zelenka, chief of the section on cellular differentiation in the Laboratory of Molecular and Developmental Biology, NEI, received the Alcon Research Institute Award for her outstanding contributions to vision research. The award recognized her recent work on the process of cell differentiation in the ocular lens. She will present a paper entitled, "The role of cyclin dependent kinases in lens differentiation," and will receive a cash award at the annual ARI scientific symposium in Ft. Worth in March 1999.

First Public Service Emmy for Federal PSA

May I have the envelope, please? And the Emmy goes to -- the National Institute on Aging and Vilsack Productions!

That was the exciting pronouncement Aug. 25 in New York City when the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences presented NIA's television public service announcement Looking for the Fountain of Youth? with the Emmy for the best national public service announcement. This is the first time the Emmy in this category has been awarded to the federal government.

Attending the awards ceremony were Jane Shure, NIA's public information officer, and Roger Vilsack, president of Vilsack Productions. Also on hand was Ken Ryland, chief of the video section, Medical Arts and Photography Branch, ORS; the branch provided NIA with administrative support.

Looking for the Fountain of Youth? was produced to get the word out that substances such as melatonin, DHEA, and human growth hormone haven't been proven to extend life and may be associated with serious side effects. The PSAs were initially distributed in 1997 and will be re-released later this fall.

Schech Earns Top Scores

NICHD's Dr. Joseph Schech recently received the Henry and Lois Foster Award of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine at the college's 1998 forum in St. Charles, Ill. The award recognizes academic excellence in laboratory animal medicine, and goes to the person scoring highest on a certifying exam given by the college; Schech had the top score on both the 1997 written and practical examinations. He is a clinical laboratory animal veterinarian at NICHD.

Whitcup Receives Uveitis Study Group Prize

NEI clinical director Dr. Scott Whitcup has received the first Uveitis Study Group Prize for his research on ocular inflammatory diseases. The honor was presented by the International Uveitis Study Group Eye Foundation at the first Combined International Symposium of Ocular Immunology and Inflammation, held recently in Amsterdam. Whitcup was named NEI clinical director in January 1995, and is responsible for the intramural clinical research program. He is also director of the uveitis fellowship training program at NEI.

Scleroderma Foundation Lauds Katz

NIAMS director Dr. Stephen I. Katz recently received the Scleroderma Foundation's Messenger of Hope Award for 1998. The award was presented for "outstanding leadership and personal involvement in convening the NIAMS workshop, Emerging Opportunities in Scleroderma Research" and for "bringing focus to scleroderma research by enhancing communication among researchers." Katz was honored at the foundation's annual conference in Houston.

Giovanni Receives Blue Cross Honor

Dr. Maria Y. Giovanni, director of NEI's Fundamental Retinal Processes Program, received the 1998 Distinguished Federal Employee's Award from the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Federal Employee Program. This award recognizes workers who make substantial contributions to the agency and community. Her citation read, "Dr. Maria Giovanni has organized an annual Science Day at the Rosemary Hills Elementary School. The 650 students in Head Start, kindergarten and grades 1 and 2 are given the opportunity to tour 20 to 25 booths, which present hands-on science activities. Each year Dr. Giovanni plans and advertises the program, works with the teaching staff to prepare pre-Science Day in-class enrichment materials, and recruits volunteer scientists and parents to staff the booths. The program has been wonderfully successful at exposing students to the excitement of modern science."

Nussenblatt Elected ARVO President

NEI scientific director Dr. Robert Nussenblatt has been elected 71st president of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), a nonprofit, scientific organization of over 9,000 eye and vision researchers throughout the world. He was elected in 1994 as a trustee-at-large for ARVO's board of trustees, and elected president by the board at the recent annual meeting. His term runs through May 1999. While serving as president, Nussenblatt remains chair of ARVO's public relations committee. He came to NEI in 1977 and was instrumental in establishing the NEI Laboratory of Immunology. His work has led to use of new therapies for CMV retinitis, the common intraocular infection in AIDS patients, and therapies for patients with non-infectious uveitis.


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