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NIDCD Director Snow Feted at Retirement

By Cheryl D. Fells

Dr. James B. Snow, Jr., the first director of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, said at his recent farewell reception, "I am most proud of the development of an outstanding staff of the institute who are meeting the expectations of the scientific community in all mission areas of the NIDCD."

Appointed as director in February 1990, he guided the institute through its formative years and brought research in human communication to the threshold of the new century. Snow said, "I believe that some of my greatest accomplishments were encouraging a strong effort in the molecular genetics of hearing impairment in the intramural and extramural programs, as well as the progress made in developing vaccines against otitis media." He also established support for nationwide clinical trial cooperative groups, and led increased collaboration among federal agencies that have responsibilities in human communication.

NIDCD Budget Officer Pat Sparks shares a photo album that was created for Snow. He was also honored by members of NIH's Management Cadre program, which he helped found.

NIH director Dr. Harold Varmus congratulates Dr. and Mrs. Snow at recent retirement send-off.

Prior to his tenure at NIDCD, Snow taught medical students and resident physicians and carried out research. His practice has dealt with the clinical problems of hearing impairment, dizziness, loss of the senses of smell and taste and the disorders of voice, speech and language.

In addition to the send-off given him by colleagues, Snow was recognized by several organization directors including NASA, the Department of Veteran's Affairs and the Alexander Graham Bell Association. In separate ceremonies, Snow was honored by the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Self Help for Hard of Hearing People, and the National Council of Communicative Disorders for his service to 46 million people who have communication challenges.

Many colleagues, staff members and friends thanked Snow for his knowledge, leadership and careful stewardship of federal resources in his effort to improve the quality of life for Americans challenged with disorders of human communication.

As to his plans for retirement, Snow said, "I plan to pursue leisure activities and long-held intellectual interests in addition to biomedical science for which I have not had much time. Also, I plan to spend more time with family and friends."

Snow and his wife Sallie will reside in Easton, Md.

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