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Former NIGMS Director Frederick Stone Dies

By Danielle Wittenberg

Former NIGMS director Dr. Frederick Logan Stone, 83, died of heart ailments on Oct. 19 in an Alabama hospital. He served as NIGMS' second director from 1964 until 1970.

"Dr. Stone was a strong leader and an enthusiastic advocate for basic research. His many contributions to NIGMS include helping to shape several of the institute's major programs, including those in genetics, trauma, research training, and fellowships," said Dr. Marvin Cassman, current NIGMS director.

Dr. Frederick L. Stone

Born in Biloxi, Miss., Stone earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1937 from Middlebury College in Vermont. He continued his studies at the University of Rochester in New York, where he earned a master's degree in biology in 1942 and a Ph.D. in genetics and biostatistics in 1948.

That same year, Stone was hired as chief of the Research Fellowships Branch at DRG (now CSR). Before joining NIGMS, Stone also served in various other capacities at NIH, including chief of extramural programs at the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness (now NINDS) and assistant to the associate director of NIH.

"Dr. Stone was a forceful, dynamic and forward-looking health science administrator," said Dr. Philip Chen, NIH associate director for intramural affairs, who worked with Stone in the late 1960's. "His leadership qualities were well recognized by his colleagues and associates, and he developed excellent working relationships with congressional appropriations committees, as well as with members of the National Advisory General Medical Sciences council. Under his directorship, NIGMS began to evolve into the major force it is today -- the overall NIH supporter of the fundamental medical sciences."

In addition to his leadership positions at NIH, Stone's career included service in the Marine Corps during World War II (where he earned two Purple Hearts) and positions with universities, professional societies, and another Public Health Service agency. He served as president of New York Medical College, deputy director of Boston University Medical Center, director of the medical and scientific department at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and deputy administrator of the Health Services Administration.

However, his greatest loyalty was reserved for NIH. In a 1988 interview, Stone stated, "My tenure at NIH was at the high-water mark of my career. The leadership provided at all levels was superb. It was a distinct privilege to have spent most of my professional life with such colleagues and friends."

Stone was the recipient of two awards from the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (now DHHS): the Superior Service Award in 1964 and the Secretary's Special Citation in 1966.

He belonged to many professional organizations, including those as diverse as the Transplantation Society, the Association for Research in Ophthalmology, and the Association for Research in Nervous and Mental Disorders.

Survivors include his second wife, Ann Talbott Stone of Dadeville, Ala.; two daughters, Laurie Logan Stone of Las Vegas and Debra Bittenbender of Gettysburg, Pa.; two stepchildren, Pamela Davis and Wesley Davis, both of Atlanta; and five grandchildren.

CSR's Rachel Stewart Is Mourned

On Nov. 6, a large NIH conference room was overflowing with friends and colleagues who had come to pay tribute to Rachel Stewart. She died suddenly on Nov. 1 from an allergic reaction to food, several weeks before her 28th birthday and in the midst of planning for her wedding.

Rachel Stewart

She came to CSR in August 1997, after having spent several years as an information receptionist at the National Capital Planning Commission. At CSR, she was a grants technical assistant for the integrative, functional, and cognitive neuroscience initial review group in the Division of Physiological Systems. At the memorial service, her father, fiancÚ and fellow workers spoke about her spirit and personality: "Her smile truly brightened my every day." "She had the courage to be happy, and taught me to be happier." "Her positive spirit and smile made me feel good about myself." Almost every speaker mentioned her smile, which seemed to light up an entire room as well as the lives of those people whom she touched, coworkers noted.

Stewart is survived by her parents, her fiancÚ, two brothers and a sister, her grandmother, and numerous other family, friends and colleagues.

Former Pharmacy Chief Briner Mourned

William Harold Briner, 72, a retired Public Health Service captain, died Nov. 6 in Norristown, Pa. He was born in Lewistown, Pa., and received a degree in pharmacy from Temple University. He subsequently spent more than 15 years practicing pharmacy and participating in research involving radioactive drugs at the Clinical Center. During his tenure there, Briner established the nation's second radiopharmaceutical service.

William H. Briner

In August 1970, Briner joined the faculty of Duke University as an assistant professor of radiology and director of radiopharmacy. He was later promoted to associate professor and continued in that capacity until his retirement in August 1998, with emeritus status.

As a member of the Society of Nuclear Medicine, he was a long-time chairman of the governmental affairs committee and built many ties between government and medicine. A portion of his work in this capacity included intervening in the early 1970's when airline pilots refused to fly radioactive materials essential to nuclear medicine. Briner was instrumental in restoring air transportation of these materials.

Author of numerous publications and scientific manuscripts, Briner also served on various committees with the United States Pharmacopeia and the World Health Organization. In addition, he served as a long-time member and chairman of the advisory committee on radiopharmaceuticals to the Food and Drug Administration. His many awards and honors include honorary fellowship status in the American College of Radiology, the Society of Nuclear Medicine's Distinguished Service Award, and the American Pharmaceutical Association Award of Excellence.

Briner is survived by his wife, Betty; daughter, Barb; son, Nick; two granddaughters; a brother, the Rev. Lewis A. Briner; and a niece.

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