New Members Join NIGMS Council
|NIGMS director Dr. Jeremy Berg (front, third
from l) with council members (front, from l) Dr. Lisa Staiano-Coico,
Dr. Francine Berman, Dr. Kathleen M. Giacomini, (back, from
l) Dr. Jeffrey T. Mason, Dr. Brian W. Matthews, Dr. Eric N.
Jacobsen and Dr. John C. Goodman.
Five new members and one ex officio member were recently
appointed to the National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council.
Dr. Francine Berman, director of the San Diego Supercomputer Center
at the University of California, San Diego, where she also serves
as professor of computer science and engineering and endowed chair
in the Jacobs School of Engineering.
Dr. Kathleen M. Giacomini, chair of the department of biopharmaceutical
sciences and professor of biopharmaceutical sciences, pharmaceutical
chemistry, and cellular and molecular pharmacology at the University
of California, San Francisco School of Pharmacy.
Dr. John C. Goodman, founder and president of the National Center
for Policy Analysis, a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research
organization in Dallas.
Dr. Brian W. Matthews, professor of physics, Howard Hughes Medical
Institute investigator and member of the Institute of Molecular
Biology, University of Oregon.
Dr. Lisa Staiano-Coico, dean of the college of human ecology at
Cornell University, where she also serves as professor of nutritional
sciences. In addition, she is professor of microbiology in surgery,
microbiology in dermatology, and public health at the Weill Medical
College of Cornell University in New York City.
Dr. Jeffrey T. Mason, chair of the department of biophysics at
the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Rockville, where he
also serves as administrative director of the magnetic resonance
microscopy facility. He was named the council's ex officio representative
from the Department of Defense.
Last year, Secretary Thompson appointed Dr. Eric N. Jacobsen to
the council. He is the Sheldon Emery professor of chemistry at
Fauci Wins AAI Lifetime Award
director Dr. Anthony Fauci recently
was presented the American Association of Immunologists Lifetime
Achievement Award "in recognition of his distinguished scientific
accomplishment and extraordinary service to the immunology community." AAI
president Dr. Susan L. Swain presented the association's highest
award at the AAI annual meeting, held as part of the Experimental
Biology 2005 meeting in San Diego.
Kapikian Wins Sabin Gold Medal
NIAID's Dr. Albert Z. Kapikian was awarded the Albert B. Sabin
Gold Medal at a ceremony on May 10. Cited for his "extraordinary
achievements in vaccinology," he is the 13th recipient of this
recognition, awarded annually by the Sabin Vaccine Institute to
honor achievements by vaccinologists and infectious disease experts.
In addition, Dr. John R. La Montagne, who served as NIAID deputy
director from 1998 until his death in November 2004, was posthumously
recognized at the ceremony, which was held in conjunction with
the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases eighth annual Conference
on Vaccine Research in Baltimore.
Kapikian's career of more than 47 years is distinguished by the
development of the first licensed rotavirus vaccine.
In the 1950s, he began studying the epidemiology and causes of
various viral diseases. He is renowned for pioneering studies using
electron microscopy to discover and characterize viruses causing
major diseases in humans. In 1972, he identified the Norwalk virus,
the first virus associated with acute epidemic gastroenteritis,
gaining recognition as "the father of human gastroenteritis virus
research." In 1973, Kapikian and two colleagues identified the
virus that causes hepatitis A. He also became the first in the
United States to detect and visualize human rotavirus, which was
discovered by others in Australia. He dedicated his efforts to
studying this leading cause of severe diarrhea in infants and children,
which accounts for more than 500,000 deaths annually, predominantly
in the developing world.
Kapikian led a nearly 25-year effort to develop an oral rotavirus
vaccine. The NIAID team's rotavirus vaccine strategy involved mating
outer proteins from different human rotavirus strains with a monkey
rotavirus that is attenuated (weakened) for humans and combining
the resulting hybrid viruses into one vaccine. From a single-strain
vaccine in 1984, the vaccine was made protective against the four
most important clinical strains of rotavirus. In 1998, it became
the first rotavirus vaccine licensed in the U.S.
Dr. John La Montagne's 30-year career at NIH also was recognized
at the ceremony. He contributed to international efforts to fight
emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, including those related
to biodefense. His longtime colleague, Dr. Regina Rabinovich, director,
infectious diseases, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, presented
the special award to his widow, Mary Elaine Elliot La Montagne.
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