Sieving Receives Vision Award
Paul Sieving, director of the National Eye Institute, received
the Pisart Vision Award from Lighthouse International in New York
City on Oct. 21. Now in its 25th year, the award is given annually
to recognize noteworthy contributions to the prevention, cure or
treatment of severe vision impairment or blindness. Sieving was
honored for his seminal contributions “to studies of the
genetic basis of retinal diseases” while he was a professor
at the University of Michigan prior to coming to NIH. Dr.Tara Cortes,
president of century-old Lighthouse International, said, “Dr.
Sieving’s extraordinary achievements in research reflect
his dedication to increasing the understanding of basic physiological
mechanisms in retinal disease and to clarifying the importance
of studying disease on a molecular basis.”
NEI’s Ellwein Receives Chinese Award
Leon Ellwein, associate director for applications of vision research
at the National Eye Institute, received the International Golden Award
from the Chinese Ophthalmological Society recently in Tianjin, China,
near Beijing. He was honored for his many years of facilitating academic
exchanges between U.S. and Chinese investigators and for making major
contributions to ocular epidemiology and prevention of blindness in
China. He has also initiated international vision impairment and eye-care
surveys in Chile, India, Malaysia, Nepal and South Africa. Presenting
the award is Dr. Jialiang Zhao, president of the society and director
of the Eye Research Center, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences.
NINDS Sponsors Parkinson’s Briefing
director Dr. Story Landis (shown at left with Dr. Timothy Greenamyre
of the University of Pittsburgh) gave opening remarks at an institute-sponsored
media briefing on Parkinson’s disease Oct. 20 at the Dana Center
in Washington, D.C. The briefing featured NINDS grantees and scientists
who addressed the key aspects of Parkinson’s disease—genetics,
and new therapies—and a physician who discussed the clinical
care of Parkinson’s patients. In addition, columnist Morton Kondracke
(shown at right) spoke of his personal experience with his wife Millie,
who died of the disease. Kondracke also served as moderator for the
briefing, which drew dozens of media participants in person and by
teleconference. The gathering was intended to raise awareness about
the World Parkinson’s Congress, to be held Feb. 22-26, 2006,
in Washington, D.C. The first-ever international meeting on Parkinson’s
is expected to draw more than 1,000 physicians, patients and health
care professionals. To find out more about the congress or to register
online, go to www.worldPDcongress.org.
In Memoriam: NCI’s Jim Strickland
Dr. James E. Strickland, a senior investigator at NCI
from 1972 until his retirement in 1996, died on Sept. 19 of B cell
lymphoma. He died a month short of his 63rd birthday.
Strickland is remembered by his many NIH friends
as a fiercely honest scientist, a wonderful mentor, a pioneer in
bringing computers and the Internet into the laboratory and an
ardent critic of anti-scientific administrative directives, with
his frequent lament, “This makes no sense!” familiar
He received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics
at Duke University and his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Tulane University.
After completing a postdoctoral fellowship at Oak Ridge National
Laboratory in 1972, he joined NCI in the tumor virus program on the
Frederick campus. His research focused on leukemia viruses; his discoveries
on the mechanism of vertical transmission were at the forefront of
the field. In 1980, he joined the Laboratory of Experimental Pathology
in the Division of Cancer Etiology on the Bethesda campus and continued
with that group as it evolved into the Laboratory of Cellular Carcinogenesis
and Tumor Promotion until his retirement.
In Bethesda, Strickland focused on the mechanisms underlying
genetic susceptibility to cancer, stromal-epithelial interactions
and crosstalk between normal and neoplastic cells in mouse models.
He developed many experimental tools required to pursue those nascent
issues. His prescience in experimental approach is obvious as these
are current areas of intense interest in cancer research. In addition,
he contributed to the discovery of a novel pathway involved in cutaneous
carcinogenesis and is an inventor on a licensed NCI patent for the
treatment of skin cancer.
Outside of laboratory research, Strickland had an equally
intense interest in the arts. He was a nationally recognized photographer
with images appearing in Time magazine and other popular journals
and newspapers. He was the official photographer for the Washington
Ballet Company for many years, and his photographs of ballet, classical
Indian and Chinese dancers were inspired by his love of dance and
music. His photographs can be seen at http://classical-images.com.
Strickland and his wife of more than 40 years, Amparo,
traveled frequently in retirement and often visited his many students
and alumni around the world. In a tribute held in his memory on Oct.
16, the anniversary of his birthday, many of those colleagues and
friends gathered to honor his contributions to science and art. It
was fitting that the memorial took place in his home garden, where
he had instructed his wife to spread his ashes with this directive: “If
this violates any county or state ordinances, do it anyway, in secret.” To
Strickland, this really made sense.