Women's Health Expert Finnegan Retires
question, boredom has never entered her life — it's simply
never been an issue. Long before the Women's Health Initiative
became almost a household name, Dr. Loretta Finnegan's research
plate was overflowing — and health consumers, especially
women and children, have reaped the benefits. She recently retired
from NIH, where she served as medical advisor to Dr. Vivian Pinn,
director of the Office of Research on Women's Health.
Well known in the fields of women's health and perinatal addiction,
Finnegan received her medical degree from Hahnemann University
(now Drexel University College of Medicine) in Philadelphia in
1964. She later earned honorary degrees from Chestnut Hill College,
Ursinus College and the University of New England. She was a consultant
to numerous federal and state agencies. Her academic and professional
accomplishments were recognized by election to Alpha Omega Alpha
Honor Medical Society.
Finnegan came to federal service in 1990 after a sabbatical in
Paris from Jefferson Medical College, where she was professor of
pediatrics and psychiatry. She was named associate director of
the Office of Treatment Improvement and associate director for
medical and clinical affairs of the Office of Substance Abuse Prevention
in the Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration. "This
was at a time when women's health issues were of increasing importance
to the government," recalls Finnegan, who added that ORWH also was established in 1990.
In 1992, Finnegan was appointed senior advisor on women's health
issues at the National Institute on Drug Abuse. From 1994 to 1997,
she served as director of the Women's Health Initiative. Also,
from 1994 to 2000, she was director of the WHI Community Prevention
Study, NHLBI. In 1997, she was appointed medical advisor to Pinn.
The author or coauthor of more than 160 scientific publications
on such topics as the pharmacologic effects of illicit substances
in fetal and maternal populations, Finnegan has delivered over
900 presentations in the U.S. and abroad and has been a visiting
professor in 18 foreign countries. She has received many awards
from such groups as the American Medical Association, the American
Academy of Pediatrics and the Society for Women's Health Research.
Finnegan is known for the development of a landmark program, Family
Center, for pregnant, drug-dependent women and their children.
The Finnegan score for neonatal abstinence is used widely in the
U.S. and abroad.
In retirement, she has established Finnegan Consulting, Inc.,
which addresses education, research and treatment issues relating
to women's health and perinatal addiction. She looks forward to
her new pursuit, but says, "I will sincerely miss the academic
atmosphere of NIH and the ability to always have an exchange of
ideas with the institutes."
She will also pursue other interests such as tennis and spending
more time with her four children (three physicians and one attorney)
and grandchildren. "Over four decades, I've juggled a career and
family responsibilities. Now I can dedicate more time to that large
and wonderful family and manage my career in a relaxed fashion," Finnegan
Lipsky Honored by Japan Rheumatism Foundation
Peter Lipsky, chief of the NIAMS Autoimmunity
Branch, was recently awarded the JRF International Award by the
Japan Rheumatism Foundation. The award recognizes investigators
who have made outstanding international contributions to the
advancement of rheumatology-related research. Additional criteria
were leadership, mentoring and impact on rheumatologic practice.
Lipsky joined NIAMS over 6 years ago from the University of Texas
Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. He has taken a leadership
role in the development of new biological agents for the treatment
of rheumatoid arthritis and has published extensively.
NIAAA's Calhoun Retires with 39 Years of
After a federal career spanning 39 years, Dr. Faye Calhoun, NIAAA
deputy director, retired on Apr. 29.
She began her government service at the Food and Drug Administration
in 1967 as a pharmacologist and continued to serve as special assistant
to the deputy director and later as acting chief of the Extramural
Program in the Bureau of Drugs. After serving 2 years as chief
of grants administration and review at the National Institute on
Occupational Safety and Health, Calhoun joined NIH in 1982.
love of toxicology attracted her to NIH, where her first position
was scientific review administrator for the toxicology study section
in the Division of Research Grants (now the Center for Scientific
Review). In 1987, she became chief of the physiological sciences
review section and provided oversight for 17 study sections. In
1989, Calhoun became deputy chief for review at DRG.
She came to NIAAA in 1995 as associate director for collaborative
research and in 2003 rose to deputy director of the institute.
Calhoun facilitated interagency and international research and
outreach initiatives and interacted with organizations interested
in alcohol issues. "Translating research results into news that
can be used and understood has been my goal in giving presentations
to outside associations," she said.
During her tenure at NIAAA, she also oversaw a broad portfolio
of projects that included chairing the interagency coordinating
committee on fetal alcohol syndrome; developing an international
program for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders; and overseeing National
Alcohol Screening Day.
"One of the things that has made Dr. Calhoun so valuable to NIAAA
is her ability to draw on decades of experience with federal science
programs to shape institute initiatives and enlist the collaboration
of other agencies and organizations," said Dr. Ting-Kai Li, NIAAA
director. "She is an articulate spokesperson, and her devotion
to the issues surrounding alcohol and health has done much to engage
others in our community."
Calhoun has received many awards including the 2005 Heart Award
from the Association of Addiction Professionals, two HHS Secretary's
Awards and two NIH Director's Awards.
A native Washingtonian, she is looking forward to retirement and
is excited about spending time at her homes in D.C. and Durham,
N.C. She plans to stay involved in alcohol research and wants to
learn to speak Spanish.
Calhoun said she will "miss the people the most and their random
acts of kindness. I found some of the best people that I've ever
worked with in my career at the NIH; they are very dedicated, open
and supportive of new ideas and ways of working together."
NIGMS Grantees Grab Gairdner Awards
Two long-time NIGMS grantees have been named winners of the 2006
Gairdner Foundation International Award for extraordinary accomplishments
in medical research. The awards are often referred to as "Nobel predictors" since
nearly a quarter of Gairdner awardees have gone on to win the Nobel
prize. This year's Gairdner recipients include Dr. Joan A. Steitz
and Dr. Thomas D. Pollard, both of Yale University.
|Dr. Joan A. Steitz
|Dr. Thomas D. Pollard
Steitz, Sterling professor of molecular biophysics and biochemistry,
is being honored for her "discovery of the reactivity of autoimmune
sera with nuclear riboprotein particles and elucidation of the
roles of small nuclear RNAs in gene expression." An NIGMS grantee
for the past 35 years, she also receives support from NCI.
Pollard, Sterling professor and chair of molecular, cellular and
developmental biology, is being recognized for his "discoveries
related to understanding the cytoskeleton of the cell and the basis
of cell motility and its relevance to human disease." NIGMS has
supported his research for 29 years.
Steitz and Pollard are among five individuals honored by this
year's awards. Other NIH-supported winners include former long-time
NIGMS grantee Dr. Ronald M. Evans of the Salk Institute for Biological
Studies, who is now an NICHD, NIDDK and NHLBI grantee; and NICHD
grantee Dr. Ralph Brinster of the University of Pennsylvania School
of Veterinary Medicine.
The Gairdner awardees will receive over $25,000 in prize money
at a ceremony in Toronto in October.
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