NEI Investigators Receive Post-Katrina Awards
In spite of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, New Orleans-based
NEI Early Treatment of Retinopathy of Prematurity (ETROP) Study
investigators achieved 100 percent follow-up with children in the
study. Some of the children had been relocated with their families
to other states such as Mississippi and California.
|Shown are Dr. Maryann Redford (l), NEI project
officer for the ETROP study, Dr. William Good (second from
l), principal investigator from study headquarters in San Francisco,
and Dr. Robert Hardy (r), PI from the coordinating center in
Houston, presenting ETROP Inspiration Awards to Dr. Robert
Gordon (c), PI in the New Orleans study center, and Debbie
Neff (second from r), New Orleans study center coordinator.
Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a potentially blinding disorder
that affects an estimated 14,000 to 16,000 premature, low-birthweight
infants each year in the United States. The ETROP study assesses
early treatment versus conventional management of high-risk ROP.
Infants are examined by ophthalmologists at 6 months, 9 months
and annually until 6 years of age.
Johns Hopkins Honors NHLBI's Knutson
Jay Knutson, chief of the optical spectroscopy
section of the Laboratory of Biophysical Chemistry, NHLBI, has
been elected to the Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars.
He and 14 other scientists and clinicians were honored during
the society's 37th induction ceremony on May 24, and again at
the university's commencement ceremony on May 25. The society — the
first of its kind in the nation — inducts former postdoctoral
fellows and junior or visiting faculty at Johns Hopkins who have
gained marked distinction in their fields of physical, biological,
medical, social or engineering sciences or in the humanities.
Knutson is a leader in the development of laser-driven high-speed
optical instruments and techniques used in the life sciences.
Most recently, he applied femtosecond lasers to the study of
water organization around proteins, the binding of DNA-controlling
receptors inside cell nuclei and the energy production process
within heart cells. Knutson's technical innovations have allowed
researchers to make advances in the fields of biology and medicine.
From 1980 to 1984, he was a postdoctoral fellow in the department
of biology at Johns Hopkins.
NIGMS Adds Three to Scientific Staff
Three scientists recently joined NIGMS to manage grants on aspects
of genetics, physiology and chemical biology.
Dr. Charles Dearolf, a program director in the Division of Genetics
and Developmental Biology, is responsible for research grants on
DNA replication and transposable elements as well as a range of
postdoctoral fellowships. Before joining NIGMS, he was a scientific
review administrator in the Center for Scientific Review. Earlier,
Dearolf was an associate professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical
School, where he conducted research on the developmental and molecular
genetics of Drosophila. He earned a B.A. in natural sciences and
a Ph.D. in biology, both from Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Sarah Dunsmore, a program director in the Division of Pharmacology,
Physiology, and Biological Chemistry, is handling grants in the
areas of inflammation and innate immunity, sepsis and cellular
signaling. She comes from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston,
where she studied epithelial cell function in the mammalian lung.
Dunsmore earned a B.S. from Vanderbilt University with majors in
molecular biology and mathematics and a Ph.D. in physiology from
Pennsylvania State University.
Dr. Miles Fabian, also a program director in the Division of Pharmacology,
Physiology, and Biological Chemistry, is managing research grants
in the areas of bioorganic and medicinal chemistry, as well as
some of the division's postdoctoral fellowships. He comes from
Ambit Biosciences in San Diego, where he was a founding scientist
and where he developed a bacteriophage display-based drug screening
platform targeting eukaryotic protein kinases. Fabian earned a
B.S. in chemistry from the University of Nebraska and a Ph.D. in
biophysical chemistry from the University of California, San Diego.
|Dr. Charles Dearolf
||Dr. Sarah Dunsmore
||Dr. Miles Fabian
Turkeltaub Named NIAMS Deputy Extramural
Madeline Turkeltaub has been appointed
deputy director of the NIAMS Extramural Program. Previously,
she had been clinical research project manager for NIAMS, as
well as coordinator of the Office of Research on Women's Health's
Specialized Center of Research program. She came to NIH from
the Health Resources and Services Administration in July 2004.
Firoved To Serve as Science Policy Fellow
Aaron Firoved has been chosen through
a competitive application process as the 2006-2007 American Society
for Microbiology (ASM) congressional science policy fellow. He
currently is a postdoctoral Intramural Research Training Award
recipient working in Dr. Stephen Leppla's laboratory on anthrax
toxin-mediated pathology. The ASM fellowship is designed to provide
a public policy learning experience, to demonstrate the value
of science-government interaction and to bring technical backgrounds
and external perspectives to the decision-making process in Congress.
In September, Firoved will enter a program administered by the
American Association for the Advancement of Science in which
fellows undergo orientation, attend weekly seminars and are assisted
in finding placement as a special legislative assistant within
a congressional office or committee. Fellows then spend 1 year
working in legislative and policy areas.
NIAAA's Holmes Honored
Andrew Holmes received the 2005 Young
Investigator Award from the International Behavioral and Neural
Genetics Society on May 22. The award recognizes the contributions
of exceptional young scientists to the field of behavioral and
neural genetics. Holmes is chief of the section on behavioral
science and genetics in the Laboratory for Integrative Neuroscience,
NIAAA. His principal area of research interest is studying how
stress affects risk for neuropsychiatric disorders, including
addictions. As part of the award ceremony, he gave a lecture
titled, “The ascent of mouse: using mice to understand
the causes and cures of neuropsychiatric disease,” at the
society’s annual meeting in Vancouver.
Former NIMH Psychologist Rubinstein Is Mourned
Eli A. Rubinstein, a scientist who
was an authority on the effects of TV violence on children, died
in Chapel Hill, N.C., on May 15. He was 87. He served for 20
years in various senior research and administrative positions
in federal agencies in Washington, D.C., including the National
Institute of Mental Health from 1958 to 1971.
At the time he left federal service, Rubinstein was assistant
director for extramural programs and behavioral sciences at NIMH
and the highest ranked psychologist at the institute. One of his
last responsibilities there was coordination of a 3-year national
program of research on television and social behavior. The results
were summarized in 1972 in a report by the Surgeon General's office.
Over his career, he published more than 100 articles and books
on such topics as research in psychotherapy, the status of mental
health manpower, the qualities of science administration and developments
in the behavioral sciences. His major publications since 1975 were
on policy issues relating to findings on the effects of television
on the viewer. He co-edited the book The Media, Social Science
and Social Policy for Children (1985) and Big World, Small
Screen (1992). He also testified before various congressional
committees on the effects of televised violence.
Born in New York City in 1919, Rubinstein received his Ph.D. in
psychology at Catholic University in 1950. His last formal position
was as adjunct research professor of mass communications at the
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, from 1971 to 1978. His
federal career was distinguished by the fact that he began in 1940
as the lowest grade clerk and ended his service, 30 years later,
at the highest grade level, GS-18. He is one of only a handful
of civil service employees ever to have accomplished that feat.
Rubinstein is survived by three children — NCI's Dr. Lawrence
V. Rubinstein of Rockville as well as former NIH'ers Dr. Donald
H. Rubinstein of Guam and Betsy Rubinstein of Chevy Chase — and
NIH Colleagues Mourn Former Institute
By Jane DeMouy
Dr. G. Donald Whedon,
who directed the institute known today as the National Institute of
Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases from 1962 to 1981,
passed away May 4 at his home in Clearwater, Fla. He was 90.
Whedon's 19-year tenure made him one of the longest serving institute
directors in NIH history.
"He was terrific, a very scholarly man, and very hard-working," Dr.
Ruth Kirschstein said of her old friend. Now senior advisor to
the NIH director, Kirschstein recalled an incident when she and
Whedon both headed institutes. The NIH director had called a Saturday
morning meeting of institute and center directors that Whedon missed
because he could not be reached at home. Later, Kirschstein noted,
attendees discovered that Whedon was unreachable because he had
been in his NIH office all that morning. "He was a very good director," she
Established in 1950 as the National Institute of Arthritis and
Metabolic Diseases, NIDDK became the National Institute of Arthritis,
Metabolism and Digestive Diseases in 1972, then the National Institute
of Arthritis, Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases in 1981,
reflecting the expanding research mission and growing budget Whedon
oversaw. The institute became NIDDK in 1986.
A widely respected expert in calcium metabolism, Whedon left Cornell
University Medical College, where he was studying calcium balance
in polio patients, to become chief of the Metabolic Diseases Branch
of NIAMD's intramural program in 1952. As a researcher, he contributed
to the knowledge that loss of calcium was responsible for osteoporosis.
In 1956, he was appointed assistant director of NIAMD and became
director in 1962.
"Don Whedon presided over the formative years of NIDDK," said
Earl Laurence, a retired NIDDK deputy director. When Whedon retired
in 1981, the institute's budget was four and a half times larger
than in 1962. As the Space Age blossomed in the early 1970s, Whedon
became a key advisor to NASA on potential metabolic changes that
space travel might engender. He and his colleagues conducted the
first studies to evaluate the effects of weightlessness and confinement
on Gemini VII astronauts before any other country examined these
issues. He later was principal investigator in a series of Skylab
studies that showed that lengthy exposure to weightlessness resulted
in significant loss of calcium.
"Don was one of the pioneers in understanding the effects of space
flight on bone metabolism," said Jay Shapiro, professor of physical
medicine and rehabilitation at the Kennedy-Krieger Institute of
Johns Hopkins and a former colleague of Whedon's. NASA awarded
Whedon its Exceptional Scientific Achievement Award in 1974 and
an Award of Merit in 1996. "He was a very nice guy, and a careful
scientist," said Dr. Ed Rall, an NIDDK scientist emeritus and former
NIH deputy director for intramural research.
During his nearly two decades of service, Whedon guided the institute
through important developments in disease management and treatment.
He recognized and promoted the significance of nutrition and developed
the metabolic chamber for use in obesity research. He worked for
the establishment of dialysis for people with end-stage renal disease
and the funding to support it. "He was very direct, but reserved," observed
Shapiro. "He was widely admired."
Under Whedon's watch, the institute initiated research and development
contracts to support studies of chronic renal disease, according
to former NIDDK director Dr. Phil Gorden. "Don recognized the need
to develop mechanisms to support these innovative forms of research," he
added. During Whedon's tenure, the institute also established its
Epidemiology and Clinical Research Program in Phoenix as well as
Clinical Research Centers for diabetes research.
Whedon wrote papers on bone metabolism in patients who were immobilized
by convalescence or paralysis and numerous others on metabolic
and kinetic studies of bone disorders, human energy metabolism
and space medicine. In addition to his NASA awards, he received
a PHS Superior Service Award in 1967 and honorary Sc.D. degrees
from his alma maters. He graduated from Hobart College in 1936,
and from the University of Rochester School of Medicine in 1941.
Hobart honored him in 1967 and the University of Rochester did
so in 1978. He is survived by a daughter, a son and two grandchildren.
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