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Vol. LIX, No. 21
October 19, 2007

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NCI Scientists Recognized as Federal Employees of the Year

Dr. Douglas Lowy
Dr. John Schiller
Dr. Douglas Lowy (top) and Dr. John
Schiller are Federal Employees of the Year.
NCI scientists Dr. Douglas Lowy and Dr. John Schiller-who laid the biological foundation for the HPV vaccine-were given the Federal Employees of the Year Service to America Medal by the Partnership for Public Service on Sept. 19.

Rather than rest on their laurels, the two members of NCI's Center for Cancer Research Laboratory of Cellular Oncology and their colleagues are already looking toward alternate ways of fighting or preventing cervical cancer, including the next generation of HPV vaccines and topical microbicides that might address some of the significant challenges of delivering a vaccine in developing countries, where it is most needed.

"The current vaccine has implementation limitations that will make it difficult for poor women to get it-and they're the women who need it most because they have no Pap screening," Schiller said. "It's expensive to make and deliver this vaccine. We're trying to make better approaches that are very simple to deliver."

"We need to recognize that the vaccine is not going to do anything for the millions of women who are already infected with HPV and who remain at increased risk for cervical cancer," Lowy warned. "The vaccine is for the next generations of women. But let's not lose sight of the current generation and the need to help them reduce their incidence of cancer.

"We are simply symbols of the many people who have made critical contributions to understanding the relationship between papillomavirus infection and cervical cancer," Lowy continued. Both Lowy and Schiller are quick to point out that the recognition has been nice, but that they remain humbled by the insightful research done by so many of their colleagues.

Preusch To Steer NIGMS Biophysics Branch

Dr. Peter Preusch
Around NIH, Dr. Peter Preusch is known as an innovator in scientific program management, an advocate of basic science, past chair of the STEP committee and two-time "commodore" of the NIH sailing club. Now, he will also be known as chief of the Biophysics Branch of the Division of Cell Biology and Biophysics at NIGMS.

Preusch joined the NIH community in 1990, serving first as a scientific review administrator in the Division of Research Grants (now the Center for Scientific Review) and then as an NIGMS program official administering research and training grants in chemistry, biochemistry and pharmacology. Since 2004, he has been project team leader of the NIH Roadmap structural biology working group initiative to elucidate the structures of membrane proteins. While on detail from NIGMS to OER's Office of Extramural Programs during 2006-2007, he served as acting NIH research training officer and oversaw NIH policy-related activities. Before arriving at NIH, Preusch taught chemistry and conducted NHLBI-supported research on vitamin K at the University of Akron in Ohio.

Over his 30-year scientific career, Preusch says, "The technology has developed radically-the tools are vastly better and allow a researcher to do so much more. But many of the most fundamental questions remain unanswered." In his new post, he will help the biophysics community steer a course toward those answers.

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