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Vol. LX, No. 7
April 4, 2008

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NIH World AIDS Day Honors Awarded

Winners of the 2007 World AIDS Day Awards are (from l) Dr. Daniel Douek, Dr. Richard Koup and Dr. Kenneth Bridbord.
Winners of the 2007 World AIDS Day Awards are (from l) Dr. Daniel Douek, Dr. Richard Koup and Dr. Kenneth Bridbord.

Although the recipients of the second annual NIH World AIDS Day Awards were announced on Dec. 1, 2007, the awardees each gave a presentation and received their awards, which included a $5,000 prize, at a meeting of the NIH institute and center directors on Mar. 12.

The Office of AIDS Research and NIAID initiated this award to recognize the exceptional contributions of NIH scientists and managers in the battle against the AIDS pandemic—both for original research and for support for research programs.

This year, the award for original research was presented jointly to Drs. Daniel Douek and Richard Koup of the NIAID Vaccine Research Center. Their award reads: “In recognition of their original scientific research that significantly contributed to determining the mechanisms that control HIV pathogenesis and immune reconstitution. Their landmark research findings have led the field in understanding the role of HIV-specific T cells in the control of HIV infection and helped to establish the immunological basis for the future development of an AIDS vaccine.”

The award for contributions supporting AIDS research and programs was given to Dr. Kenneth Bridbord of the Fogarty International Center. The award citation for the AIDS International Training and Research Program reads: “In recognition of his efforts to develop innovative programs to build a cadre of international research scientists and clinicians trained to join the global fight against the AIDS pandemic. These programs have played a significant role in building research infrastructure and capacity for the conduct of basic and clinical biomedical and behavioral AIDS research in more than 100 nations around the world.”

NIAID Mourns Pharmacist Greene

Dr. Eva Laverne Greene

Dr. Eva Laverne Greene (also known as Eva Purcelle), a clinical researcher in the Division of AIDS, NIAID, died on Dec. 1, 2007. She was 34.

She graduated from Howard University School of Pharmacy, Nursing and Allied Health Services with a doctor of pharmacy degree in 1997. She soon became involved in domestic and international HIV/AIDS clinical trials. Highly regarded in her field, she was particularly drawn to children affected by the disease and initially focused on the effect of HIV/AIDS on this population.

Wanting to understand the patient as much as the science, she volunteered as a counselor for a children’s camp for families affected by HIV/AIDS, which turned out to be a life-changing experience. Although she did not continue her focus on pediatrics, her career track remained in HIV/AIDS care.

Greene had worked at NIAID since 2003, providing pharmaceutical oversight for studies on HIV/AIDS in Africa. “She was poised to become one of the leading lights in clinical research,” said DAIDS director Dr. Carl Dieffenbach. According to Janet Nicotera, research and networks coordinator of the NIAID-supported HIV clinical trials unit at Vanderbilt University, “The world of HIV researchers was touched by Eva as evidenced by the global response to her death. We had emails from Brazil, Botswana, Kenya, Zambia, the United Kingdom, Zimbabwe, South Africa, India, Thailand and Malawi,” among other countries. One note from Kenya read: “Tonight, from far away Kenya, we shed tears for Eva Purcelle…She was one, and a great one at that, of a team of dedicated researchers who devoted their time and energy towards the welfare of poverty-stricken, HIV/AIDS-infected people from this part of the world.”

Greene demonstrated her dedication to the fight against HIV/AIDS in more than her career. In October 2004, she ran the Marine Corps Marathon to raise money for Whitman-Walker Clinic in Washington, D.C.

Said NIAID coworker Paul Tran, “It has been such an honor, a blessing and a privilege to have known Eva, even though it was for just a very short while. Eva never chose the road of least resistance and she was never afraid to take on any difficult challenges at work and in her daily life. Eva often volunteered for the most difficult tasks without hesitation, and she never failed to complete them.”

Greene loved to cook and was known as a coffee connoisseur. Reading, music and her family—especially her children—were her passions. She is remembered as “a loving and wonderful mom.”

She is survived by her parents, Frances Leach Greene and Dr. Robert Thomas Greene, Jr.; her maternal grandparent Ideatt Leach; her son Isaac Purcelle and daughter Gabrielle Smith; sister Roberta Greene Jackson; brother-in-law Tareik Jackson; niece Saadiya Jackson; nephew Tareik Jackson, II; and stepchildren, godchildren and extended family.

NIAID's Cooper Retires After 42 Years

Norman Cooper (r) enjoys a retirement party in celebration of his 42 years at NIH, along with Dr. Bernard Moss, chief of the NIAID lab where Cooper worked.
Norman Cooper (r) enjoys a retirement party in celebration of his 42 years at NIH, along with Dr. Bernard Moss, chief of the NIAID lab where Cooper worked.

Coworkers, present and past, and friends and family gathered recently to celebrate with Norman Cooper on his retirement as a biologist from the Laboratory of Viral Diseases (LVD), NIAID, after a 42-year career at NIH. Thirty-nine of those years were spent working with Dr. Bernard Moss, chief of LVD.

Cooper began his time at NIH in the Division of Biologics Standards (now CBER, FDA) in 1965. He moved to the Laboratory of Biology of Viruses, NIAID, in 1967 under the late Dr. Norman Salzman. Two years later, he began working with Moss. This association continued until his retirement.

Video messages to Cooper from many NIH’ers and former postdocs and trainees from around the world were highlights of the celebration. They extolled his willing helpfulness and cheerful attitude, his expertise and his professionalism. Cooper insists that he will continue to be available to the LVD to provide his vast knowledge of cell cultures as well as vaccinia virus growth and purification techniques. He plans to travel and to enjoy the new computer that he was given by colleagues at his retirement party.

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