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Vol. LXI, No. 20
October 2, 2009
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Milestones

NIH Wins White House Environmental Award

On hand for the award ceremony were (from l) Michelle Moore, Federal Environmental Executive; Kenny Floyd, director, Division of Environmental Protection (DEP); Charlyn Lee, Waste and Resource Recovery Branch, DEP; Edward Rau, developer of the decommissioning protocol at DEP.
On hand for the award ceremony were (from l) Michelle Moore, Federal Environmental Executive; Kenny Floyd, director, Division of Environmental Protection (DEP); Charlyn Lee, Waste and Resource Recovery Branch, DEP; Edward Rau, developer of the decommissioning protocol at DEP.

NIH was recently honored to both host the White House “Closing the Circle” (CTC) award ceremony and receive one of the awards. Over the last 15 years, the White House has presented these awards to federal employees in recognition of their commitment to improving environmental performance and conditions at government facilities.

“We are honored for the recognition of NIH’s best management practices,” said Kenny Floyd, director of the Office of Research Facilities’ Division of Environmental Protection, at the annual Federal Environmental Symposium, where the focus was on sharing success stories and recognizing CTC award recipients.

“The President believes that we all have a responsibility to our children to leave this Earth better than we found it. All Americans must have a vested interest in the protection and proper maintenance of our irreplaceable national treasures,” said Dana Arnold of the Office of the Federal Environmental Executive (OFEE). “Our award winners this year have worked hard and long in their respective agencies and facilities to ensure that their policies, programs and practices lead us to a healthier, better sustainable and economically stronger America.”

This year, the CTC awards were highly competitive. Fifteen winners and 13 honorable mentions were selected by a committee of experts from nearly 200 nominations in the areas of environmental management systems, pollution prevention, recycling, green product purchasing, alternative fuels, electronics stewardship and sustainable buildings.

ORF received the CTC award for its laboratory decommissioning protocol that improves the efficiency of hazardous substance assessment and removal, reduces energy use and maximizes the recovery of recyclable materials during renovation and demolition activities. The award was in the category “Sowing the Seeds for Change,” which recognizes the new whole-building approach of the protocol methodology and its wide application by numerous other government agencies, universities and laboratory facilities. It was also the basis for the new national standard on decommissioning issued by the American Industrial Hygiene Association/American National Standards Institute.

Created by executive order, the OFEE is a task force under the White House Council on Environmental Quality. It promotes the greening of the federal government.

OBSSR Welcomes New OppNet Coordinator Elwood

Dr. Bill Elwood

Dr. Bill Elwood recently joined the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research as coordinator for the new NIH Basic Behavioral and Social Science Opportunity Network (OppNet). He also will coordinate and promote other OBSSR-led initiatives that advance research in the basic behavioral and social sciences. Before joining OBSSR, Elwood worked at the Center for Scientific Review, where he was scientific review officer for the community-level health promotion study section for 5 years. During that time, he served on and chaired a variety of trans-NIH committees including the community-based participatory research scientific interest group, the NIH Diversity Council and the Staff Training in Extramural Programs committee.

Elwood received his Ph.D. in human communication from Purdue University. His scientific books and articles have concentrated on the attitudes and beliefs of hard-to-reach populations and the influences that cultural and personal values and community settings have on mental health, health-related behaviors and participation in civic life. His research was supported by NIH, the Ounce of Prevention Fund, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and World Health Organization/Pan American Health Organization.

Prior to joining NIH, Elwood conducted community-based research throughout the U.S. and Mexico on substance abuse prevention, drug use epidemiology, substance abuse treatment, evaluations of welfare reform programs and public housing initiatives and STD/HIV-intervention efficacy studies. He also established the Houston community drug epidemiology work group and served as associate American editor of AIDS Care: Psychological and Socio-medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV.

New Members Join NIGMS Council
NIGMS director Dr. Jeremy Berg (front, c) welcomes new members to council. Shown are Dr. John E. Johnson (front, l), Dr. Carolyn R. Bertozzi,(front, r). At rear are (from l) Dr. Robert F. Murphy, ad hoc member Dr. James L. Stevens and Dr. Michael Caldwell.
NIGMS director Dr. Jeremy Berg (front, c) welcomes
new members to council. Shown are Dr. John E. Johnson (front, l), Dr. Carolyn R. Bertozzi,(front, r). At rear are (from l) Dr. Robert F. Murphy, ad hoc member Dr. James L. Stevens and Dr. Michael Caldwell.

Several new members have joined the National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council:

Dr. John E. Johnson is a professor of molecular biology at the Scripps Research Institute. He studies the structure of viruses to understand the assembly and maturation of virus particles in order to develop novel antiviral agents.

Dr. Robert F. Murphy is the Ray and Stephanie Lane professor of computational biology at Carnegie Mellon University, where he also directs the Lane Center for Computational Biology and co-directs the Joint CMU-Pitt Ph.D. program in computational biology. He applies computational methods to analyze fluorescence microscope images.

Dr. Michael Caldwell is the founder of the Personalized Medicine Research Projects and director of the Wound Healing Program at the Marshfield Clinic. His research focuses on the genetic basis of the body’s response to warfarin.

In addition, Dr. Carolyn R. Bertozzi, who was appointed late last year, is a professor of chemistry and molecular and cell biology at the University of California, Berkeley, where she also serves as director of the Molecular Foundry at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Her research focuses on cell-surface interactions that contribute to human health and disease, with specific projects in the areas of cancer, inflammation and bacterial infection.

Five Join NICHD Advisory Council
NICHD director Dr. Duane Alexander (far r) and deputy director Dr. Yvonne Maddox (l) welcome (from l) Dr. Ann N. James, Dr. Robert E. Braun, Dr. Priya S. Kishnani, Dr. David S. Louder and Dr. Rebecca Craik to the council.
NICHD director Dr. Duane Alexander (far r) and
deputy director Dr. Yvonne Maddox (l) welcome (from l) Dr. Ann N. James, Dr. Robert E. Braun, Dr. Priya S. Kishnani, Dr. David S. Louder and Dr. Rebecca Craik to the council.

Five new appointments have been made to the National Advisory Child Health and Human Development Council. The new members are:

Dr. Robert E. Braun, chair of research and associate director, Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, Me. His main area of expertise is in the developmental genetics of male reproduction; he has an interest in both male infertility and the development of novel male contraceptives.

Dr. Rebecca L. Craik, professor and chair, department of physical therapy, Arcadia University, Glenside, Pa. She has dedicated her career to the advancement of medical rehabilitation with a focus on the development of a research agenda for physical therapy.

Dr. Ann N. James, senior university counsel, Office of the General Counsel, Stanford University. She has a 30-year career in the health care field as a scientist, health care lawyer, corporate executive, management consultant and board member.

Dr. Priya S. Kishnani, professor, department of pediatricsmedical genetics, Duke University Medical Center. Her primary focus has been the translation of laboratory science into the clinical arena, especially in the area of such therapeutic interventions as enzyme replacement therapy and small molecules.

Dr. David S. Louder, director, medical operations, Department of Defense, Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C. (ex officio member). He is also clinical assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore.

Retiree Wetzel Dies, Worked in Four ICs
By Jilliene Mitchell
Dr. Bruce Keirn Wetzel

Dr. Bruce Keirn Wetzel, 73, who served as a research biologist and scientific review administrator during his 38-year NIH career, died on July 27 from pancreatic cancer.

A cell biologist/microscopist, Wetzel retired from NIGMS in 2000 after 15 years in the Office of Scientific Review (OSR). He was responsible for managing the review of research and research training grants in the areas of trauma and burn injury, systems and integrative biology and anesthesiology.

“Bruce had a great joie de vivre and was as passionate about setting up the best possible review committee as he was about pairing the perfect cheese with the perfect wine,” said Dr. Helen Sunshine, OSR chief. “He formed strong connections to the scientists he interacted with through his work. And he was recognized by the Shock Society in 1998 for his dedication and contributions to the trauma and burn injury research and training communities.”

“Bruce approached the review process as he did life in general—as a quest for understanding, pretty much on his own schedule, based on passion and a keen intellect,” said Dr. Scott Somers, a program director in the NIGMS ivision of Pharmacology, Physiology and Biological Chemistry. “His fundamental belief and guiding principle was of the individual’s paramount importance, meaning that all people should be listened to and heard. Working with Bruce was always interesting, educational and fun. He will be missed.”

Prior to joining NIGMS, Wetzel worked for a year as an executive secretary in the special review section in what is now the Center for Scientific Review. Before that, he worked in the intramural program, first in the Laboratory of Experimental Pathology at the former National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases from 1961 to 1971 and then in the Dermatology Branch at the National Cancer Institute from 1971 to 1983.

Wetzel is survived by his wife, Sandy Occhipinti; two daughters, Heather Thies and Amber Arana; and sister, Sue Crist.

Donations in his memory may be made to Doctors Without Borders or the American Civil Liberties Union.

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