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Vol. LXIII, No. 12
June 10, 2011

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Ruffin Receives Yale Leadership Award

Dr. John Ruffin (l), NIMHD director, and Dr. Sidney Altman
Dr. John Ruffin (l), NIMHD director, and Dr. Sidney Altman receive the Yale University Bouchet Leadership Award.

Dr. John Ruffin, director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, was recently honored with Yale University’s Bouchet Leadership Award at the 8th annual Yale Bouchet Conference on Diversity in Graduate Education, where he delivered the keynote address.

The theme for the 2011 conference was the Future of the Academy: Maintaining and Strengthening Academic Diversity in the Midst of the Current Economic and Political Climate. The conference is a collaboration between Yale and Howard University, named for Yale alumnus Dr. Edward Alexander Bouchet who, in 1876, became the first self-identified African American to earn a Ph.D. in any discipline from an American university and the sixth person to earn a Ph.D. in physics in the western hemisphere.

Ruffin discussed the influence of Bouchet’s achievements on the education of generations of African Americans and underserved populations who followed. He described the state of the U.S. educational system and emphasized the importance of mentorship in shaping the career path of future leaders and scientists. “We have to create opportunities and stimulate in our young people the discipline to excel, persevere and be resilient,” said Ruffin. “We cannot afford to lose brilliance to ignorance.”

Despite his intellectual abilities and educational achievements, Bouchet was denied numerous professional opportunities. “We now have a chance to remove systematic and institutional barriers that can hamper the professional advancement of racial and ethnic minorities,” said Ruffin.

Ruffin was honored along with Dr. Sidney Altman, Sterling professor of molecular, cellular & developmental biology and professor of chemistry, past dean of Yale College, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1989 for discovering catalytic properties of RNA.

Bornstein To Receive Hall Award for Developmental Psychology

Dr. Marc H. Bornstein, senior investigator and head of NICHD’s section on child and family research, will receive the G. Stanley Hall Award at the American Psychological Association convention in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 6. The award recognizes “distinguished contributions to developmental psychology, including contributions in research, student training and other scholarly endeavors. Evaluations are based on the scientific merit of the individual’s work, the importance of this work for opening up new empirical or theoretical areas of development psychology and the importance of the individual’s work in linking developmental psychology with issues confronting the larger society or with other disciplines.”

OD Alumnus Gee Dies at 92

Dr. Helen Hofer Gee, who retired in 1987 as chief, Analysis and Evaluation Branch, Office of the Director, passed away at age 92 on May 7 at Brook Grove Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Olney.

She began her NIH career in 1963 at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development as a behavioral sciences consultant. In 1972, she became director of program evaluation, which she defined as an effort to use social science methods to gain a better understanding of how science progresses.

“She was a pioneer on campus for evaluation research of many of NIH investments in research and research training, particularly in the use of such metrics as bibliometrics, citation analysis and patent analysis,” said Dr. Lois Cohen, consultant for the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

Gee is survived by a sister, Clara Armstrong of Bishop, Calif. Donations in Gee’s memory may be made to the Montgomery County Humane Society, 14645 Rothgeb Dr., Rockville, MD 20850.

Six Join NIDDK Advisory Council
Six new members of the NIDDK advisory council meet with NIDDK director Dr. Griffin Rodgers
Six new members of the NIDDK advisory council meet with NIDDK director Dr. Griffin Rodgers (third from l) during a break at the May 11 council meeting. They are (from l) Robin Nwankwo, Dr. William Steers, Dr. Mark Zeidel, Dr. Judy Cho, Dr. Thomas Robinson and Dr. Domenico Accili.

Six new members recently joined the advisory council of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Dr. Domenico Accili is a professor of medicine at Columbia University and director of Columbia’s Diabetes and Endocrinology Research Center. His laboratory identified a family of DNA-binding proteins that regulate the response to insulin and glucose in many cell types, including pancreatic beta cells.

Robin Nwankwo is a diabetes educator at the University of Michigan with expertise in nutrition, behavior and diabetes self-management. Her work focuses on empowering people with diabetes to improve self care by supporting behavior change using methods that respect cultural differences and preferences.

Dr. Judy Cho is an associate professor of medicine and genetics and director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at Yale University. Her research focuses on identifying genetic variation that affects susceptibility to and expression of inflammatory bowel disease.

Dr. Thomas Robinson is the Irving Schulman professor in child health and professor of pediatrics and medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine and director of Stanford’s Center for Healthy Weight. His research focuses on testing interventions to prevent and reduce obesity, improve nutrition and increase activity.

Dr. William Steers is chair of the department of urology at the University of Virginia. He is an editor of the Journal of Urology and president of the American Board of Urology.

Dr. Mark Zeidel is chief of medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital and has broad expertise in clinical renal and nephrology research. He is an elected member of both the American Society of Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians.

Goldstein Wins Ahrens Award
Dr. David S. Goldstein,

Dr. David S. Goldstein, founder and head of the clinical neurocardio-logy section of the NINDS Intramural Division, recently received the Edward H. Ahrens, Jr. Award from the Association for Patient-Oriented Research (APOR). The award recognizes senior investigators whose innovative research or education leadership has had a major impact on clinical and translational science. Goldstein was honored for his outstanding research on clinical catecholamine neurochemistry and his contributions to establishing clinical neurocardiology as a medical and scientific discipline. He received the award in Washington, D.C., at a recent joint meeting of the Association for Clinical Research Training, the Society for Clinical and Translational Science and the American Federation for Medical Research, in association with APOR.

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