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Vol. LXIV, No. 15
July 20, 2012

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Siegel Named NIAMS Clinical Director

Dr. Richard Siegel

Following a nationwide search, NIAMS has announced the appointment of Dr. Richard Siegel as clinical director. He will oversee clinical and translational research within the NIAMS Intramural Research Program and supervise clinical staff assigned to investigators performing clinical and translational research, the NIH Rheumatology Fellowship Training Program and the NIAMS Community Health Center.

“Dr. Siegel is an internationally recognized clinician-scientist with a unique combination of skills in rheumatology, immunology and genetics,” said NIAMS director Dr. Stephen Katz. “In addition to his rigorous scientific background, he brings to this position a demonstrated ability to lead and inspire.”

Siegel has served as acting NIAMS clinical director since October 2010. In addition, he is chief of the NIAMS Autoimmunity Branch and head of the immunoregulation section—positions he will continue to hold in his new role. His current research focuses on the biology of the tumor necrosis factor family of cytokines and the contributions of these cytokines and their receptors to the pathogenesis of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

“I am delighted that Dr. Siegel has accepted this position,” said NIAMS scientific director Dr. John O’Shea. “Richard is an amazing scientist, a committed clinician and a wonderful NIH citizen. I am looking forward to his leadership.”

Siegel obtained his M.D. and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1993, and trained in internal medicine and rheumatology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He came to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases as a postdoctoral fellow in 1996, and to NIAMS as a tenure-track investigator in 2001. He was tenured in 2009.

Until 2011, Siegel administered the NIH M.D./Ph.D. Partnership Training Program, which he co-founded in 2006 with Dr. Michael Lenardo of NIAID. To date, the program has sponsored more than 60 M.D./Ph.D. students to pursue their dissertation research in the NIH Intramural Research Program. This work was recognized with an NIH Director’s Award in 2008.

Siegel was elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation in 2007, and was awarded the Young Investigator Award by the International Cytokine Society in 2008. He was recently elected to the Association of American Physicians in recognition of his leadership role in medical research.

Knebel Appointed NINR Deputy Director

Dr. Ann Knebel

Dr. Ann Knebel recently joined the National Institute of Nursing Research as deputy director.

“Dr. Knebel brings a wealth of research, administrative, clinical and public health expertise to NINR,” said NINR director Dr. Patricia Grady. “We’re excited she is re-joining the NIH community.”

Prior to her role as deputy director of the Office of Preparedness Planning, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), Knebel served as a NINR program director in the Office of Extramural Programs and as a program analyst in the NINR Office of Science Policy and Public Liaison. During her tenure at NINR, she also served as the first chair of the trans-HHS end-of-life research interest group. She began her NIH career as a pulmonary clinical nurse specialist at the Clinical Center, where she conducted research on illness severity, quality-of-life and the influence of oxygen therapy on functional ability in individuals with alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency.

At ASPR, Knebel applied her scientific expertise to shape and guide the emerging scientific fields of disaster preparedness and preparedness for mass gatherings. She has been instrumental in U.S. preparedness planning and surge capacity initiatives as well as federal public health and medical response and recovery planning. During her tenure at ASPR, she helped the Greek Ministry of Health prepare for the 2004 Summer Olympics and served a 9-month detail with the New York City Office of Emergency Management to develop bioterrorism plans. As an expert consultant for international preparedness planning she has worked on the World Health Organization-sponsored advisory group on mass gathering preparedness.

Knebel has received numerous awards and honors including Public Health Service Outstanding Service Medals, the Office of the Chief Nurse Faye G. Abdellah Publication Award, the Hasselmeyer Award for Research Initiatives and the Clinical Center Distinguished Nurse Award. In 2008, she was one of the first recipients of the Hubert H. Humphrey Award for Service to America. The American Thoracic Society has twice awarded her the Marilyn Hansen Meritorious Nursing Research Award. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.

Knebel received her baccalaureate degree in nursing in 1981 and a master of nursing science degree in 1985 from the University of Evansville, Ind. She completed a doctorate of nursing science at the University of California, San Francisco in 1990.

Riley Named to NCI Behavioral Research Post

Dr. William Riley

Dr. William Riley has been named chief of the Science of Research and Technology Branch (SRTB) in the Behavioral Research Program within NCI’s Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS). He will provide leadership in behavioral science methodologies, analytics and approaches; theory development and application; and the application of technological advances to health behavior measurement and intervention.
Riley’s research is in the application of new technologies, particularly mobile and wireless technologies, in behavioral measurement and intervention and the potential of these technologies to assess and intervene adaptively in the context of the behavior, and with broad reach and scalability.

“Bill’s experience and expertise fits well within SRTB’s mission in the development and application of innovative research approaches, theories, methods, measures, analytic tools and technologies to advance social and behavioral science in the context of cancer prevention and control,” said Dr. Robert Croyle, DCCPS director. “His contributions to measurement science are impressive, including his recent work on the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS).”

Riley completed his bachelor of science degree in psychology and sociology from James Madison University and his master of science and doctorate in clinical psychology from Florida State University. Before his current NCI appointment, he was a health scientist administrator and deputy director in the Division of AIDS and Health Behavior Research at the National Institute of Mental Health and a program director at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. He also serves as a professorial lecturer in the School of Public Health at George Washington University.

NIH Communication Products Awarded

NIH Research Matters won 2nd place for electronic publications in a recent NAGC competition.
NIH Research Matters won 2nd place for electronic publications in a recent NAGC competition.

The National Association of Government Communicators (NAGC) recently announced winners of its Blue Pencil and Gold Screen Awards, which recognize “superior government communication products and those who produce them.” Winners from the NIH community are listed below.

NAGC is a national not-for-profit professional network of federal, state and local government employees who disseminate information within and outside government. Its members are editors, writers, graphic artists, video professionals, broadcasters, photographers, information specialists and agency spokespersons.

  • Podcast, 1st place, NIH Research Radio Podcast, OD Office of Communications and Public Liaison, Joe Balintfy, Wally Akinso, Craig Fritz
  • External Newsletter, 2nd place, NIH News in Health, OD Office of Communications and Public Liaison, Dr. Harrison Wein, Vicki Contie, Alan Defibaugh, Belle Waring, Bonnie Tabasko
  • Electronic Publication, 2nd place, NIH Research Matters, OD Office of Communications and Public Liaison, Dr. Harrison Wein., Vicki Contie, Sara R. Cohen, Ruth Lefcoe
  • Blog, 2nd place, The Sara Bellum Blog, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Jennifer Elcano, Carol Krause
  • Most Improved Publication, 2nd place, New Year, Old Myths, New Fatalities, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Fred Donodeo, Izzy Pinto
  • Graphic Design, 2nd place, Depression and College Students, National Institute of Mental Health, Christine Kaucher, Kelly Reed, Susan Jarmolowski, Terry Kelly
  • Brochures/Booklet, Award of Excellence, Depression and Other Illnesses, National Institute of Mental Health, Karin Lee, Christine Kaucher, Kate Egan, Terry Kelly.

NLM’s Kotzin Retires
Sheldon Kotzin

Sheldon Kotzin, associate director for library operations at the National Library of Medicine, retired on June 29 after more than 43 years of service.

He earned a master of library science degree from Indiana University in 1968 and, following graduation, came to NLM as a library associate. He subsequently served as head of the catalog maintenance unit in the Technical Services Division, head of the collection access section (then loan and stack) in the Public Services Division, and coordinator of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (then the Regional Medical Library Network).

Kotzin became chief of the Bibliographic Services Division in 1981 and was appointed associate director for library operations in 2006. Since 1998, he has served as executive editor of Medline and administrator of the literature selection technical review committee, the body that reviews and recommends journals for indexing in Medline. He also served as NLM’s representative to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, a group of 14 clinical journal editors who establish standards for submission of journal articles and comment on ethical principles related to publication in biomedical journals.

The Medical Library Association elected him a fellow in 2007. Kotzin will miss his many colleagues at NIH, but looks forward to spending time traveling with his wife of nearly 44 years, Loretta, and spending time with his 4 grandchildren.

LRP Director Hernandez Dies
Dr. Milton J. Hernandez,

Dr. Milton J. Hernandez, director of the NIH Loan Repayment Programs, passed away on June 14 after an 18-month battle with pancreatic cancer.

“Milton was an extraordinary man, friend and NIH colleague,” said Dr. Sally Rockey, NIH deputy director for extramural research.

“He was one of the most NIH-savvy people around, having served in myriad positions here,” she continued. “His always cheerful and thoughtful approach was one to emulate and he was admired by those who worked with him. This is a huge loss for NIH. Milton will be deeply missed.”

Hernandez received a Ph.D. in zoology from Texas A&M University and started his career as a professor at M.S. Hershey Medical Center and Howard University College of Medicine. He joined NIH in 1988 and worked with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute before joining the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He spent 18 years at NIAID as director of the Office of Science Training and Manpower Development and later, the Office of Special Populations and Research Training.

Here’s how he once described his career:

“I came to NIH from academia because I was interested in science administration. After a year of training, my first real job was with NHLBI, administering a program in blood substitutes and transfusion medicine.

“Since my heart was really in training, I took a position with NIAID. At NIAID, I was in charge of training grants, fellowships, career development awards and diversity programs. In later years, I was also involved in administering the loan repayment programs. I acquired a great grasp of training issues at the national level as well as the LRPs’ tremendous benefits for young biomedical scientists with large educational debts.”

While Hernandez led LRP for only 3 years, he will have a lasting impact; his accomplishments include creating the LRP Ambassador Network and implementing several policy changes that streamline operations and allow ICs to increase the number of awards they support.

Hernandez was proud of his two children, Diego, an instructor at the University of Maryland, and Andrea, an attorney in New York City. Hernandez, a fourth generation Texan raised in San Antonio and Mexico City, was known for his authentic Mexican cooking. In fact, food critic Craig Claiborne once dined with Hernandez and his family and published Hernandez’s recipes for chili, rice and sauces in the New York Times. Hernandez and his children visited Mexico City just weeks before his death. Upon his return, he shared pictures, including those of friends and classmates he had not seen in over 50 years.

NIDA’s Shippenberg Mourned
Dr. Toni Shippenberg

Dr. Toni Shippenberg died June 25 after a long illness. “Toni was both a distinguished scientist and a pillar of the NIDA IRP community, having devoted two decades of her life to pursuing neuroscience addiction research on behalf of NIDA’s mission. She was seen as an influential leader—both nationally and internationally—in the opiate and psychostimulant research areas and was one of the crown jewels of the IRP,” said NIDA scientific director Dr. Antonello Bonci.

Shippenberg received her B.S. in neuroscience from Colgate University in 1979 and earned a Ph.D. in pharmacology in 1985 from Baylor College of Medicine. She did postdoctoral work at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Martinsried, Germany, where she spent 7 years in the field of neuropharmacology. She later became chief of the institute’s drug abuse research unit in Munich.

In 1992, she joined NIDA’s Preclinical Pharmacology Laboratory as a senior staff fellow and obtained tenure in 2001 as a senior investigator and chief of the integrative neuroscience section of the Behavioral Neuroscience Research Branch. In 2010, she became chief of the newly created Integrative Neuroscience Research Branch before formally stepping down from that position earlier this year due to illness.

Shippenberg served as reviewing editor for the Journal of Neuroscience and was on the editorial boards of Neuropsychopharmacology and Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology. She also held appointments of adjunct associate professor at the University of Maryland Medical School and research associate professor at Georgetown University Medical Center.

Shippenberg received numerous awards over the years including the NIDA/NIH Women Scientist Achievement Award in 2009 and the NIDA Director’s Scientific Merit Award in 1994, 1995 and 1998. In 2005, she won an NIH Outstanding Mentor of the Year Award.

“Toni’s positive energy, sense of humor and warm personality will be missed as much as her science,” said Bonci.

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