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Vol. LXV, No. 4
February 15, 2013
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Milestones

Grants Assistant Extraordinaire Gibson Retires After 32 Years at NIGMS

James Gibson, standing by the golf course near his new home in Nevada, looks forward to golfing once the snow melts.
James Gibson, standing by the golf course near his new home in Nevada, looks forward to golfing once the snow melts.

James Gibson, a long-time extramural grants assistant at NIGMS, retired in December 2012.

Among his varied administrative duties were handling correspondence in grant files and processing the receipt and referral of grant applications. He recalls that his job underwent a major shift beginning in 2008, with the transition from paper to electronic files.

“I liked the transition to electronic—no more papercuts,” he quipped. Instead, he was “doing emails by the thousands.” Fortunately, he enjoys correspondence.

Gibson was known for lending a hand whenever help was needed. In 1994, an ice storm struck just prior to the January meeting of the NIGMS advisory council. Gibson was one of the only employees to make it in. While others were stranded at home or stuck in traffic, Gibson prepared the room for the meeting.

Gibson started his federal career in 1976 at the Bureau of Community Health Centers. When the bureau was abolished in 1980, he joined NIGMS, preceding all but one current NIGMS employee.

During his career, he won more than a dozen awards, including the NIH Award of Merit for “exemplary acts of helpfulness supporting the mission and administrative functions of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.” This award is the highest honor granted by an IC director.

“He was totally devoted to his work and to NIGMS,” said Dr. Michael Martin, formerly deputy director of NIGMS’s Division of Extramural Activities and Gibson’s supervisor. “His level of knowledge about the details of his work was extraordinary. As far as I’m concerned, he was one of a kind in terms of managing and organizing all the paperwork associated with grant files so that nothing got lost or mislaid. Ever.”

Gibson is already set up for the next phase of his life. He and his wife moved to Sparks, Nev., where she started a new job. Once he’s settled in, Gibson plans to look for work too, starting with Amazon.com, which has a facility near his home. There’s also the golf course down the road, which is currently open, despite the snow. And Reno isn’t far.

Gibson is looking forward to “not worrying about getting up at 4 a.m. to go to work” and not having to drive on the Beltway. He also plans to play golf, bowl in a league and travel around the country (including Hawaii) to see his nieces, nephews and 11 grandchildren.

NCI Alumnus Berard Mourned
Photo of Dr. Costan W. Berard

Dr. Costan W. Berard, who had been a pathologist at the National Cancer Institute, died on Jan. 5 at age 80.

A native of Cranford, N.J., he attended Princeton University, graduating first in his class in 1955. His oratorical skills first led him to consider a career in law; however, he chose instead to study medicine at Harvard Medical School, graduating cum laude in 1959. Following an internship at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, N.Y., Berard served at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. His experiences at WRAIR led him to study pathology rather than surgery, which he had initially considered.

In 1963, Berard came to NCI, where he made his mark in pathology and hematopathology. As chief of the hematopathology section from 1970 to 1980, he established close collaborations with colleagues who revolutionized the treatment of malignant lymphoma and Hodgkin’s disease. In addition, he had the foresight to see that advances in modern immunology would alter forever the way in which pathologists would classify malignancies of the immune system.

At NCI, he assembled a team of younger pathologists who pursued translational studies of malignant lymphomas using many advances from the basic sciences. The revolutionary changes in immunology had a profound impact on the classification of lymphoma, which was in a state of flux in the 1970s. Berard recognized the clinical need for a workable, user-friendly classification of malignant lymphomas. As NCI project officer, he led the multi-institutional NCI-funded study that published a working formulation in 1982. Originally intended as a stopgap measure, it was widely used both in clinical practice and clinical trials for the next decade.

From 1980 to 1997, Berard was chairman of the department of pathology and laboratory medicine at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.

He is survived by two daughters and one granddaughter.

Porter Named Health Science Policy Advisor for Pain
Photo of Dr. Linda Porter

Dr. Linda Porter recently was named NIH health science policy advisor for pain. The position is one of two created at NIH based on recommendations generated from the 2011 Institute of Medicine report Relieving Pain in America. The report was one of several mandates contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.

Porter earned her undergraduate degree in physical therapy from McGill University and a Ph.D. in neuroanatomy from Boston University School of Medicine. Before coming to NIH, she served on the faculty of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences for 15 years. During those years she directed an NIH-funded research program aimed at elucidating mechanisms of sensory-motor integration at the cortical level. She joined NINDS in 2003 as a program director in the systems and cognitive neuroscience cluster.

As the pain policy advisor, Porter will lead or participate in activities and programs of the NIH Pain Consortium and will coordinate NIH’s pain research programs in consultation with the consortium’s executive committee. She also will serve as the designated federal official for the interagency pain research coordinating committee— an entity established through the Affordable Care Act to address issues relevant to federal pain research programs. Porter will continue to serve as program director for NINDS headache-related grants and develop and support efforts to advance this research area.

The second newly created position is a health science officer for pain who will provide administrative and technical support as well as scientific direction to the efforts of the committee and the consortium. Both posts are located in the NINDS Office of the Director and will support pain research efforts within HHS and other federal agencies.

NIAID Division Names New Therapeutics, Vaccine Officials
Dr. Sarah W. Read Dr. Mary Anne Marovich
Dr. Sarah W. Read Dr. Mary Anne Marovich

NIAID recently announced two new senior appointments in its Division of AIDS. Dr. Sarah W. Read is the division’s new Therapeutics Research Program director; she will lead the development and coordination of clinical and preclinical research in new treatments for HIV and HIV-related complications and co-infections. Read has been with the program as a medical officer since 2006, overseeing clinical trials, developing funding initiatives, planning workshops and mentoring new medical officers.

Read earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and a medical degree at Georgetown University. She completed a residency in internal medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center. She began her career in 2001 as a physician in the Intramural AIDS Program at the Clinical Center and subsequently earned a fellowship in infectious diseases at NIAID. When the fellowship concluded in 2005, Read became an associate clinical investigator in NIAID’s Laboratory of Immunoregulation. In 2009, she earned a master of health sciences in clinical research from Duke University.

Dr. Mary Anne Marovich joins the division as new director of the Vaccine Research Program, where she will lead the development and coordination of clinical and preclinical research on HIV vaccines. She comes to NIH from the U.S. Military HIV Research Program (MHRP), where she served as chief of vaccine research and development since 2005. Additionally, Marovich worked as the clinic director for MHRP’s Rockville Vaccine Assessment Center, where she led multiple early-stage HIV and non-HIV vaccine clinical trials.

She earned bachelor’s degrees in biochemistry and chemistry at Illinois State University and a medical degree at Loyola University of Chicago-Maywood. In 1993, she completed a residency in internal medicine and clinical infectious diseases training at the University of Colorado and earned a diploma in tropical medicine and hygiene from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

An associate professor of medicine with the Uniformed Services University’s department of medicine, Marovich has won several honors for academic and teaching excellence.


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