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, 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
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
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
“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
Dr. Costan W. Berard, who had been a pathologist
at the National Cancer Institute, died on Jan. 5 at
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
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
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
NIAID Division Names New Therapeutics, Vaccine Officials
|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.