Completing a ‘Storybook’ Career
NCI’s Hadley Retires After 34 Years at NIH
By Carla Garnett
James Hadley, director of the National Outreach Network in NCI’s Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities, retired recently after 34 years at NIH.
“My career has been a storybook,” he said. “I’ve been able to reinvent myself over and over again, based on the research needs and educational outreach needs of NIH.”
Once upon a time, Hadley started his NIH career in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, then moved briefly to the NIH Office of the Director, then on to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases with a short sojourn at HHS headquarters and finally, the National Cancer Institute. He recalled every change of pace, considering he never really planned any of them.
Hadley was an adjunct professor—and informal mentor/guidance counselor—teaching communication at Howard University in 1980, when one of his own mentors mentioned a job opportunity at NIH. The post, officially called “public information specialist” in NICHD, would come to define Hadley’s career and passion for helping people learn about medical research and its role in disease prevention and improving health. In every job he took thereafter, he had that singular purpose: help inform the public in some way.
Soon after joining NIH, Hadley took the first of several detail assignments in the OD Equal Employment Opportunity Office. “That was the training ground for everything I needed to know for working in the communication community at NIH,” he recalled.
Returning to NICHD, he wrote feature articles, supervised exhibit design and worked on news campaigns. From there Hadley was recruited to the NIAID communications office, in the thick of the first stages of the AIDS epidemic.
“I can remember when the stigma was such that folks were scared to even be around people with AIDS,” he said. “Our office worked hard on information and educational materials to combat those fears.”
|With some of his health promotion posters behind him, James Hadley retired after 34 years at NIH.
Working as a public liaison officer by then, Hadley also led efforts on educating communities about childhood asthma, biosafety lab construction and HIV Vaccine Awareness Day.
In 1994, he was called downtown for a detail as employee communications coordinator for HHS’s assistant secretary for personnel administration.
In 1997, he accepted a detail to coordinate an NIH Health Fair for OD’s Office of Disease Prevention, while keeping his main post at NIAID.
“We congratulate James on 34 years of service—and that is the important word—service, to NIH and the public,” said Calvin Jackson of NIH’s Office of Communications and Public Liaison. “In addition to all of his professional accomplishments, the communications community has regarded James throughout his career for his collegiality, his willingness to participate, his ever-kind treatment of [everyone] he worked with and on behalf of across the country. He has made the government a more accessible and friendlier place and he has always listened to the needs of the public.”
In 1999, he earned a spot in NIH’s Management Cadre Program. He was assigned to the news division of HHS’s assistant secretary for public affairs.
By 2003, Hadley’s commitment to education and outreach had led him to become advocacy relations manager at NCI. He coordinated a summit, “Listening and Learning Together: Building a Bridge of Trust” and set up “Understanding NCI,” a teleconference series highlighting research advances.
By the end of his career, Hadley had established and administered the National Outreach Network (NON), which incorporates culturally and linguistically appropriate education and outreach activities into NCI’s community-based health disparities research programs. A cadre of community health educators develops culturally sensitive, evidence-based cancer information tailored to the specific needs and expectations of at-risk and underserved communities.
“Besides my coworkers here, I’ll really miss the community health educators,” Hadley said. “They are so passionate about what they do. Compassion is definitely a requirement for their work.”
Coworkers said that when Hadley announced his retirement, everyone who knew him at NIH was happy for him but sad for themselves, given the loss of such a dedicated, creative and warm colleague. Retirement wishes immediately began flooding his desk. Many expressed appreciation for the support and guidance Hadley provided and lauded his professionalism, patience and tireless advocacy for reducing cancer disparities.
“James was very sincere about his work,” said CRCHD director Dr. Sanya Springfield. “He really cared about helping people and put his all into NON. He left his imprint on everything he did.”
Dr. Mary Ann Van Duyn, CRCHD Integrated Networks team lead, agreed, noting, “James did an absolutely spectacular job of laying the foundation for NON and he will be missed dearly.”
Dr. Brenda Adjei, a CRCHD program director, said, “His commitment to and passion for the work of [community health educators] cannot adequately be put into words.”
So what will Hadley do in retirement?
“Get a life!” he said, with a laugh. “I also want to travel and continue with my volunteer work.”
NIDCR Mourns Lynne Angerer
|NIDCR’s Dr. Lynne Angerer died Mar. 30 after a long illness.
Dr. Lynne Angerer, chief of NIDCR’s developmental mechanisms section, died Mar. 30 after a long illness. Her husband and long-term scientific collaborator is NIDCR scientific director Dr. Bob Angerer.
“We have lost one of our leaders in science—a brilliant researcher, a wonderful colleague, dear friend and mentor to so many of us,” said NIDCR director Dr. Martha Somerman. “Lynne’s death is an immeasurable loss for NIDCR, for the NIH and for the entire research community. Her scientific contributions are enormously important and have significantly advanced our understanding of the human development process.”
Angerer was a world-renowned expert in the field of developmental biology. Using sea urchins, close cousins of vertebrates, she unraveled the core regulatory processes that direct the early development of animal embryos. She led her NIDCR lab to numerous pioneering discoveries. Among these was the revelation that some neurons are of a unique tissue origin, differentiating de novo from cells in the gut; this finding was a challenge to prevailing dogma that nerves develop only from another embryonic tissue. Her group also found numerous unexpected complex regulatory interactions that are required to prevent most cells of the embryo from adopting neural fate (Wnt signaling).
One of Angerer’s major scientific accomplishments was the microarray she helped develop from the newly obtained sea urchin genome sequence, an important tool for genome-wide screens to identify genes and signaling molecules involved in early embryonic development.
Angerer and her husband were recruited to NIDCR in 2004 from the University of Rochester, where, among many accomplishments, they developed a technique of in situ hybridization to detect mRNAs using RNA probes. They applied this approach to determine when and where the early embryonic territories in the sea urchin are established and disseminated this information widely to the research community.
Angerer was an inspiring mentor, training many graduate students and postdocs who went on to their own successful research careers. Her commitment to mentoring began at Rochester, where she had been a senior research associate since 1986 and a research associate since 1978.
Angerer did her postdoctoral work at Caltech in the lab of molecular biologist Norman Davidson. She earned a doctorate in 1973 from Johns Hopkins University, conducting research on the structure of chromatin using biophysical methods. She received a B.Sc. in 1966 and an M.Sc. in 1967 from Ohio State University.
Angerer is survived by her husband and two children, Jen Angerer of New York City and Mark Angerer of Lakewood, Colo., and many friends.
The family has requested that memorial contributions be made to the National MS Society (www.nationalmssociety.org/donate/index.aspx).
Champion for Scientific Workforce Diversity
Longtime MARC Chief Toliver Dies
By Jilliene Drayton
Dr. Adolphus “Tol” Toliver, longtime chief of the NIGMS Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) Branch, died on Mar. 26 at age 81.
Toliver earned a B.S. in biology from Washington University in St. Louis shortly after the school was desegregated. He went on to Purdue University for a Ph.D. in molecular biology/biochemistry then did postdoctoral research at Kansas State University.
Toliver began his trailblazing professional career as an assistant professor in the department of biochemistry and biophysics at the University of California, Davis, at a time when there were very few African-American researchers. He came to NIH in 1975 as executive secretary of the biochemistry study section at what is now the Center for Scientific Review. His advocacy for those underrepresented in the sciences included recruiting women and underrepresented minorities to serve as study section members. He also mentored many junior scientists on the NIH grant application and peer review process.
In 1994, Toliver became director of the NIGMS MARC program, a position he held until his Jan. 1 retirement.
In that role, he was the driving force behind several institutional training programs aimed at increasing the number of biomedical and behavioral scientists from historically underrepresented population groups. His many contribuNIDCR’s
Dr. Lynne Angerer died Mar. 30 after a long illness.
tions included reshaping the MARC program to
focus on outcomes, evaluation and continuous
“Dr. Toliver was one of the most inspiring colleagues
with whom I’ve had the pleasure to
work,” said University of Maryland, Baltimore
County, president Dr. Freeman Hrabowski.
“What made him so impressive was his
authentic commitment to helping young people
succeed. Because of his own background,
he understood that if we give students support
and expect the most from them, all
things are possible.”
One of Toliver’s most notable accomplishments
was development of the Annual Biomedical
Research Conference for Minority Students.
Now in its 13th year, this highly regarded
national meeting brings together more than
3,000 student and other participants from 350-
plus colleges and universities. The students gain
valuable experience in presenting their research
and have many opportunities for careerenhancing
interactions with other attendees.
Though Toliver’s impact extended far beyond
the gates of NIH, his internal contributions
were equally prized. “Dr. Toliver had a wonderful
eye for talent,” said Dr. Clifton Poodry, director
of the NIGMS Division of Training, Workforce
Development, and Diversity (TWD). “The
program officers and administrative staff he
recruited were highly successful and many have
gone on to leadership positions at other institutes
“I was fortunate to work under Dr. Toliver’s
leadership,” said TWD program director Dr.
Shawn Gaillard. “He valued my opinions, never
made me feel like I couldn’t ask a question and
genuinely wanted me to be successful in my
career. He was like a second father to me.”
During his career, Toliver received numerous
honors and awards, including two NIH Awards
of Merit, a PHS Special Recognition Award, an
NIH Director’s Award and an Equal Employment
Opportunity Special Achievement Award.
He was also elected an Old Master by his alma
mater, Purdue University.
Toliver is survived by his wife, Dr. Jean Toliver,
as well as a host of nieces, nephews, great-nieces
Colleagues and associates also remembered Toliver
online at https://loop.nigms.nih.gov/index.
Donations in his memory may be made to the
American Cancer Society or to Friends of the
Fogarty Welcomes New Advisory Board Members
Dr. Roger Glass
(l) welcomes new
members (from l)
Drs. William Tierney,
Kortum, King Holmes
and George Hill.
Not shown are Drs.
Michele Barry and
The Fogarty International Center recently welcomed six new advisory board
members who will provide guidance on funding awards and other global health
Dr. George Hill is a professor emeritus of pathology, microbiology and immunology
at Vanderbilt University and was the medical school’s first associate dean for
diversity. He conducted groundbreaking research to advance biomedical science
worldwide, resulting in a broader understanding of the tsetse fly-transmitted
“African sleeping sickness.”
Dr. Rebecca Richards-Kortum is a professor of bioengineering and electrical and
computer engineering at Rice University as well as director of the Rice 360°:
Institute for Global Health Technology. Her work focuses on translating research
that integrates advances in nanotechnology and molecular imaging with microfabrication
technologies to develop inexpensive, portable imaging systems that
provide point-of-care diagnosis.
Dr. King Holmes is the William H. Foege chair of global health at the University
of Washington, heads the infectious diseases section at Harborview Medical
Center in Seattle and is founder and director of the University of Washington
Center for AIDS and STD. Holmes is the principal investigator for the International
Training & Education Center on Health, a collaboration between UW and
the University of California, San Francisco, and one of the largest HIV/AIDS
training programs in the world.
Dr. William Tierney is president and CEO of the Regenstrief Institute, Inc., as
well as a professor at Indiana University School of Medicine and chief of internal
medicine at Wishard Memorial Hospital in Indianapolis. His research focuses on
implementing electronic health record systems in hospital and outpatient venues
in Indiana and in East Africa.
Dr. Michele Barry is senior associate dean for global health and director of the
Center for Innovation in Global Health at Stanford University School of Medicine.
As director of the Yale/Stanford Johnson & Johnson Global Health Scholar
Award program, she has sent more than 1,000 physicians overseas to help
strengthen health infrastructure in low-resource settings.
Dr. Michael Merson is founding director of the Duke Global Health Institute, as
well as a professor of medicine, global health, community and family medicine
and public policy at Duke University. Previously, he was Yale University School
of Medicine’s first dean of public health.