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Vol. LXVI, No. 4
February 14, 2014

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Dr. Hannah Valantine

Dr. Marilyn Huestis

Dr. Joseph Gallelli

Dr. Milton J. Hernandez

APAO Presents Annual Awards


Milestones

Valantine Named 1st Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity

Stanford’s Dr. Hannah Valantine will become NIH’s first chief officer for scientific workforce diversity this spring.
Stanford’s Dr. Hannah Valantine will become NIH’s first chief officer for scientific workforce diversity this spring.

Dr. Hannah Valantine is NIH’s first chief officer for scientific workforce diversity. NIH director Dr. Francis Collins announced the appointment Jan. 30, following a nationwide search. Valantine will lead NIH’s effort to diversify the biomedical research workforce by developing a vision and comprehensive strategy to expand recruitment and retention and promote inclusiveness and equity throughout the biomedical research enterprise.

Currently serving as senior associate dean for diversity and leadership at Stanford School of Medicine, she’s expected to begin her NIH role this spring.

“Recruiting and retaining the brightest minds regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, disability and socioeconomic status is critically important not only to NIH, but also to the entire U.S. scientific enterprise,” said Collins. “Hannah possesses the experience, dedication and tenacity needed to move NIH forward on this critically important issue.”

The newly created position dedicated entirely to diversity stems from a recommendation by the biomedical research workforce diversity working group of the advisory committee to the NIH director. Valantine will work closely with the institutes and centers, NIH grantee community and other stakeholders to ensure engagement on the issue at all levels.

At Stanford, Valantine has also served as professor of cardiovascular medicine at the university’s medical center. She studied biochemistry at London University and attended St. George’s Hospital Medical School. She completed postgraduate work in cardiology at two London hospitals, Brompton and Hammersmith. She moved to the U.S. to train as a fellow with leading cardiologists and cardiac surgeons, including heart transplant pioneer Dr. Norman Shumway.

In addition to a career in cardiology, Valantine is a past recipient of the NIH Director’s Pathfinder Award for Diversity in the Scientific Workforce and has a proven record on implementing diversity initiatives in academic medicine.

In announcing the selection, Collins also thanked NIBIB director Dr. Roderic Pettigrew, who served as the acting chief officer for scientific workforce diversity while the search to fill the role permanently was under way.

“Roderic did an incredible job of keeping the initiative moving while continuing to serve as director of the National Institute on Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering,” Collins noted. “His tireless efforts and knowledge on this important topic will make him an essential resource to Hannah.”

NIDA’s Huestis Chosen for New Forensic Science Commission

Dr. Marilyn Huestis

Dr. Marilyn Huestis, chief of the chemistry and drug metabolism section in NIDA’s Intramural Research Program, has been selected as an ex officio member of the newly created National Commission on Forensic Science.

Cochaired by the Department of Justice and Department of Commerce, the commission includes experts and researchers in forensic science as well as judges, attorneys and law enforcement officials. The commission will help improve the practice of forensic science and develop policy recommendations for the U.S. attorney general.

Huestis is a past president of the Society of Forensic Toxicologists, past chair of the toxicology section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the first woman president of the International Association of Forensic Toxicologists.

At NIDA, she researches ways to minimize the public health impact of drugged driving; effects of marijuana or cannabinoids in the body as well as how the body absorbs, distributes, metabolizes and excretes these substances; the impact of drugs on the developing fetus; and identification of designer drug metabolites that currently elude typical drug-testing procedures.

CC Senior Advisor Gallelli Retires

Dr. Joseph Gallelli

On Jan. 3, Dr. Joseph Gallelli retired as senior advisor for biotechnology product development in the Clinical Center’s Office of the Director. In this role, he supported development of the cell processing section in the transfusion medicine department; it manufactures cellular therapy products for treatment of CC patients.

Gallelli began his NIH career in 1961 as a staff pharmacist after completing graduate studies at Temple University, where he earned a master’s and Ph.D. Soon after, he became chief of the pharmaceutical development section. By 1970, he became chief of the pharmacy department. In 1995, after completing a long and distinguished career in pharmacy, Gallelli was named senior advisor for biotechnology product development.

Gallelli has been a leader in helping transform pharmacy into a clinical profession with a focus on patient care and improving drug therapy outcomes. “[He] led an impressive and important career in decades of work for the NIH and the department,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius when she honored Gallelli for 50 years of federal service in 2011.

In 1974, Gallelli published the first textbook on the compatibility and chemical stability of drugs used in the preparation of intravenous additive solutions. The book, Parenteral Drug Information Guide, was based on years of research in his lab. That same year, he established the first postgraduate hospital pharmacy residency program at the Clinical Center and has mentored numerous pharmacists and scientists who have become leaders in their own right.

He also published major guidelines and recommendations on the safe handling, chemical inactivation and disposal of injectable antineoplastic drugs. Gallelli introduced the Unit Dose Drug Distribution System, which has become the standard in the U.S., and developed the first centralized intravenous admixture service for preparing sterile injectable products.

In 1982, he established the Clinical Pharmacokinetics Research Laboratory to analyze drug concentrations in biological specimens, determine the pharmacokinetic properties of investigational drugs and perform therapeutic drug monitoring to assist in individualized dosing of medications.

Gallelli has held leadership positions in numerous organizations in the U.S. and abroad, including the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, U.S. Pharmacopeia and International Pharmaceutical Federation.

He has received awards such as the Public Health Service George Archambault Public Health Service Career Achievement Award in Pharmacy, the American Public Health Association Distinguished Federal Pharmacist Award and the Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S. Andrew Craigie Award.

In retirement, Gallelli will write about the history of pharmacy at NIH, take Italian language lessons, paint Byzantine-style icons and travel. He will not be too far away from NIH though; he has signed on to work as a special volunteer.

Mentoring Lecture Renamed in Honor of Hernandez

Members of the Hernandez family and members of the Milton Hernandez legacy working group met recently. They include (from l) Ann London; Tamara Lewis- Johnson; Matthew Fenton, director, Division of Extramural Affairs, NIAID; Andrea Hernandez; Lidia Hernandez; Diego Hernandez; Paula Strickland, director, Office of Research Training and Special Programs; Katrin Eichelberg; Diane Adger-Johnson; and Raushanah Newman.
Members of the Hernandez family and members of the Milton Hernandez legacy working group met recently. They include (from l) Ann London; Tamara Lewis- Johnson; Matthew Fenton, director, Division of Extramural Affairs, NIAID; Andrea Hernandez; Lidia Hernandez; Diego Hernandez; Paula Strickland, director, Office of Research Training and Special Programs; Katrin Eichelberg; Diane Adger-Johnson; and Raushanah Newman.

The late Dr. Milton J. Hernandez
The late Dr. Milton J. Hernandez
NIAID’s Bridging the Career Gap workshop mentoring lecture was recently renamed to honor Dr. Milton J. Hernandez, NIAID’s former director of research training and strong supporter of new investigators. He died in 2012.

“Dr. Hernandez was sensitive to and active in addressing the challenges faced by scientists in the early stages of their careers,” said Diane Adger-Johnson of the Office of Research Training and Special Programs. “Through his efforts, many new investigators successfully competed for NIH research training awards, helping launch their research and careers in the life sciences. Through his work in career development for young investigators, Dr. Hernandez inspired senior scientists to participate in the development of future scientific leaders. Naming this lecture for him is one way for us to honor his legacy.”

The first Milton Hernandez Lecture of Excellence in Mentoring Life Sciences Researchers was presented recently by Dr. Derrick Brazill of Hunter College (mentor) and Dr. Kareem Graham of Emory University (protégé).

APAO Presents Annual Awards

The NIH Asian and Pacific Islander American Organization (APAO) held its annual awards ceremony recently. Sharon Wong (l), deputy director for coordination & policy in the Office of Personnel Management’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion, presented opening remarks at the ceremony. Honorees (starting second from l) include Dr. Wei Yang of NIDDK (for scientific achievement), Dr. Abraham Bautista of NIAAA (for leadership excellence) and JoAnne Wong of NCATS (Kuan-Teh Jeang Distinguished Service Award). Dr. Richard K. Nakamura (third from r), director of the Center for Scientific Review, presented the keynote address. Dr. Xinzhi Zhang (r), APAO president, and Dr. Shioko Kimura (second from r), chair of the APAO awards committee, presented the awards.

The NIH Asian and Pacific Islander American Organization (APAO) held its annual awards ceremony recently. Sharon Wong (l), deputy director for coordination & policy in the Office of Personnel Management’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion, presented opening remarks at the ceremony. Honorees (starting second from l) include Dr. Wei Yang of NIDDK (for scientific achievement), Dr. Abraham Bautista of NIAAA (for leadership excellence) and JoAnne Wong of NCATS (Kuan-Teh Jeang Distinguished Service Award). Dr. Richard K. Nakamura (third from r), director of the Center for Scientific Review, presented the keynote address. Dr. Xinzhi Zhang (r), APAO president, and Dr. Shioko Kimura (second from r), chair of the APAO awards committee, presented the awards.

Photo: Ruby Lee


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