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Vol. LXVI, No. 17
August 15, 2014


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Dr. David Gordon

Dr. Paul Brazhnik

Clara Hall


HHS Honors NHLBI’s Gordon

NHLBI’s Dr. David Gordon
NHLBI’s Dr. David Gordon

Dr. David Gordon, associate director of the Prevention and Population Sciences Program in NHLBI’s Division of Cardiovascular Sciences, recently received the HHS Career Service Award honoring 40 years of outstanding achievement.

Since joining NHLBI in 1984, Gordon has played a key role in several seminal NHLBI cardiovascular trials that have transformed the practice of medicine, including WAVE, BARI-2D, ALLHAT and AIM-HIGH. He was also a member of all of the Adult Treatment Panel cholesterol guideline committees.

In 2002, he was appointed special assistant for clinical studies in the Division of Heart and Vascular Diseases, with oversight responsibilities for all clinical trials in the division. While in this role, he has been active in the management of current NHLBI trials and networks and served two terms as acting deputy division director. He was also a co-author of the 2013 cholesterol guidelines.

Gordon has become an internationally recognized thought leader in the field of cardiovascular trials. He is a primary organizer of the acclaimed annual Paris Cardiovascular Clinical Trials Forum and Workshop. His recent publications cover a variety of topics, issues and methods related to randomized trials in cardiovascular medicine.

In November 2013, Gordon was the lead author of a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine on publication of NHLBI-supported clinical trials. He and his colleagues found that 45 NHLBI-supported cardiovascular clinical trials that focused on primary clinical endpoints such as death, myocardial infarction, strokes and hospitalizations published their results very quickly (<18 months) and were highly cited, but that the remaining 199 trials that focused on surrogate endpoints, published slowly if at all and were rarely cited. The finding that many NHLBI-funded trials have little scientific impact, while a few were transformative, has profoundly shaken our paradigm of funding clinical trials. In June 2013, based in part on this article, Gordon was asked to join a trans-NIH working group on fostering improvement in clinical trials.

Dr. Paul Brazhnik

Brazhnik Named NIGMS Branch Chief

Dr. Paul Brazhnik was recently named chief of the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Branch in the NIGMS Division of Biomedical Technology, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. Before becoming its chief, Brazhnik was a program director in this branch and managed a portfolio in computational systems and mathematical biology. He came to NIH in 2009 from Virginia Tech, where he was a faculty member in the department of biological sciences and in the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute. Brazhnik earned an M.Sc. in physics and a Ph.D. in theoretical and mathematical physics from Moscow State University in Russia.


Research Chemist Hall Mourned

Clara Hall

Clara Hall, 83, a research chemist at NIH for 40 years before retiring in 1999, died on May 28.

She came to NIH in 1959 and for many years was associated with the laboratory of Dr. Elizabeth Neufeld of the National Institute of Arthritis, Metabolism and Digestive Diseases, now NIDDK. Neufeld spoke at Hall’s funeral June 5 in Washington, D.C.

Clara E. Walke Hall was a classically trained pianist and cellist. She received a B.S. in chemistry from Hunter College. She was a research scientist at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons prior to joining NIH.

In the early 1960s, Hall began tutoring inner-city elementary school students. She continued for 10 years, then returned to tutoring after retiring from NIH.

Hall was an avid tennis fan and a regular attendee at the U.S. Open. She also enjoyed travel and attending symphony and ballet performances at the Kennedy Center.

Hall is survived by daughter Karen Hall of Gaithersburg, son Geoffrey Hall of New York City, two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

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