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Vol. LXVII, No. 5
February 27, 2015


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Dr. Daniel A. Sklare

Dr. J. Frederic “Fred” Mushinski


Dedicated Mentor
NIDCD’s Sklare Retires, Receives Award of Excellence

Dr. Daniel A. Sklare

Dr. Daniel A. Sklare, who served as research training officer in the NIDCD Division of Scientific Programs for the past 23 years, retired in January after 31 years of federal service. During his tenure, he worked tirelessly to recruit and support a new generation of clinician-scientists working on disorders of human communication, particularly physicians who specialize in otolaryngology, or diseases of the ear, nose and throat. As a mentor to many young clinicians interested in conducting research, Sklare encouraged them to follow a path that builds a strong research foundation and increases their chances of future success.

His dedication to improving the lives of individuals with communication disorders preceded his service as research and training officer. Sklare completed his doctoral training at Wayne State University in 1984. He began his career at the audiology and speech pathology service of the Department of Veterans Affairs and came to the NIH Intramural Research Program in 1986 to serve as a clinical and research audiologist. Between 1990 and 2003, he served as director of the Balance and Vestibular Sciences Program within the newly formed NIDCD. He became research training officer of the Extramural Programs at NIDCD in 1991. From 2008 through fall 2012, he served as both NIDCD research training officer and director of the NIDCD research program in the assessment and management of hearing and balance disorders.

Sklare was recently honored with an NIDCD Award of Excellence, which recognizes staff members who have made significant and exceptional contributions to the NIDCD mission. The award cited his “longstanding commitment to the NIDCD research and training program, including dedicated, heartfelt and successful mentoring of trainees.”

“Dr. Sklare has shown extraordinary leadership in NIDCD training and career development programs,” said Dr. Judith A. Cooper, NIDCD deputy director and director of the Division of Scientific Programs. “One of Dan’s unique skills lies in his capacity to influence training and career development at many levels, whether at the level of the individual principal investigator seeking advice, developing new programs addressing unmet training needs for NIDCD or considering larger community issues such as the trans-NIH training advisory committee. Dan has been a thoughtful and influential force for research training and career development across the NIDCD mission areas. One could not have wished for a better colleague. We will miss him and yet we wish him well in his new endeavors.”

Dr. Alberto Rivera-Rentas recently joined NIDCD and will serve as the institute’s research training officer.

NCI’s Mushinski Mourned

Dr. J. Frederic “Fred” Mushinski

Dr. J. Frederic “Fred” Mushinski, 76, who retired from NCI’s Laboratory of Cancer Biology and Genetics in 2009 after more than 40 years of research, died Dec. 18 in Bethesda after a bout of colon cancer.

Mushinski grew up in Beaver Falls, Pa. When he was 15, after his father’s death, the family moved to Bethesda.

He earned his B.A. degree in chemistry at Yale University in 1959 and received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1963. He joined NCI as a research associate in the Laboratory of Biology, run by Dr. Michael Potter, in 1965 after an internship and fellowship in the department of medicine at Duke University Medical Center.

It was in the NCI lab that Mushinski met a staff biologist named Elizabeth “Betty” Bridges; the two married in 1971 and had a combined 87 years of NIH service when they retired early in 2009.

They shared a common interest in protein expression and chromosomal translocation, as well as a love of music, especially opera. Both also had medical family backgrounds.

Mushinski had been a member of the PHS Commissioned Corps. He also spent a year at the Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine in Göttingen, Germany, and had been a research professor in the molecular and cell biology program at the University of Maryland.

In retirement, Mushinski was a volunteer at Wolf Trap Center for the Performing Arts in Virginia.

In addition to his wife, Mushinski is survived by two sisters, Mary M. Fetsch and Margaret M. Ochs.

A memorial service will be held at a later date in Bethesda. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Mushinski’s name to a favorite charity.

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