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Vol. LXVII, No. 6
March 13, 2015

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Dr. Judith Greenberg

Rear Admiral Isabel Garcia

Dr. Barry Portnoy

Tho-Van Tran

Dr. Richard M. Krause

Olivia Mickey

Belle Waring

APAO Annual Awards


Milestones

Greenberg Named NIGMS Deputy Director

Dr. Judith Greenberg is NIGMS deputy director.
Dr. Judith Greenberg is NIGMS deputy director.

NIGMS director Dr. Jon Lorsch has appointed Dr. Judith Greenberg as the institute’s deputy director. Greenberg has served as acting deputy director since October 2013.

“Dr. Greenberg is a trusted advisor and a vital member of the NIGMS leadership team,” Lorsch said. “I am extremely pleased that she will continue her dedicated service to the institute and to NIH in this key position.”

A developmental biologist by training, Greenberg has served as director of the NIGMS Division of Genetics and Developmental Biology since 1988. She also twice served as the institute’s acting director for a total of more than 3½ years.

Greenberg has a strong interest in research training and bioethics issues and has advised NIH on topics that include human embryonic stem cells and gene therapy.

Additionally, she served as principal leader of the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award program from 2004 to 2012 and of the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award program from its inception in 2007 to 2012.

Prior to joining NIGMS as a program administrator in 1981, Greenberg conducted research in the intramural program of what is NIDCR. Her focus was on cell migration and differentiation in early embryonic development.

Greenberg earned a B.S. in biology from the University of Pittsburgh, an M.A. in biology from Boston University and a Ph.D. in developmental biology from Bryn Mawr College.

NIDCRís Garcia Retires from PHS

Rear Admiral Isabel Garcia

Rear Admiral Isabel Garcia, assistant surgeon general and NIDCR deputy director, has retired from the PHS and stepped down from her post at the dental institute to become dean of the University of Florida College of Dentistry. She began her tenure as dean this month.

“Isabel has been an inspiration to me in leading the institute,” said NIDCR director Dr. Martha Somerman. “She combines an uncompromising commitment to public health and the highest personal integrity. It is a formidable combination and I’ve learned to trust her professional judgment implicitly. We will certainly miss her, but we know she’ll go on to do great work for the University of Florida.”

Garcia has served more than 30 years in administration, research, public health, teaching and dental practice at the local, state and national level and for the past 19 years has held leadership roles at NIDCR. She joined what was NIDR in 1995 as a special assistant for science transfer and became director of the institute’s Office of Science Policy and Analysis in 2003. In 2007, she was appointed deputy director and from 2010-2011 assumed the role of acting director during a transition between directors.

Garcia spearheaded the development of three strategic plans and the institute’s first plan for eliminating health disparities. She also directed the development of numerous initiatives in diverse areas of science, including oral disease risk assessment, biomarker development, comparative effectiveness research, global health, behavioral and biological determinants of oral disease in vulnerable populations and population and community-based studies to prevent oral diseases and conditions.

Widely sought after for her experience and expertise, she served on numerous committees and councils including the department’s oral health coordinating committee, the NIH management and budget working group and the secretary’s tribal advisory committee. As part of a Presidential initiative, she represented NIH and PHS on the humanitarian mission of the U.S.N.S. Comfort, a Navy hospital ship sent to provide medical, surgical and dental care to people in 12 countries in Latin America. She also has collaborated extensively within and across professional boundaries, heading partnerships with professional organizations, community groups, patient advocates and others to enhance NIDCR’s work.

She has served as a lecturer, a faculty advisor and as a mentor to more than 30 dental public health residents. From 2005-2014, she directed NIDCR’s Residency Program in Dental Public Health, which plays an important role in expanding oral health disparities research capacity, with many of its graduates holding leadership positions in the U.S. and abroad.

Garcia received a B.S. from the University of Mary Washington, a D.D.S. from the Medical College of Virginia and an M.P.H. from the University of Michigan, where she also completed a residency in dental public health. She is a diplomate of the American Board of Dental Public Health and a member of the American College of Dentists. She has held elected positions in the American Association of Public Health Dentistry and the oral health section of the American Public Health Association and is past director of the American Board of Dental Public Health.

Her accomplishments have been recognized with numerous honors and awards, including the NIH Director’s Award for mentoring and the American Association for Dental Research Jack Hein Public Health Service Award. She is also the recipient of the PHS Jack D. Robertson Award for outstanding long-term dedication and service to improve the oral health of the nation.

Portnoy, ODís Senior Prevention Advisor, Retires

Dr. Barry Portnoy

Since preventing illness is usually easier than treating it, NIH, which mainly supports curative research, has increasingly turned to disease prevention. Few have contributed to this paradigm shift more than Dr. Barry Portnoy. Before his retirement in January, he had spent 30 years at the agency helping to find scientific ways to promote healthy lifestyles.

As a senior advisor in the Office of Disease Prevention, Portnoy served on several trans-NIH coordinating committees that oversee research on disease prevention, nutrition and smoking cessation. He was also the NIH liaison to the U.S. preventive services task force and the task force on community preventive services—expert panels that develop evidence-based recommendations for disease prevention.

Earlier, as a program director at NCI, Portnoy led the first program to introduce tobacco education into public schools. He was on the team that developed the 1990, 2000, 2010 and 2020 objectives for the Healthy People initiative, a national think tank that maps 10-year priorities for improving public health.

Before joining NIH in 1985, Portnoy was a professor at the University of Virginia, where he evaluated prevention interventions for chronic disease. He grew up in Brooklyn and attended the City University of New York. He went on to obtain his master’s and Ph.D. at Ohio State University and the University of Toledo.

“Barry is a widely published researcher who also understands the inner workings of NIH,” said ODP director Dr. David Murray.

In his work, Portnoy has championed the idea of prevention as a whole-system change supported by healthy built environments—neighborhoods with sidewalks, parks, health-food restaurants and quality care.

Portnoy has seen his share of change. Along with the NIH community, he welcomed the budget doubling of the late 1990s, saw the fences go up around the campus after 9/11 and weathered more than one fiscal storm. What he enjoyed most about his time at NIH was trading ideas with talented colleagues. At NCI, Portnoy crossed paths with intern John Burklow, now NIH associate director for communications and public liaison, and met a group of long-time scientist friends who called themselves the “pizza pals,” as they used to debate the latest science while sampling local pies.

In retirement, Portnoy will continue to lecture and mentor at the University of Maryland. He is an avid cyclist and a fly fisherman. His wife Lynn retired recently from the Library of Congress and together they look forward to many leisure trips, no longer hindered by regulations on government travel.—Andrey Kuzmichev

Tran Named Chief of CSR Branch

Tho-Van Tran

Tho-Van Tran has been named chief of the Administrative Services Branch at the Center for Scientific Review. She comes to CSR from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, where she was an administrative officer for the Office of the Director, executive officer and Office of Science Policy, Engagement, Education and Communication.

“We are very pleased Ms. Tran has joined CSR,” said CSR Executive Officer Joanna Bare. “She is known for building highly effective teams, improving and simplifying administrative processes and having an exceptional ability to research and interpret administrative policy.” Bare also noted that Tran has extensive experience in financial management, travel, recruiting and human resources, project management and analysis.

Tran will oversee federal travel, property administration, purchasing, time and attendance administration and space planning and management for CSR.

Prior to her tenure at NHLBI, Tran worked in the Clinical Center, the National Institute of Mental Health and in the private sector, where she served as assistant treasurer/junior officer for the OBA Federal Savings and Loan Association in Maryland. Tran holds an associate’s degree in accounting from France and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Strayer University.

Former NIAID Director Krause Mourned

Dr. Richard M. Krause
Dr. Richard M. Krause

Dr. Richard M. Krause, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases from 1975 to 1984, died Jan. 6 in Washington, D.C. He was 90 years old.

His 1981 book The Restless Tide—The Persistent Challenge of the Microbial World elevated global attention to emerging infectious diseases. Publication of the book generally coincided with the discovery and characterization of HIV/AIDS, Legionnaires’ disease, Lyme disease and toxic shock syndrome.

“Richard was among the first scientists in the modern era to sound a clarion call about the persistent threat of infectious diseases, and during his leadership he kept scientists and policymakers focused on the concepts of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, who succeeded Krause as NIAID director. “His scientific recognition that humanity faces a perpetual challenge from emerging and re-emerging microbes was prophetic. I will miss his fierce intelligence, insatiable curiosity and quick wit. We all have benefited from his myriad contributions to NIH and to science over his long career.”

Krause was born in Marietta, Ohio. Following three semesters at Marietta College, he was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he worked in a venereal disease control program. He received a B.A. from Marietta College in 1947 and an M.D. in 1952 from Western Reserve University School of Medicine, now Case Western Reserve. In the course of his medical studies, he participated in epidemiologic research with Prof. Charles H. Rammelkamp on the immunology and prevention of rheumatic fever, which spurred his interest in the relationship between infection and immunity.

In 1954, following training at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, he joined the Rockefeller Institute and Hospital (now Rockefeller University) where he rose to the rank of professor. His research focused on substances that stimulate the body’s immune system, as exemplified by his research on the immune response to streptococcal polysaccharides. These studies led him to examine the genetic factors that influence the immune response. In recognition of his research achievements, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1977.

Appointed NIAID director in 1975, Krause guided the institute through a period of growth to address the re-emergence of microbial diseases as health threats and to stimulate research on the complexity of the immune system. He was an innovator who reorganized NIAID along programmatic lines and restructured the Rocky Mountain Laboratory into independent laboratories. He also led NIAID into the field of recombinant DNA research and technology.

Responding to the emergence of the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s, Krause organized field studies in Haiti and Zaire in the search for the origins of the causative virus.

In July 1984, he retired from the Public Health Service and became dean of medicine at Emory University. In 1989, he returned to NIH to become a senior scientific advisor at the Fogarty International Center. He worked into his late 80s both at Fogarty and as an investigator emeritus in the NIAID Laboratory of Human Bacterial Pathogenesis, where, for more than a decade—and up to 2 months before his death—he led an ongoing joint Indo-U.S. effort examining the incidence of streptococcal pharyngitis and rheumatic fever in schoolchildren in India; some have said the project yielded some of his best work. Previously he taught at Rockefeller University in New York (1954-1961 and 1966-1975) and at Washington University in St. Louis (1962-1966).

Krause was an active patron of the arts, collected works of art and was a historian and philanthropist.

He was preceded in death by brothers Orville and Karl, sister Mary and nephew Karl Krause Jr. He is survived by niece Virginia (Ginger) O’Connor, and nephews Kent E. Krause and Irvin E. Hobba, nine grandnieces and grandnephews and nine great grandnieces and grandnephews.

Marietta College is planning a memorial service open to the public, but details are not yet available.

NIGMSís Mickey Dies at 50

Olivia Mickey

Olivia Mickey, an extramural support assistant in the NIGMS Division of Training, Workforce Development and Diversity (TWD), died unexpectedly on Nov. 25. She was 50 years old.

Mickey began her federal career in 1989 as an executive secretary at the Department of Commerce. She joined NIH in 2004 as a DEAS employee, where she was assigned to the former NIGMS Division of Minority Opportunities in Research. In 2012, Mickey transitioned to an extramural support assistant position in the division, which was renamed the Division of Training, Workforce Development and Diversity.

“Olivia had a beautiful spirit,” said Janet Shoemaker, a colleague who worked next to Mickey for several years. Shoemaker recalls how Mickey served as a mentor to her after she transferred to NIGMS from NCRR. “She took me under her wing and made it easy to adapt to NIGMS,” Shoemaker said.

In addition to handling her duties at NIGMS and caring for her 13-year-old daughter, Mickey was working toward completing her undergraduate degree.

“Olivia was learning all the time, from new software at work to college classes at night,” said TWD acting director Dr. Alison Hall. “It was a joy to see her growing stronger and improving all the time. We lost a lovely member of our division family.”

Mickey was also active in her church choir and served as a youth mentor.

She is survived by her mother, Frances C. Tyler; two children, Devon and Laurie; and five siblings.

Record Staff Writer Waring Mourned
By Dana Talesnik

Belle Waring
Photo: Lydia Polimeni

NIH Record staff writer Belle Waring, 63, lost a long battle with cancer on Jan. 31. She had enjoyed a multifaceted career; she was an acclaimed writer and poet, neonatal nurse, exhibit curator, archivist and teacher. Waring loved literature, animals and nature and could easily converse on almost any topic. Colleagues and friends described her as insightful and inquisitive, forthright yet compassionate.

“Belle was an important part of our staff and a brilliant writer—and a wonderful human being. We will all miss her terribly,” said John Burklow, NIH associate director for communications and public liaison.

“We spent hours talking about life in general, philosophy, my kids,” recalled Calvin Jackson, deputy associate director of NIH’s Office of Communications and Public Liaison. “Belle was a genuinely good person who took a great interest in people.”

Waring started her NIH career in 2002 as a prints and photographs technician in the History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine. In 2006, she joined OCPL as a writer-editor for the NIH Record.

“Belle loved NIH and said so many times,” said Rich McManus, Record editor. “Her respect for its science and public health mission and her affection for its people were evident in every story she turned in. She wrote as if she were talking to an intelligent, sympathetic and curious friend. That’s what she transformed all of us into.”

Waring’s 2010 story on a knit-a-cap campaign to help save infants in Rwanda earned her an NIH plain language award. That year, she took a 2-year stint as NIH coordinator for the Public Information Officers Network, which connects communications professionals from NIH institutes and centers with grantee institutions across the country. Waring returned to write for the Record from 2012 until her passing.

“With the NIH Record, the stories Belle enjoyed the most were about the ordinary people that make this place run,” said Jackson. “Belle was also a great mentor to a lot of people around here. She took people under her wing and nurtured them.”

Waring made friends everywhere she went. “We were two people interested in books,” reflected Walter Cybulski, a preservation librarian who worked with Waring at NLM. “Belle was a keen, astute reader and a serious fact-checker. That made her a very accurate reporter. She applied her writing skills and nurse’s background to what she did here in communications.”

Prior to joining NIH, Waring worked at Children’s National Medical Center as a writer-in-residence and a creative writing teacher for kids. She also was a registered nurse and had spent 9 years as a neonatal intensive care nurse at Georgetown University Hospital. Her observations during this demanding job inspired much of her award-winning poetry.

Waring’s first published poetry collection, Refuge (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1990), won the Associated Writing Programs’ Award for Poetry in 1989, the Washington Prize in 1991, and was cited by Publishers Weekly as one of the best books of 1990. Her second book, Dark Blonde (Sarabande Books, 1997) won the 1997 San Francisco State University Poetry Center Book Award and the first annual Larry Levis Reading Prize in 1998.

Cybulski said a highlight of their years of friendship was a reading they did for the Library of Congress for “The Poet and the Poem” podcast series in 2011. Waring’s poetry often would delve into heart-wrenching life experiences and turbulent subjects. “That fighter is always there,” said Cybulski. “She wasn’t interested in dwelling on the darker aspects of her poetry for long; she wanted to reach agreement with the world, to turn the reader’s attention toward light.”

At Waring’s funeral, Cybulski read a poem of his that Waring told him could serve as her epitaph, “For Belle, Out on the Ledge”: I did not journey this far to end up so terribly alone. Under the cold aluminum sky the occasional snowflake dances, and I long for the energy to dance like that, to rise up and leap in the light like a girl discovering her first butterfly. How can it be that within me remains a longing so intense I feel that only God can respond to it, that only pure light can respond to this fierce searchlight? And summon from somewhere deep within me the sweet sad fury that only angels can abide.

Long-time friend Cyndi Burrus-Shaw, who works in Bldg. 1, met Waring nearly 20 years ago when they worked together at the American Psychological Association.

“Belle was funny, lighthearted and selfless…Those of us who really knew her felt lucky,” said Burrus-Shaw. “Belle was a great listener and always saw the best in everybody…My kids—both aspiring writers—came to know her. She was a great teacher, empathetic and results-oriented. She got great joy from making things right. She was genuine and thoughtful; that’s what I miss.”

Waring is survived by her mother, Patricia Waring, of Chestertown, Md.

APAO Presents Annual Awards

At the recent APAO awards ceremony in Wilson Hall were (from l) Dr. Chunzhang Yang, 2014 APAO president; Dr. Zhenggang Liu, NCI; Dottie Li, managing director of TransPacific Communications; Dr. Yihong Ye, NIDDK; Dr. Dar-Ning Kung, NLM; and Capt. Sally Hu, OD.

At the recent APAO awards ceremony in Wilson Hall were (from l) Dr. Chunzhang Yang, 2014 APAO president; Dr. Zhenggang Liu, NCI; Dottie Li, managing director of TransPacific Communications; Dr. Yihong Ye, NIDDK; Dr. Dar-Ning Kung, NLM; and Capt. Sally Hu, OD.

Photo: Ruby Lee

The NIH Asian & Pacific Islander American Organization held two events recently on the NIH campus. An annual awards ceremony and luncheon recognized the following recipients: Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award, shared by Dr. Zhenggang Liu, NCI, and Dr. Yihong Ye, NIDDK; Leadership Excellence Award, Capt. Sally Hu, OD; KT Jeang Distinguished Service Award, Dr. Dar-Ning Kung, NLM.

Dottie Li, managing director of TransPacific Communications, was the keynote speaker. Her topic was the importance of effective communication.

At a training session titled “Articulate Your Expertise with Polish and Credibility,” the presenter was Christine K. Jahnke, who has advised two First Ladies on media as well as women politicians and candidates in 34 countries. A communications expert, she addressed an audience of 350 in Masur Auditorium and 679 via live videocast. The seminar was co-sponsored by APAO and the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. It can be viewed at http://videocast.nih.gov/PastEvents.asp.

APAO is seeking volunteers for its next event, the observance of Asian Heritage Month at NIH in May 2015. For more information or to join the group, contact JoAnne Wong at wongj@mail.nih.gov.

At the recent seminar on communications were (from l) Dr. Sara Kaul, 2015 APAO president; Christine K. Jahnke, founder of Positive Communications; and Tyrone Banks, Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

Photo: Joanne Wong

At the recent seminar on communications were (from l) Dr. Sara Kaul, 2015 APAO president; Christine K. Jahnke, founder of Positive Communications; and Tyrone Banks, Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

NIDA’s Huestis Honored

Dr. Marilyn Huestis

The American Academy of Forensic Sciences recently conferred the honor of distinguished fellow on Dr. Marilyn Huestis, senior investigator and chief of chemistry and drug metabolism at the National Institute on Drug Abuse. She was recognized for her contributions to the academy and the forensic sciences profession. Huestis is also an adjunct professor at the School of Medicine at the University of Maryland. She has published 354 peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters and has presented more than 500 abstracts at national and international meetings. Huestis currently serves on six scientific editorial boards and regularly reviews for 60 journals. She also mentors doctoral students in toxicology.

 

 


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