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Vol. LXVII, No. 17
August 14, 2015

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Dr. Jack Whitescarver Wendy Wertheimer

New NCAB Members

NIDA Director Keynotes Conference


Milestones

OAR Leadership Team Steps Down
Whitescarver, Wertheimer Retire

Dr. Jack Whitescarver (l), shown here with Ambassador Eric Goosby at an international AIDS conference, recently retired from NIH.

Dr. Jack Whitescarver (l), shown here with Ambassador Eric Goosby at an international AIDS conference, recently retired from NIH.

NIH associate director for AIDS research Dr. Jack Whitescarver, who directed the Office of AIDS Research (OAR), and Wendy Wertheimer, OAR senior advisor, have both retired from their long-held positions.

Whitescarver had served in OAR since its establishment in 1988, first as deputy director and then as director from 2002 to 2015. Under his leadership, OAR implemented annual planning, budgeting and portfolio assessment processes that made the AIDS research program a unique model of trans-NIH coordination and collaboration involving every institute and center.

Recently, Whitescarver led a year-long process involving AIDS experts from around the world to reaffirm the highest priorities in AIDS research and conduct a review of the entire AIDS portfolio. He launched innovative international and domestic research and training programs, particularly addressing women and minorities as well as programs to assist and mentor early career investigators.

With Nobel laureate Prof. Francoise Barre-Sinoussi, he serves as co-chair of the International AIDS Society (IAS) “Towards an HIV Cure” advisory board. Whitescarver was the first recipient of the IAS Presidential Award for outstanding commitment to the global fight against HIV and pioneering work in the field.

His retirement caps a long career at NIH. In 1977, Whitescarver completed the Grants Associates Program and became special assistant to then-NIAID director Dr. Richard Krause. During this time, Whitescarver participated in development of the initial federal response to address the emergence of the new infectious disease now known as AIDS. From 1984 to 1988, he held positions as associate dean for research development and assistant professor of pathology at Emory University School of Medicine.

At a White House reception, recording artist Annie Lennox (l) chats with Wendy Wertheimer, who retired recently as senior advisor in NIH’s Office of AIDS Research.

At a White House reception, recording artist Annie Lennox (l) chats with Wendy Wertheimer, who retired recently as senior advisor in NIH’s Office of AIDS Research.

Wertheimer has served with Whitescarver as senior advisor in OAR since 1992. She first met Whitescarver and Krause in 1977, when she was a legislative assistant to Sen. Jacob Javits, the ranking member of the Senate authorizing committee. There she had responsibility for NIH authorization and legislation on women’s health, sexually transmitted diseases and genetic diseases. She next served as deputy executive director of the American Social Health Association, where she was one of the first AIDS advocates and led the establishment of the National AIDS Hotline.

Wertheimer served as special assistant to Dr. Jonathan Mann, director of the Global Programme on AIDS at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. She was recruited to NIH in 1991 by Dr. Ruth Kirschstein to assist her in establishing the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health.

As senior advisor to the OAR director, Wertheimer has been responsible for policy, planning, legislation and communications.

Wertheimer and Whitescarver enjoyed a unique and productive professional partnership that has spanned nearly four decades. They have devoted their careers to the field of AIDS and are both committed to continuing this work in new capacities outside of NIH.

White House Announces New NCAB Members

Acting NCI director Dr. Doug Lowy (third from l) welcomes new NCAB members. They are (from l) Drs. Timothy Ley, Peter Adamson, Max Wicha, Tyler Jacks and Deborah Bruner Dr. Yuan Chang
Acting NCI director Dr. Doug Lowy (third from l) welcomes new NCAB members. They are (from l) Drs. Timothy Ley, Peter Adamson, Max Wicha, Tyler Jacks and Deborah Bruner; at right is Dr. Yuan Chang.

The White House has announced the appointment of five new members to the National Cancer Advisory Board and the redesignation of NCAB chairperson Dr. Tyler Jacks.

Jacks is director of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and David H. Koch professor of biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has pioneered the use of technology to study cancer-associated genes and to construct animal models of many human cancer types, including cancers of the lung, pancreas, brain and ovaries.

Dr. Peter C. Adamson is chair of the international Children’s Oncology Group and professor of pediatrics and pharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He is an internationally recognized leader in pediatric cancer drug development.

Dr. Deborah Watkins Bruner is the Robert W. Woodruff chair of nursing at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University, and associate director for outcomes research at Emory’s Winship Cancer Institute. She has a strong background in behavioral sciences, including quality of life in cancer patients.

Dr. Yuan Chang is American Cancer Society research professor, distinguished professor of pathology, department of pathology and UPMC endowed chair in cancer virology at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. Her specialties include viral oncology, cell biology, KSHV/HHU8 epidemiology, biology and tumor virology.

Dr. Timothy J. Ley is the Lewis T. and Rosalind B. Apple professor of oncology in the department of medicine and director of the stem cell biology section in the division of oncology at Washington University School of Medicine. He is a hematologist, oncologist and cancer biologist as well as an internationally known expert in the pathogenesis of acute myeloid leukemia and other blood-related disorders.

Dr. Max S. Wicha is Madeline and Sidney Forbes professor of oncology at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center and deputy director of the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute. He is nationally known for his research in the field of breast oncology, particularly the study of how breast cancer cells grow and metastasize.

NIDA Director Keynotes Conference

NIDA director Dr. Nora Volkow (c) recently delivered the opening keynote at the 8th International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference in Vancouver. The conference on HIV pathogenesis, treatment and prevention is the world’s leading scientific meeting on HIV. Volkow presented on the topic “Injection Drug Users and HIV” to more than 6,000 attendees. She told the audience how drugs have contributed to the HIV epidemic and spoke of the importance of integrating HIV and addiction treatment. Joining Volkow are Dr. Julio Montaner (l), director of the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, and Dr. Chris Beyrer, IAS president. NIDA director Dr. Nora Volkow (c) recently delivered the opening keynote at the 8th International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference in Vancouver. The conference on HIV pathogenesis, treatment and prevention is the world’s leading scientific meeting on HIV. Volkow presented on the topic “Injection Drug Users and HIV” to more than 6,000 attendees. She told the audience how drugs have contributed to the HIV epidemic and spoke of the importance of integrating HIV and addiction treatment. Joining Volkow are Dr. Julio Montaner (l), director of the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, and Dr. Chris Beyrer, IAS president.

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