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Vol. LXVII, No. 28
August 28, 2015


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Dr. John F. Sherman

NIAMS Advisory Council

Dr. William T. Riley

Dr. Samuel Wilson


Former NIH Leader Sherman Mourned

Dr. John F. Sherman

Dr. John F. Sherman, who served for 6 years as NIH deputy director (1968-1974), including 4 months as acting NIH director in early 1973, died June 28 in Washington, D.C. He was 95.

A native of Oneonta, N.Y., he served in the field artillery of the U.S. Army from 1941 to 1946 and was awarded the Bronze Star for distinguished service. With assistance from the G.I. Bill, Sherman received his B.S. from Union University College of Pharmacy in Albany, N.Y., in 1949. He earned his Ph.D. in pharmacology from Yale University in 1953.

Sherman came to NIH as an officer in the PHS Commissioned Corps in January 1953; he was a research pharmacologist in the Laboratory of Tropical Diseases, National Microbiological Institute, which became NIAID in 1955. In July 1956, he began a series of extramural leadership positions with NIAMD and NINDB that lasted until Jan. 1, 1964, when he was named NIH associate director for extramural programs. He became NIH deputy director in 1968.

Sherman was the first Ph.D. to be promoted to the rank of assistant surgeon general.

He left NIH in 1974 to become vice president of the Association of American Medical Colleges and director of its department of planning and policy development.

Sherman was the author of numerous scientific papers and articles. His awards included a PHS Meritorious Service Medal in 1965, the Distinguished Service Award from the Department of Health, Education and Welfare in 1971 and the Outstanding Service Medal, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, in 1991.

He also received a Special Recognition Award from the AAMC in 1996 stating he “was widely recognized as an unfailing friend of the biomedical research community throughout his distinguished career…Generations of scientists have Dr. Sherman to thank for keeping the funding of biomedical research a critical issue on the agenda of national decision-makers.”

Sherman was active in Bethesda United Church of Christ and in community organizations in Parkwood, Wickford and Ingleside. He was a member of the Cosmos Club.

He is survived by his daughters Betsy Sherman of Washington, D.C., and Mary Ann Small of Liverpool, England; two grandsons, Michael and Edward Small; a sister, Gertrude Bishop of Tucson, Ariz., and many friends and relatives.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17 at Ingleside at Rock Creek, 3050 Military Rd. NW, Washington, D.C. Memorial contributions may be made in his name to the Public Health Service Commissioned Officers Foundation through the Koop Living Legacy Fund.

Five Named to NIAMS Advisory Council

NIAMS director Dr. Stephen Katz (second from l) and deputy director Dr. Robert Carter (third from r) welcome new members to the institute’s council. They are (from l) Richard Seiden, Dr. V. Michael Holers, Dr. Amy Paller, Dr. Joan Bechtold and Dr. Sundeep Khosla.

NIAMS director Dr. Stephen Katz (second from l) and deputy director Dr. Robert Carter (third from r) welcome new members to the institute’s council. They are (from l) Richard Seiden, Dr. V. Michael Holers, Dr. Amy Paller, Dr. Joan Bechtold and Dr. Sundeep Khosla.

NIAMS has appointed five new members to its advisory council.

Dr. Joan E. Bechtold is the Gustilo professor of orthopaedic research and graduate professor in orthopaedic surgery and mechanical and biomedical engineering at the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on bone healing in the context of challenges such as infection, trauma, smoking and joint replacement.

Dr. V. Michael Holers is the Scoville professor of rheumatology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, where he also is head of the division of rheumatology. His research interests include B lymphocyte activation and development, analysis of pre-clinical autoimmunity in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and the causes and development of RA and related conditions.

Dr. Sundeep Khosla is the Dr. Francis Chucker and Nathan Landow research professor, a Mayo Foundation distinguished investigator and dean for clinical and translational science at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. A principal investigator on a number of NIH grants, his research projects include investigating the mechanisms of bone loss in women and in men, sex hormone action on bone and the biology of osteoprogenitor cells and stem cells.

Dr. Amy S. Paller is the Walter J. Hamlin professor and chair of the department of dermatology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. She is also director of skin-related clinical trials research at the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

Richard F. Seiden is a partner with Foley and Lardner, LLP, in Los Angeles, and has been a member of the California Bar since 1973. He joins the council as a public representative.

Riley Named Director of OBSSR

Dr. William T. Riley

Dr. William T. Riley has been named NIH associate director for behavioral and social sciences research and director of the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research. He had served as acting director of OBSSR since May 2014. NIH director Dr. Francis Collins announced the appointment on July 30.

Riley first came to NIH in 2005, serving as deputy director of the Division of AIDS and Health & Behavior Research at the National Institute of Mental Health. In 2009, he joined the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute as program director of the Clinical Applications and Prevention Branch, Division of Cardiovascular Sciences. He moved to the National Cancer Institute in 2012, where he was chief of the Science of Research and Technology Branch in the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences. Prior to his employment at NIH, Riley worked in the private sector as director of research at PICS, Inc., and taught at Virginia Commonwealth University and the Medical College of Georgia.

A clinical psychologist by training, Riley is interested in behavioral assessment, psychosocial health risk factors, tobacco use/cessation and the application of technology to preventive health behaviors and chronic disease management. His research has included the use of mobile phones and other mobile computer devices to assess and intervene on tobacco use, dietary intake, physical activity, sleep and medication adherence. He also is interested in the application of engineering and computer science methodologies to the behavioral sciences.

NIEHS Celebrates Wilson’s Mentoring Award

More than 100 colleagues and trainees turned out recently to show their appreciation to principal investigator Dr. Samuel Wilson, who is one of this year’s recipients of the Ruth L. Kirschstein Mentoring Award, the highest recognition at NIH for exemplary performance while demonstrating significant leadership, skill and ability in serving as a mentor.

NIEHS/NTP director Dr. Linda Birnbaum and honoree Dr. Samuel Wilson

NIEHS/NTP director Dr. Linda Birnbaum and honoree Dr. Samuel Wilson

Photo: Michael Garske

Noting that the honor will be officially presented Sept. 24 at the NIH Director’s Awards, NIEHS and NTP director Dr. Linda Birnbaum said, “I think it’s great that we went ahead to say, ‘Thank you, thank you’ for your leadership, science and mentoring.”

The award is named for Dr. Ruth Kirschstein, who served as director of NIGMS and was the first woman to serve as director of an institute. She was also deputy director of NIH in the 1990s and acting director of NIH in 1993 and 2000-2002. She died in 2009.

“It’s a huge honor…for me and for the NTA [NIEHS Trainee Assembly] and the outstanding training program we have here,” Wilson said. Characteristically, he was quick to point out his debt to others, naming several of his colleagues. “It really is for all of us.”

The mentoring award is the latest in a long list of honors Wilson has received for his work at NIEHS, where he heads the DNA repair and nucleic acid enzymo-logy group. He also served as deputy director of NIEHS in 1996-2007 and acting NIEHS and NTP director 2007-2009.

Wilson was founding director of the Sealy Center for Molecular Science and director of the Center for Environmental Toxicology at the University of Texas Medical Branch 1991-1996, following service as a principal investigator with the National Cancer Institute.—Eddy Ball

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