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October 23, 2015
Milestones
Linda Huss receives her 40-year service award during NEI’s recent Director’s Award ceremony.
Linda Huss receives her 40-year service award during NEI’s recent Director’s Award ceremony.

Linda Huss, a familiar face around NEI for nearly three decades who’s been responsible for exhibits, publications and images, recently called it a career.

Huss began her federal career on Sept. 2, 1975, at the FDA Bureau of Biologics in Bldg. 29A on campus. She worked in the Division of Compliance, filling out protocols for new drug applications and later worked in the bureau’s Freedom of Information Office. In 1981, she applied for a position in the NIGMS communications office. In the early days, the University of the District of Columbia held classes at NIH, encouraging staff to enroll and earn college credits. It was the perfect program for Huss as a working mother.

In 1987, Huss won a post in the NEI communications office where she has spent the last 28 years. Her fondest memory was working under communications director Judith Stein. The office was an exciting place where staff promoted clinical trials and research results to the media and the public, Huss recalls. It was life before electronic dissemination and involved using creative products to highlight results of large multi-center clinical trials at press conferences and at meetings such as the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Optometric Association.

Huss was involved in the development of publications and traveling exhibits to promote NEI research. She and colleagues planned many photo shoots using NEI staff and their families who volunteered their time. The photos were highlighted on the NEI web site (developed in 1997) and in traveling exhibits, displays and publications for patients and the public. Several of the images have also been used by the media and public and professional organizations.

“It was so much fun planning and developing materials and working with professional photographers,” Huss said. “NEI doctors and NEI families would come to the clinic and act as patients for eye exams and simulated procedures. The lab photo shoots with NEI researchers were just as exciting to set up. Photographers would capture their research using creative camera lenses and make their work look like art.”

That’s exactly what happened when the idea came up for the “Eye as Art” exhibit that Huss oversaw in the Bldg. 31A hallway.

“NIH communications is the place to be if you want to serve the public and promote the important medical discoveries NIH is making to improve health and save lives,” she says.

Over the years, Huss felt proud to be a part of the NIH community and see its scientists quoted in newspapers and magazines. Her career spanned use of the first computers, web sites and now social media.

Huss feels fortunate to have worked under NEI director Dr. Carl Kupfer for her first 17 years at NEI and Dr. Paul Sieving for the last 11 years. She has seen great colleagues come and go and has met many talented people at NIH.

As she moves to the next chapter of her life, she plans to live one day at a time and enjoy getting into a routine.

“I do have a bucket list,” Huss says. She and her partner David Pair, an NIH alumnus, are booked on a 12-day land and sea trip to Alaska in May 2016. They also have some jazz festivals lined up for this fall, including one in Rehoboth Beach, Del.

Huss’s large family all live in the Washington area. The reason she wants to retire is because 40 years of doing something fun can only lead to more fun in life. Quoting Lucille Ball, Huss noted, “I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done.” She also wants to register with the Olney Theatre to help out with seating guests—a good deed that will allow her to see shows for free. Last but not least, she looks forward to watching NIH from the outside and will always keep her eye on NEI.

NCI Biostatistician Wacholder Dies
Dr. Sholom Wacholder
Dr. Sholom Wacholder

Dr. Sholom Wacholder, an expert in cancer epidemiology and biostatistics in NCI’s Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, died Oct. 4 at his home in Rockville.

He leaves behind a legacy of research excellence in genetic epidemiology. A statistician by training, he was sought out by colleagues to advise on critical methodological and analytic components of nearly all major undertakings of the division over the past 30 years.

He was lead statistician for the NCI study of the natural history of human papilloma virus and cancer, culminating in the launch and successful completion of the NCI Costa Rica HPV Vaccine Trial.

Wacholder began working in genetic epidemiology with the Washington Ashkenazi Study and was one of the first to develop kin-cohort analysis, a novel sampling approach to eliminate statistical bias from studies of genetically similar populations.

His interest in childhood cancers led him to research on electromagnetic fields and childhood acute lymphocytic leukemia, and later to pursue the inheritance of osteogenic sarcoma, a cancer that targets adolescents and young adults. He was also a key collaborator on large, comprehensive case-control studies of lung cancer and renal cell cancer.

He made many contributions to the methodologic rigor of his division’s work, including the design of case-control studies; the contribution of underlying population substructure to error in association studies; and a formal method for evaluating the chance that a reported positive finding is a false positive by incorporating external information.

Roaming the halls of DCEG or sequestered in his office surrounded by stacks of paper, Wacholder constantly sought to teach those around him, engaging his peers as well as support staff in debates over scientific and philosophical approaches to the work at hand.

Wacholder received a Ph.D. in biomathematics from the University of Washington in 1982. He was a fellow of the American Statistical Association and an elected member of the American Epidemiological Society. He served on the editorial boards of numerous journals, including Epidemiology, Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, Journal of the National Cancer Institute and the American Journal of Epidemiology.

He is survived by his wife, Michelle, their two adult sons, Aaron and Jonah, his sisters and brother, and many nieces and nephews.

NIAID’s Dr. William E. Paul
NIAID’s Dr. William E. Paul

Dr. William E. Paul, a renowned immunologist and long-time laboratory chief at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, died Sept. 18 at age 79 due to complications from acute myeloid leukemia.

As chief of the Laboratory of Immunology since 1970, Paul made seminal discoveries and published more than 600 scientific studies. He discovered interleukin-4, a key immune mediator, and revealed its role in allergic and inflammatory diseases. He also delineated the mechanisms whereby naïve T cells develop into mature effector cells, which carry out essential tasks in the context of infection, allergy and inflammatory diseases. In addition, Paul led the NIH Office of AIDS Research from 1994 to 1997, developing the first comprehensive plan and a unified budget for all NIH-sponsored AIDS activities. He also served in the Public Health Service, achieving the rank of rear admiral.

“Bill was an icon in the field of immunology and a respected and beloved member of the NIH community,” said NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci. “He was a wonderful colleague and friend to me, to so many of us at NIH and in the global immunology community. He will be sorely missed.”

A Brooklyn native, Paul graduated from Brooklyn College in 1956 and the State University of New York Downstate College of Medicine in 1960. After completing his clinical training, he joined future Nobel laureate Dr. Baruj Benacerraf in 1964 at New York University School of Medicine. Paul came to NIAID in 1968 and was appointed chief of the Laboratory of Immunology (LI) 2 years later. Under his leadership, LI became one of the world’s premier centers of immunological research, a testament to Paul’s scientific and leadership abilities.

He received many honors, including the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Excellence in Mentoring Award from the American Association of Immunologists (AAI) and the Honorary Lifetime Membership Award from the International Cytokine Society. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and its Institute of Medicine. Previously, he was president of both the AAI and the American Society for Clinical Investigation.

Notably, Paul was chief editor of the Annual Review of Immunology from its inception until 2011, and he authored Fundamental Immunology, a leading immunology textbook. He also wrote a lay-audience book, Immunity, published in September 2015.

Paul enjoyed tennis, swimming, theater, music, reading and traveling. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Marilyn H. Paul; sisters Linda Weinstock and Harriet Darvas; sons Jonathan Carmel and Matthew Paul; and six grandchildren.

OFM Director Stith Dies at 67

Ken Stith of OFM
Ken Stith of OFM
Ken Stith, director of NIH’s Office of Financial Management and deputy chief financial officer, died Aug. 8 after a long struggle with a brain tumor.

Stith held an M.B.A. in corporate finance from Oklahoma City University and a B.S. in accounting from Southern Illinois University. After 25 years of active duty service in the U.S. Air Force, he retired a colonel and had won a Legion of Merit award.

Prior to joining NIH in 2000, he worked as senior manager consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

In his role as OFM director, Stith guided NIH’s central accounting arm for all financial transactions originating from the 27 institutes and centers. He was the recipient of the President’s Meritorious Senior Executive Award, Secretary’s Distinguished Service Award and NIH Award of Merit.

Stith had strong interests in mentoring and counseling men as a volunteer family counselor. He helped many new federal employees in his work as a mentor in the Presidential Intern program and senior executive programs at OPM.

“Ken had other strengths exemplified by his interpersonal relations, conflict avoidance and resolution and his ability to get people from different organizational perspectives to cooperate with each other,” said MaryAnne Haskell, program specialist to the OFM director. “He had a genuine heart and love for all people and would strive to see things from another’s perspective, always taking the time to slow down enough to listen and hear what the other person was saying. He understood the difference between the matters at hand and the turmoil of emotions, when feelings get hurt. This allowed Ken the unique ability to separate the ‘wheat from the chaff,’ as he would say, remain calm and focus on finding the solution rather than getting caught up in the actual words spoken in the heat of the moment of stressful situations.

“I haven’t spoken to any who met Ken Stith, whether friend or colleague, who didn’t love, respect and appreciate him,” she continued. “Ken had a way of making you feel like you were just accepted and appreciated after you left his presence.”

Internment with military honors was held at Oakwood Cemetery in Falls Church, Va.

Stith is survived by his wife Yolanda and three children: Saalik and his wife Camilla Stith, Rachel and her husband Soon Moon, and Benjamin Stith; his mother, Alene Stith; his sister Gloria Barbour; five grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

NIMHD Welcomes Nine Council Members

NIMHD director Dr. Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable (seated, c)
welcomes (back, from l) Linda Greene, ex officio member Dr.
Cara Krulewitch, Drs. Brian Rivers, Maria Araneta and Sandro
Galea. Seated are (from l) Drs. Margarita Alegria and Judith
Bradford. Not shown are Drs. Linda Burhansstipanov, Ross
Hammond and Hilton Hudson II
NIMHD director Dr. Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable (seated, c) welcomes (back, from l) Linda Greene, ex officio member Dr. Cara Krulewitch, Drs. Brian Rivers, Maria Araneta and Sandro Galea. Seated are (from l) Drs. Margarita Alegria and Judith Bradford. Not shown are Drs. Linda Burhansstipanov, Ross Hammond and Hilton Hudson II

NIMHD recently held its 40th advisory council meeting with new participants Dr. Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable, new institute director, and nine new council members.

Dr. Margarita Alegría is director of the Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research at Cambridge Health Alliance and a professor in the department of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She has devoted her career to researching disparities in mental health and substance abuse services, with the goal of improving access to and equity and quality of these services for disadvantaged and minority populations.

Dr. Maria Araneta, a perinatal epidemiologist, is a professor in the department of family and preventive medicine at the University of California, San Diego. Her research interests include maternal/pediatric HIV/AIDS, birth defects and ethnic health disparities in type 2 diabetes, regional fat distribution, cardiovascular disease and metabolic abnormalities.

Dr. Judith Bradford is director of the Center for Population Research in LGBT Health and co-chairs the Fenway Institute, Boston. She works with public health programs and community-based organizations to conduct studies on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and racial minority communities and to translate the results into programs to reduce health disparities.

Dr. Linda Burhansstipanov is an educator, public health leader and researcher with a focus on Native American health issues such as cancer prevention, community- based participatory research, navigation programs, cultural competency and evaluation. She founded Native American Cancer Initiatives, Inc., and the Native American Cancer Research Corp.

Dr. Sandro Galea, a physician and epidemiologist, is dean and professor at Boston University School of Public Health. His research focuses on the causes of brain disorders, particularly common mood and anxiety disorders and substance abuse.

Linda Greene is Evjue Bascom professor of law at the University of Wisconsin Law School. Her teaching and academic scholarship include constitutional law, civil procedure, legislation, civil rights and sports law.

Dr. Ross A. Hammond, a senior fellow in the economic studies program at the Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C., is also director of the Center on Social Dynamics and Policy. His primary area of expertise is using mathematical and computational methods from complex systems science to model complex dynamics in economic, social and public health systems.

Dr. Hilton Hudson II is chief of cardiothoracic surgery at Franciscan Healthcare, Munster, Ind., and a national ambassador for the American Heart Association. He also is founder of Hilton Publishing, Inc., a national publisher dedicated to producing content on solutions related to health, wellness and education for people in underserved communities.

Dr. Brian M. Rivers is a research faculty member at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, Fla. His research focuses on examination of unmet educational and psychosocial needs and the development of communication tools, couple-centered interventions and evidence-based methods to convey complex information to at-risk populations across the cancer continuum.

NINR Council Welcomes Four New Members

Dr. Patricia Grady (c) meets the newest members of the
National Advisory Council for Nursing Research. They
are (from l) Dr. Alexa Stuifbergen, Dr. Jennifer Temel, Dr.
Beverly Priefer and Col. Michael L. Schlicher.
Dr. Patricia Grady (c) meets the newest members of the National Advisory Council for Nursing Research. They are (from l) Dr. Alexa Stuifbergen, Dr. Jennifer Temel, Dr. Beverly Priefer and Col. Michael L. Schlicher.

The National Institute of Nursing Research recently welcomed four new members to the National Advisory Council for Nursing Research.

Dr. Beverly Priefer is acting director of research and evidence-based practice programs in the Office of Nursing Services within the Veterans Health Administration. She supports the recruitment and retention of nurse scientists through training and mentoring and oversees ONS national evidence-based practice initiatives.

Col. Michael L. Schlicher is executive director for the military’s TriService Nursing Research Program in Bethesda. His research seeks to use aspects of nanotechnology to develop new nursing therapeutics for wound healing, pain control and disease prevention.

Dr. Alexa Stuifbergen is the dean, James R. Dougherty, Jr. centennial professor in nursing and holds the Laura Lee Blanton chair in nursing at the University of Texas. She is internationally known for innovative research projects in health promotion for persons with chronic and disabling conditions.

Dr. Jennifer Temel is an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, clinical director of thoracic oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital, director of cancer outcomes research at MGH Cancer Center and co-leader of the Dana-Farber/ Harvard Cancer Center Outcomes Research Program. Her research focuses on optimizing palliative and supportive care for patients with cancer and their families.

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