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November 20, 2015
Betty Beall Murgolo
Betty Beall Murgolo

Betty Beall Murgolo, document delivery specialist at the NIH Library in Bldg. 10, passed away on Oct. 8 after a long battle with cancer.

Murgolo had a long history of exemplary and dedicated service to library customers. She was well-known for being able to locate elusive and difficult-to-find documents. In her 32 years with the library, Murgolo developed a vast network of professional and personal contacts that were an invaluable resource and enabled her to fill even the most complex requests. She was the “go to” person for items that no one else could find. Her colleagues and customers thought of her as the document delivery guru. They knew if the item was out there, Murgolo would find it.

Her sheer perseverance and never-give-up attitude were evident when Murgolo obtained two rare books from 1571 and 1611 that were extremely important for Dr. David Morens to complete his NIAID project on pandemic influenza. Morens said, “I considered her a part of our research team, and state clearly that we could not have done all of the scientific work we have done, including some of our most important achievements, without her. She would figure out a way to get the information the customer needed, no matter where it was and no matter how long it took.”

Another example of Murgolo’s professional expertise and can-do spirit was her ability to track down a French dissertation from the author himself, who said, “Ms. Murgolo had to go to great lengths to obtain the dissertation, as I had the only copy.”

Throughout the years, Murgolo was acknowledged in numerous scientific papers. Hardly a day passed that she did not receive an email, a note of appreciation or a call from an elated customer, expressing gratitude for her hard work, tenacity and perseverance.

According to her supervisor Ben Hope, “Betty strived to constantly improve and enhance the document delivery team to make it the best it could be. She exemplified not only an outstanding commitment to customer service, but also exceptional technical competency and a unique ability to adapt to changing needs. She will be sorely missed by her library colleagues and anyone who had the fortunate opportunity to know her.”

She is survived by her husband John; two sons, John and Stanley; and two grandchildren, William and Wyatt. Expressions of sympathy may take the form of contributions to the Melanoma Research Foundation, P.O. Box 759329, Baltimore, MD 21275.

Former NIH Parasitologist Cheever Dies

Dr. Allen Cheever
Dr. Allen Cheever

Dr. Allen W. Cheever, who devoted his 35-year career in the Public Health Service to conducting research at NIH, died Aug. 29 after a long illness of cardiac amyloidosis.

Cheever joined the Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in 1964 after graduating from Harvard Medical School. In medical school, he developed what would become a lifelong interest in schistosomiasis, a disease caused by parasitic worms that affects more than 200 million people worldwide.

At NIH, Cheever quickly established himself as a leading expert in schistosomiasis, and he worked to understand the biology of the parasite that causes the disease. He was particularly interested in the later stages of the disease, in which schistosomiasis progresses from an acute infection to a chronic and deadly stage. Cheever studied how schistosomiasis can cause liver fibrosis, or scarring, and lead to hemorrhaging and death in some patients. He served as assistant chief of the Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases from 1969 to 1995.

In one of the most significant scientific papers in the field, Cheever demonstrated that the severity of schistosomiasis symptoms and the probability of developing liver fibrosis correlated directly with the number of worm pairs present in people infected with the parasite. His work led to targeted treatment regimens to prevent patients from developing severe forms of the disease.

Cheever was instrumental in establishing ultrasonography, an alternative to surgical biopsy, as the safest and best way to determine the presence and extent of liver fibrosis. In addition, he made important discoveries on schistosomiasis while spending several years in Brazil and Egypt, two regions affected by the disease.

“Allen is best known for two heroic autopsy studies, one performed in Cairo and the second in Salvador, Brazil, that defined forever the quantitative role of parasite burden on the major tropical disease schistosomiasis,” said Dr. Alan Sher, chief of NIAID’s Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, who worked with Cheever for many years.

Throughout his time at NIH, Cheever was a highly sought collaborator and educator. He was known for his prodigious intellect, dry wit, sage advice and tremendous passion for Brazil, its language and its culture. After retiring from NIH in 1996, he continued his work as a senior investigator at the Biomedical Research Institute located in Rockville.

Born in Brookings, S. Dak., Cheever was a 55-year resident of Bethesda. He is survived by Jane Gilkerson Cheever, his wife of 62 years, with whom he had four children, Carol Ladlow, Erik Cheever, Laura Cheever and Angela Bishop. He is also survived by 11 grandchildren.—Emily Mullin

CSR Review Officer Rosen Remembered

Dr. Lee Rosen
Dr. Lee Rosen

Dr. Lee Rosen, long-time scientific review officer of the biomedical imaging and technology study section at the Center for Scientific Review, died at Johns Hopkins Medical Center on Oct. 22 after a battle with acute myeloid leukemia.

Rosen had been an SRO for 26 years and had been the inspiration and mentor for his colleagues and also a close friend to many at CSR.

Surpassing his devotion to work was his love for his family and friends and his determination to lead a balanced and fun life, remembers colleague John Firrell. “An example of this was a daily game of bridge in the Rockledge II cafeteria, which he organized. He also was an avid diver, which he took up later in his life, and arranged dive trips with friends to the Caribbean, Gulf and elsewhere.”

His colleague Dr. Eileen Bradley considered Rosen not only an outstanding SRO, but also a close friend. She recalls, “He had been known to immediately jump in to take over someone else’s study sections in an emergency right at the very last minute and to go the extra mile to get things done the right way. In the scientific community, he was extremely well respected among applicants and reviewers alike. They knew Lee would find the appropriate reviewers for their applications and they could count on a fair review. His ability to find and train the right reviewers was recognized worldwide in the medical imaging community.”

When word of his death was announced, there were moments at scientific conferences and ongoing review meetings—as far away as Taipei—when participants stopped their proceedings and took time to recognize and mourn his passing, Bradley added.

She concluded, “Those within the NIH and the extramural community will miss his expertise, inspiration, hard work, judgement, organizational skills, leadership and willingness to help anyone in need.”

OSA Honors Gandjbakche

Dr. Amir H. Gandjbakhche

Dr. Amir H. Gandjbakhche, head of NICHD’s section on analytical and functional biophotonics, was elected a fellow of the Optical Society (OSA) at its recent meeting in San Jose. He was recognized for leadership and research in areas of non-invasive optical imaging of biological targets, devising quantitative theories, development of methodologies and designing instrumentation to study biological phenomena. Founded in 1916, OSA is the leading professional association in optics and photonics.

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