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March 11, 2016
Milestones

Grantee Lee Wins 2016 FNIH Lurie Prize

NIDA grantee Dr. Jeannie Lee has been named the 2016 winner of the Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences.
NIDA grantee Dr. Jeannie Lee has been named the 2016 winner of the Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences.

Dr. Jeannie T. Lee, a NIDA grantee, has been named the 2016 winner of the Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences for uncovering the functions of long, noncoding RNA in epigenetic regulation. Her work has accelerated the understanding of mechanisms driving epigenetic regulation, which involves changes in gene function without changing the DNA sequence.

Lee’s work investigates how a whole sex chromosome can be shut down and how “X-chromosome inactivation” can be leveraged to treat congenital diseases such as Rett, CDKL5 and Fragile X syndromes in addition to numerous cancers such as breast, ovarian, blood, intestinal and male germ cell tumors where there is often an extra xchromosomal copy.

The Lurie Prize, administered by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, will be presented on May 18 in Washington, D.C.

Lee is a professor of genetics and pathology at Harvard Medical School and at Massachusetts General Hospital, as well as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.

NIAAA Alumnus Callahan Mourned

Claire M. Callahan died on Feb. 11 in Danvers, Mass., after a lengthy illness. Her career was devoted to the service of people, principally as an educator of youth, and in the prevention and treatment of addiction.

Claire Callahan died Feb. 11 in Danvers, Mass.
Claire Callahan died Feb. 11 in Danvers, Mass.

She held a master’s degree in counseling psychology from the University of Texas, with additional doctoral study at Fordham University.

In the early 1970s, Callahan worked with young adults addicted to drugs in Atlanta. She was also a staff psychologist at the Georgia Regional Hospital of Atlanta, a facility for mentally ill and developmentally disabled patients.

When she and her husband later moved to Washington, D.C., Callahan continued her work at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. There, in a collaborative program between NIAAA and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, she oversaw the development of curricula to educate primary care physicians, nurses, psychologists, social workers and other health care professionals to prevent and treat addiction.

Many of the physicians trained under the NIAAA/NIDA programs were instrumental in forming the Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse, the American Society of Addiction Medicine and the American Board of Addiction Medicine.

Later in her career, Callahan joined the National Council on Alcoholism of Ireland, directing the first national training program in that country to educate health professionals to develop hospital and community-based programs for prevention, intervention and treatment of alcoholism and other drug addictions.

Callahan is survived by her husband, James, who worked at the National Cancer Institute, and her brother, John Lyons, of Danvers, Mass.

Three Join NLM Board of Regents

The National Library of Medicine board of regents welcomed three new members at its recent meeting. The new members are:

NLM Acting Director Betsy Humphreys (third from l)
welcomes new board of regents members (from l) Dr.
Alessandro Acquisti, Dr. Daniel Masys and Dr. Jill Taylor.
NLM Acting Director Betsy Humphreys (third from l) welcomes new board of regents members (from l) Dr. Alessandro Acquisti, Dr. Daniel Masys and Dr. Jill Taylor.

Dr. Alessandro Acquisti, professor of information systems and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College and member of Carnegie Mellon CyLab. His research focuses on the economics of privacy.

Dr. Daniel Masys, affiliate professor of biomedical and health informatics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He previously chaired the department of biomedical informatics at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

Dr. Jill Taylor, director of the Wadsworth Center, New York State department of health. Taylor, whose background is in public health research, is responsible for the day-to-day functioning of the Biggs Laboratory in Albany, N.Y.

NIAMS Council Welcomes Four

Four new members were recently named to the National Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Advisory Council.

NIAMS director Dr. Stephen Katz (third from r) and deputy director Dr. Robert Carter (third from l) welcome new members to the institute’s council. They are (from l) Dr. Stephen Tapscott, Magdalena Castro-Lewis, William Mulvihill and Dr. Ethan Lerner.
NIAMS director Dr. Stephen Katz (third from r) and deputy director Dr. Robert Carter (third from l) welcome new members to the institute’s council. They are (from l) Dr. Stephen Tapscott, Magdalena Castro-Lewis, William Mulvihill and Dr. Ethan Lerner.

PHOTO: ERNIE BRANSON

Magdalena Castro-Lewis is former vice president for programs at the National Alliance for Hispanic Health in Washington, D.C. She has extensive experience with developing culturally and linguistically appropriate health education materials and forming national and community- based partnerships to improve the health of Hispanic families.

Dr. Ethan Lerner is an associate professor of dermatology at Harvard Medical School and an associate biologist in dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Cutaneous Biology Research Center. His research is keyed to the mechanisms that underlie the itch sensation in order to develop effective anti-itch therapies.

William Mulvihill is a special advisor to the president of the University of Cincinnati and executive director of the University of Cincinnati Presidential Bicentennial Commission. He currently serves as trustee emeritus of the Arthritis Foundation and is on the board of directors for the Alliance for Lupus Research in New York.

Dr. Stephen Tapscott is a member of the divisions of human biology and clinical research at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. His research focuses on gene expression in certain cancers and muscular dystrophies as well as gene and cell therapies for muscular dystrophy.

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