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June 3, 2016

Biophysicist Krepkiy Joins NIGMS

Dr. Dmitriy Krepkiy

Dr. Dmitriy Krepkiy recently joined NIGMS as a program director in the Division of Biomedical Technology, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology. He will oversee technology development grants in spectroscopy, structural biology and computational biology. Before coming to NIGMS, Krepkiy was a staff scientist in the molecular physiology and biophysics section at NINDS. He earned an M.S. in molecular biology from Novosibirsk State University in Russia and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He conducted postdoctoral research at the Medical College of Wisconsin and NIAAA.


NINDS’s Hallett Honored by AINA and China

Dr. Mark Hallett
Dr. Mark Hallett

Dr. Mark Hallett, chief of the Medical Neurology Branch and the human motor control section in the Division of Intramural Research, NINDS, recently received the Association of Indian Neurologists in America (AINA) Lifetime Achievement Award at the American Academy of Neurology annual meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The award—which is made possible through a grant from AINA in conjunction with the American Brain Foundation—annually recognizes a leader in the field of neurology. Hallett was honored for helping neurologists of Indian origin excel in neurology and for promoting innovation and research in the field of neurology.

Hallett also recently received the National Friendship Award and medal from the Chinese government. Approximately 50 foreign experts get the award each year in various areas of endeavor. Liu Yanguo, deputy director of the State Administration of Foreign Expert Affairs, presented the award in Beijing.

Hallett made his first trip to China in the late 1990s. Since then he has returned to the country many times to work with Chinese scientists to help improve treatments for Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. He was awarded the Friendship honors for his work with Capital Medical University, Xuanwu Hospital and more than 10 other domestic universities and hospitals to advance the diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson’s. According to the Washington Post China Watch supplement, “The Friendship Award is the highest honor the Chinese government presents to foreigners who have made significant contributions to China’s social and economic development.”

Hallett earned his medical degree from Harvard University and received his neurology training at Massachusetts General Hospital. He had fellowships in neurophysiology at NIH and in the department of neurology at the Institute of Psychiatry in London.

Before joining NIH in 1984, Hallett served as chief of the Clinical Neurophysiology Laboratory at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and associate professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School. His current research focuses on understanding the physiology of normal human voluntary movement and the pathophysiology of different movement disorders.

Former NIAID Microbiologist Alexander Mourned

Cornelius B. Alexander
Cornelius B. Alexander

Cornelius B. Alexander, who worked as a research microbiologist at NIH for 40 years, died at home Apr. 20 after several months of hospitalization and rehab. He was 84.

“Alex,” as he was known at NIH, was born in Washington, D.C., and educated in D.C. public schools. He received a bachelor of science degree from Bates College in Lewiston, Me., and later entered a master’s program at Howard University. He joined the U.S. Air Force during the Korean conflict and served for 4 years.

Alexander contributed to work on genetics of antibodies, first in mice in the lab of Rose Lieberman, and then in rabbits in the molecular immunogenetics section of the Laboratory of Immunology, where he conducted research for 38 years until his retirement
in 2007.

When Alexander retired, he didn’t want a party. However, his wife and son surprised him. People from the lab put together a book with all his publications and also gave him two books with photos in honor of his skills with a camera. Colleagues recalled, “He was a great photographer and a great scientist. He gave helpful advice and assistance to members of the entire laboratory, always with a smile that was especially big after the Washington Redskins won a game.”

Alexander was an active member of East Washington Heights Baptist Church, where a funeral service was held Apr. 30. Members of the NIH community offered condolences and described Alexander’s contributions to the training of young people who joined the laboratory.

Alexander is survived by his wife of 55 years, Barbara Alexander, their son David and a large circle of family and friends.

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