|Vol. LXIX, No. 6|
Dr. Partap Khalsa has been named director of the Division of Extramural Activities at NCCIH.
He began his NIH career in 2006 as a program director in NCCIH’s Division of Extramural Research, in which he administered the center’s portfolio related to manual (hands-on) therapies. Topics ranged from massage, soft-tissue therapies and manipulation/mobilization to mechanisms, translational tools and clinical trials, with a particular emphasis on musculoskeletal pain.
In 2014, Khalsa became deputy director of the extramural research division. Among his other accomplishments have been serving as the NIH co-chair of the task force on chronic low-back pain, a group of external scientific experts convened by NIH, and administering NCCIH’s Centers of Excellence program in complementary and integrative therapies.
Khalsa received a doctor of chiropractic degree from Southern California University of Health Sciences and led a successful private practice for a decade. He then decided to pursue additional scientific training, obtaining an M.S. in biomedical engineering from Boston University and a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
He was a postdoctoral fellow in neurophysiology at Yale University School of Medicine. Khalsa came to NCCIH from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where he was a tenured associate professor and vice chairman in the department of biomedical engineering.
“I am delighted to announce this appointment, which followed a rigorous nationwide search,” said Dr. Josephine Briggs, NCCIH director. “Dr. Khalsa has a sustained history of exceptional accomplishment, recognition and leadership in the field of complementary and integrative health. He has brought the center unique expertise; has developed a strong program in complementary therapies with a particular focus on biomechanics, manual therapies and back pain; and is an exceptional manager of clinical and basic research as well as an expert in NIH administrative operations.”
“The first child of the first child”—that’s how Dr. Raya Mandler describes her childhood on Ramat Rachel, a 95-year-old kibbutz near Jerusalem, Israel. Mandler transferred her love of farming and closeness to animals and plants on the kibbutz to a biological scientific career that led her to NIH. She recently retired from the Center for Scientific Review as a scientific review officer.
Mandler’s grandparents were early pioneers in Israel. Her mother was the first child born on the kibbutz, a momentous event for the new community; her father came to Israel from Nazi Germany as a young man in the 1930s. In turn, Mandler was the oldest child in a family with another sister and a brother.
“I grew up immersed in nature, so looking back, it was natural that I studied biology,” she said. Mandler remembers creating a make-believe cancer research lab as a child, complete with beakers, flasks and colored water as “chemicals,” a harbinger of her career to come.
She attended Haifa University and taught life sciences in high school for 2 years. During a summer program at the Weizmann Institute, a professor encouraged her to apply as a graduate student. “The Weizmann Institute exposed me to the fact that science flourishes on international collaborations,” she said. She studied at Case Western University and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, earning her Ph.D. in physiology.
Mandler spent 8 years as a postdoc and staff associate at NCI. She was part of a team that focused on studies of membrane receptors that could be targeted for highly specific oncological therapy. The work culminated in an international patent for the development of immunoconjugates as novel reagents in breast cancer treatment.
Her switch to extramural research came when, she said, “I wanted to impact science in a different, broader way.” An exhibit about CSR, which she happened upon in Bldg. 31, intrigued her, and she applied for an internship in the center.
Dr. Noni Byrnes, director of CSR’s Division of Basic and Integrative Biology, coordinated the intern program. Mandler then became an SRO supporting cell biology study sections under Byrnes. Byrnes said she appreciated Mandler’s candor, professionalism and drive to keep learning. “She also has tremendous scientific breadth,” Byrnes noted. She said these qualities enabled Mandler to handle the variety of scientific areas covered by her study sections and to recruit leading scientists as reviewers.
In 2007, Mandler was appointed to launch the molecular and integrative signal transduction (MIST) study section. “The mind power in the room [during study section meetings] was incredible,” Mandler said. She worked with several Nobel laureates and, she predicted, “probably several others who will be in years to come.”
“She kept us on track and focused on the big picture,” said Dr. Richard A. Kahn, a former MIST chair from Emory University. “Those of us in the field will miss her voice in the conversations.”
Mandler will continue conversations, but for a different purpose. A principal goal during retirement is to write a book about the kibbutz, including interviewing present and past members. As the “first child of the first child,” she has an important story to share.
Dr. Martin Goldrosen, director of the Division of Extramural Activities at NCCIH, recently retired. For many years, he planned and led the activities of scientific reviewers and other NCCIH staff to ensure the highest quality, objectivity and accountability in the center’s peer review process.
“Dr. Goldrosen’s contributions to NCCIH and to the NIH have been immeasurable,” said NCCIH director Dr. Josephine Briggs. “He joined NCCIH (then known as NCCAM) when it had just been established and for 16 years helped shape the center and its direction in crucial ways. All of us will truly miss his thoughtful advice, good judgment and caring relationships with everyone with whom he worked.”
Goldrosen began his NIH career in 1991 as a health scientist administrator in the Grants Review Branch of NCI’s Division of Extramural Activities. In 2001, he moved to NCCIH to direct its Office of Scientific Review, a position that he held for 7 years before being appointed acting director and then director of the center’s extramural activities division.
Prior to joining NIH, Goldrosen was a cancer researcher at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, focusing on tumor immunobiology. He performed the first orthotopic transplant procedure in mice, which ultimately became the standard for animal models simulating human cancer, and oversaw several clinical immunology research programs. Concurrently, he was a research professor of experimental pathology at the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he trained dozens of doctoral and postdoctoral students who went on to become successful clinicians and scientists in oncology. His interest in mentorship continued throughout his career at NCCIH.
Goldrosen received his Ph.D. in immunology from McMaster University. His many awards and honors included the NIH Director’s Award and three NCCIH Director’s Awards.
Dr. Faye Glenn Abdellah, 97, founding dean of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences Daniel K. Inouye Graduate School of Nursing and retired rear admiral of the Public Health Service, died Feb. 24 after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. In the mid-1960s, she worked in NIH’s Division of Nursing, part of the old Bureau of Health Manpower Education.
In 1937, 18-year-old Abdellah witnessed the explosion of the German passenger airship Hindenburg in Lakehurst, N.J., which became a turning point in her life. In an interview years later she said, “I could see people jumping from the zeppelin and didn’t know how I would take care of them, so I vowed that I would learn nursing.”
Abdellah earned a nursing diploma from Ann May School of Nursing in Neptune, N.J., undergraduate, masters and doctoral degrees from Columbia University and did graduate work in the sciences at Rutgers University. She wrote more than 153 publications, including her seminal works Better Nursing Care Through Nursing Research and Patient- Centered Approaches to Nursing, which changed the focus of nursing theory from disease-centered to patient-centered.
She received 12 honorary degrees and numerous awards, including the Allied Signal Award in 1989 and the Institute of Medicine’s Gustav O. Lienhard Award in 1992, all recognizing her innovative work in nursing research and health care.
Abdellah was the first nurse and the first woman to serve as deputy surgeon general (with Dr. C. Everett Koop) and was first nurse to hold the rank of rear admiral. Her leadership resulted in many accomplishments, including development of the first tested coronary care unit, saving thousands of lives.
Abdellah was renowned as an expert in health policies related to long-term care, the developmentally disabled, aging, hospice and AIDS.
In 1989, she retired from the PHS and went on to serve as founding dean of the Graduate School of Nursing at USUHS. In 2002, she retired with almost 50 years of government service.
Abdellah was a charter fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, later serving as its president. In 1994, she was one of the first fellows to receive the academy’s highest honor, the Living Legends Award.
In 1999, she was elected to the Hall of Fame for Distinguished Graduates and Scholars at Columbia University and the following year was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.
“This is an incredible loss to the nation and nursing,” said Rear Adm. Susan Orsega, PHS chief nurse officer, who works at NIAID. “Her intellect, compassion and passion for excellence will be deeply missed. As a former student at USUHS, I feel personally blessed to have learned from her leadership.”
“We will remember [Abdellah] as a true leader whose combination of dedication, intellect and approach brought experts from many different fields together,” said Surgeon General Vivek Murthy. “Her prominent presence in nursing will be greatly missed.”
The Graduate School of Nursing at USUHS, in collaboration with PHS, plans a memorial tribute to honor Abdellah and the nearly half-century of her contributions to the nation.
Dr. Craig Hopp and Dr. Wen Chen of the NCCIH Division of Extramural Research recently assumed new roles within the division.
Hopp has been appointed deputy director of the division. Previously, he was acting chief of NCCIHís Basic and Mechanistic Research in Complementary and Integrative Health Branch and a program director. In addition to his duties as deputy director, he will continue to oversee administration of the NCCIH Product Integrity Policy, serve as NCCIH lead on large-scale projects such as the NIH Centers for Advancing Research on Botanical and Other Natural Products Program and help shape the centerís research priorities. Hopp holds a Ph.D. in pharmacognosy from Purdue University.
Chen is new acting branch chief of basic and mechanistic research, overseeing NCCIHís portfolio on the neurobiology and integrative physiology of mind and body programs and of natural products. She is also the centerís lead on various NIH-wide activities, including the NIH Common Fundís SPARC program and the BRAIN Initiative. Chen received her Ph.D. in biological chemistry and molecular pharmacology from Harvard University.