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September 22, 2017

Humphreys Retires Following Long NLM Career

Dr. Catherine D. Lewis guests at the send-off in Kirschstein Auditorium express their sentiments.
At left, Betsy Humphreys at her retirement ceremony; at right, guests at the send-off in Kirschstein Auditorium express their sentiments.


Betsy Humphreys retired as deputy director of NLM recently after more than 44 years of service.

In a career that the NLM board of regents termed “one long highlight reel” in a commemorative resolution, Humphreys will be remembered for many contributions, including serving as acting director of NLM (Apr. 1, 2015-Aug. 14, 2016), leading the Unified Medical Language System project, pioneering NLM’s activities related to health data standards and for contributing to the development of NIH and HHS policies on health information technology, public access to research results and clinical trial registration and results reporting.

NLM director Dr. Patricia Flatley Brennan, a friend and colleague of more than two decades, praised Humphreys’ many achievements, noting in a tribute that “one of your best has been your relationship with NLM staff members, in all divisions and at all levels. You have led, inspired, mentored and modeled behavior for so many and held high such virtues as diversity, inclusion and cooperation.”

Asked why she stayed at NLM, Humphreys said the answer was simple.

“A combination of the mission and the great people I get to work with.” Plus, she added, “I’ve never been bored,” pointing out that the library’s work encompasses everything from an 11th century manuscript to the next generation of data science. “It’s been fun!” she proclaimed.

The final section of the board resolution read, “Resolved, that the Board of Regents of the National Library of Medicine salutes and thanks Ms. Betsy Humphreys for her outstanding public service, unique vision, wisdom, and collaborative spirit for programs, services, systems, and tools, at NLM and beyond, that improved and enhanced research, patient care, and public health.”

The full text also appeared in The Congressional Record.

Hunter Named OBSSR Deputy Director

Dr. Christine Hunter has been named deputy director of NIH’s Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research.

Dr. Christine Hunter
Dr. Christine Hunter

“Dr. Hunter has been a major contributor to trans-NIH, trans-agency and professional association efforts and her work has expanded the relevance and impact of the behavioral and social sciences,” said OBSSR director Dr. William T. Riley. “She has built a strong and vibrant behavioral science research community studying diabetes and obesity.”

Prior to joining OBSSR, Hunter served as director of behavioral research at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Among her accomplishments at NIDDK, she led revision of the NIH Obesity Research Strategic Plan, developed and led the NIDDK Centers for Diabetes Translation Research and led numerous behavioral and social sciences research funding opportunity announcements.

Hunter serves on the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research, the Opportunity Network for Basic Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, the science of behavior change and the behavior and environment subcommittee of the NIH obesity research task force. Her contributions to OBSSR have included serving on the NIH behavioral and social sciences coordinating committee and the OBSSR strategic plan working group.

Over her career, Hunter has received many public health service honors and awards including the American Psychological Association’s Meritorious Research Service Commendation, the Outstanding Service Medal and the Presidential Unit Citation. In addition, she has received several NIH Director’s Awards and NIDDK Director’s Awards.

Hunter received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Memphis and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Wilford Hall Medical Center. Prior to joining NIH in 2006, she served in the United States Air Force stationed at Keesler Medical Center, Wilford Hall Medical Center and the Air Force Medical Support Agency with the Office of the Surgeon General.

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