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November 3, 2017

Khalsa Retires After 30 Years of Service to NIDA

Dr. Jag Khalsa
Dr. Jag Khalsa

Dr. Jag Khalsa, chief of the Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse and Co-occurring Infections Branch in the Division of Therapeutics and Medical Consequences, has retired after 30 years at the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

During his tenure, he collaborated with many scientists at NIDA and developed several highly important programs of clinical research including maternal drug abuse and fetal consequences, adolescent drug abuse and, finally, medical consequences, which have included nearly all biochemical and physiological systems impacted by substance abuse and co-occurring infections such as HIV, HCV, STIs, TB and others.

Prior to joining NIDA, Khalsa worked on drug development at SmithKline, environmental toxicology at Stanford Research Institute, mining safety at the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, and in food additives and drug safety at the Food and Drug Administration. He has published in pharmacology, toxicology, epidemiology and medical journals and has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Addiction Medicine, HIV/ AIDS-Research and Palliative Care, Frontiers of Neuroscience and Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Khalsa holds bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and pharmacy, a master’s degree in pharmacology and pharmacognosy, and a Ph.D. in neuropharmacology. When asked what he will miss most about NIDA, he said, “Working on its mission to find evidence-based prevention/treatment interventions for people with substance use disorders with comorbidity that includes co-occurring infections, as well as outstanding collegiality among its scientists and staff. It is one of the best research institutes at NIH, which, in the words of its former director Dr. [Elias] Zerhouni, is the crown jewel of the United States.”

Ognibene Ends Long NIH Career

Dr. Frederick Ognibene
Dr. Frederick Ognibene

Dr. Frederick Ognibene, Clinical Center deputy director for education and strategic partnerships and director, Office of Clinical Research Training and Medical Education (OCRTME), retired Sept. 29 after 35 years of service.

He came to NIH in 1982 as a clinical fellow in critical care medicine, becoming a senior investigator in the CC’s critical care medicine department. Ognibene then served as director of the Critical Care Medicine Fellowship Training Program and co-chaired the NIH graduate medical education committee for clinical fellows in accredited training programs until May 2003, when he was appointed director of the newly established OCRTME in the Clinical Center.

In 2009, he was appointed CC deputy director for educational affairs and strategic partnerships. His accomplishments include multiple NIH Director’s Awards and being elected to the Association of American Physicians in 2010. He is also co-author with Dr. John I. Gallin of the textbook, Principles and Practice of Clinical Research, published by Elsevier and currently in its third edition.

A native of the Buffalo area, Ognibene holds an M.D. from Cornell University Medical College and a B.A. in biology magna cum laude from the University of Rochester. An avid art collector, he will reside in Washington, D.C., post-retirement.

New Members Join NINR Advisory Council

NINR director Dr. Patricia Grady recently welcomed six new members to the National Advisory Council for Nursing Research.

Dr. Yvette Conley is a professor and vice chair for research at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing. Her research focuses on using “omics” approaches to understand the biological underpinnings of patient recovery and symptom development after traumatic brain injury, stroke and within the context of treatment for chronic conditions.

Dr. Audwin Fletcher is a tenured professor at the University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Nursing. His research interests include childhood obesity, men’s health, chronic illnesses and the African-American community’s access to care.

Dr. Karen Meneses is professor and associate dean for research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing and co-leader of the Cancer Control and Population Sciences Program at UAB’s Comprehensive Cancer Center. Her research focuses on dissemination of self-management interventions to improve quality of life among underserved (older, rural, younger and Latina) breast cancer survivors.

Dr. Shirley M. Moore is the Edward J. and Louise Mellen professor of nursing and associate dean for research at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University. Her research focuses on designing and testing interventions to reduce cardiovascular disease risk factors.

Dr. Sheila Sullivan is director of research, evidence-based practice and analytics for the Veterans Affairs Central Office of Nursing Services. Her research focuses on aging veterans in recuperative care.

Dr. JoEllen Wilbur is professor and endowed Independence Foundation chair in nursing and associate dean for research at Rush University College of Nursing. Her work has focused on midlife women’s physical activity and cardiovascular and psychological health.

NINR director Dr. Patricia Grady (third from l) welcomes new council members (from l) Dr. Audwin Fletcher, Dr. Sheila Sullivan, Dr. Shirley Moore, Dr. Yvette Conley and Dr. JoEllen Wilbur. Not pictured is Dr. Karen Meneses.
NINR director Dr. Patricia Grady (third from l) welcomes new council members (from l) Dr. Audwin Fletcher, Dr. Sheila Sullivan, Dr. Shirley Moore, Dr. Yvette Conley and Dr. JoEllen Wilbur. Not pictured is Dr. Karen Meneses.


Alumnus Hyatt Mourned

Dr. Asher A. Hyatt, whose name was often considered to be synonymous with peer review, died on Aug. 27 at the age of 87. He was a native of London who continued to live in Bethesda during the retirement years that followed his 31 years of service in the Division of Research Grants.
Dr. Asher A. Hyatt
Dr. Asher A. Hyatt

Hyatt, who received his University of London Ph.D. in organic chemistry, provided leadership and guidance to 20 peer review study sections in the basic sciences. When he retired in 1997, he was chief of the chemistry and related sciences review section.

Many DRG leaders who followed him have described the profound positive impact of his mentoring and of his unswerving commitment to excellence, fairness and integrity. His pursuit of these objectives led him to serve with distinction on NIH-wide policy and procedure committees.

Hyatt was a strong advocate for the NIH peer review process who presented many talks about it in this country and in others. He was a recipient of the NIH Merit Award in 1980, the NIH Director’s Award for leadership skills in 1983, and three Public Health Service special achievement and recognition awards.

During retirement, Hyatt continued to have a keen interest in public policy and the sciences. He was very interested in seeing enhanced research about the chemistry of belief.

He is survived by a son, Anthony Hyatt of Bethesda; a daughter, Victoria Hyatt Cahn of Carmel, Ind., and two grandchildren, Sophia and Aaron Cahn of Carmel.

NHLBI Staff Recognized for Efforts Against COPD

Four members of the NHLBI Division of Lung Diseases were presented with the John W. Walsh Award at the COPD10USA conference in Chicago recently.

Dr. Stephen Rennard (l) presents the 2017 John W. Walsh Award to Dr. Antonello Punturieri.
Dr. Stephen Rennard (l) presents the 2017 John W. Walsh Award to Dr. Antonello Punturieri.

The inaugural award was established by the COPD Conferences (UK and USA) to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to research on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

NHLBI awardees Dr. Thomas Croxton, Dr. James Kiley, Dr. Lisa Postow and Dr. Antonello Punturieri were commended for work over many years that has advanced the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of COPD. The award was presented by Dr. Stephen Rennard, a professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of Nebraska.

“We are grateful to NHLBI’s Division of Lung Diseases for its efforts in affirming the critical importance of the partnership between the scientific, clinical and patient community,” said Dr. Byron Thomashow, chairman of the board of the COPD Foundation.

The award was named for John W. Walsh, a patient advocate who founded the COPD Foundation in 2004. He passed away in March 2017. The biennial COPD10USA conference is designed to foster communication and interaction among people with COPD, researchers and health care providers.

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