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Vol. LIX, No. 11
June 1, 2007
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Milestones

NIAMS deputy director Dr. Steven Hausman (r) accepts a parting gift from institute director Dr. Stephen Katz.  
NIAMS deputy director Dr. Steven Hausman (r) accepts a parting gift from institute director Dr. Stephen Katz.  

NIAMS Deputy Director Hausman Retires

Dr. Steven J. Hausman, the first and only deputy director of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, retired recently after more than 31 years of federal service. He also was first director of the NIAMS Extramural Program.

A crowd of friends and colleagues gathered recently to celebrate his long career and bid him adieu. Among the many accolades was one from NIH director Dr. Elias Zerhouni, who wrote, "Your steady efforts and leadership at the NIAMS have been vital to the success of the institute's research, training and health information activities."

Hausman graduated with a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1967 and received his Ph.D. from Penn in 1972 in immunogenetics and transplantation biology. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute for Cancer Research in Philadelphia in 1975, he joined NIH as a staff fellow in the intramural research program of the National Institute on Aging. In 1977, he became special assistant to the associate director for arthritis, bone and skin diseases of the then-named National Institute of Arthritis, Metabolism and Digestive Diseases.

In 1978, when he assumed leadership of the Arthritis Centers Program, he became the youngest program director in the same institute and in 1986 was appointed deputy director of the Division of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. When NIAMS was established in 1987, he became deputy director of the Extramural Program. In 1990, he was appointed deputy director of NIAMS. He concurrently served as director of the Extramural Program from 1995-2002.

Hausman has received numerous honors including the NIH Director's Award. He is also cited in American Men and Women of Science, Who's Who in Science and Engineering and Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare. He also received a certificate for meritorious service from Montgomery County for his efforts on the agricultural advisory committee.

Since 1995, he has served as deputy ethics counselor for NIAMS. In 2002, he co-organized and chaired a national NIH Conference on Institutional Conflict of Interest.

Hausman also has a passion for information technology. After successfully leading the NIH effort to convert all incoming paper grant applications to electronic images, he assumed the role of NIH advocate for advanced technologies. He became organizer of the NIH advanced technologies scientific interest group, made up of individuals with an interest in nanotechnology, robotics and biomedical applications of new technologies. Hausman also took a leadership role in implementing the first stage of the NIH Enterprise Ethics System by which all ethics activities will be conducted in the future.

Throughout his career he fostered participation of minorities and persons with disabilities in NIH activities. In September 2003, he was appointed to the NIH Diversity Council. He was elected as vice chair of the council in November 2003 and chair in September 2004.

He is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Association of Immunologists, American Chemical Society, American Society for Cell Biology and the Transplantation Society.

Hausman is quick to point out that-as a recent news article put it-he is "downshifting" rather than retiring. He continues to work with NIAMS as a contractor on ethics issues and has accepted an appointment to the board of ethics of the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission. He has established his own technology education and consulting company, HausmanTech, and has even had a child's rhyme published.

"The only constant is change," noted Hausman, who as extramural program director often began staff meetings with such quotes as food for thought.

  Judith A. Stein

NEI's Associate Director for Communication Stein Retires

Judith A. Stein, NEI associate director for communication, health education and public liaison, recently retired after nearly 25 years at NIH, the last 19 at NEI. Before joining NEI, she was project officer for NCI's Cancer Information Service (CIS).

Before coming to NIH, she directed a contract at the University of Miami School of Medicine to operate the CIS for Florida and Georgia.

Dr. Paul Sieving, NEI director, said, "Judy has provided superb service to NEI for these many years. Her work has been recognized both inside and outside of NIH. We are very grateful to have had her as our ambassador to the general public and to other eye health organizations. We wish her well in her new phase of life."

Stein's tenure at NEI was characterized by many "firsts." Within 6 months of her arrival, she coordinated the institute's first clinical alert for a nationwide clinical trial that found an effective treatment for a blinding disease of premature infants. In her 19 years with NEI, she oversaw dissemination of results from more than 30 nationwide clinical trials. Another first came when NEI received congressional appropriations for development of an education program on glaucoma and diabetic eye disease. This led to establishment of the National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP) in 1991, the first government-led eye health education program. NEHEP is now celebrating its 16th year.

For NEI's 25th anniversary, Stein directed development of a 2,000-square-foot traveling exhibit called the VISION Exhibit, designed to be housed in science museums nationwide. It has been displayed in 32 museums in 20 states since 1993, and viewed by approximately 7 million visitors. She also developed another traveling exhibit called THE EYE SITE, which has been displayed in shopping malls in 33 states and D.C., and has distributed 60,000 publications. In 2000, Stein and her staff received a creativity award from the Vice President's National Partnership for Reinventing Government for THE EYE SITE.

Stein helped create NEI's Office of Communication, Health Education and Public Liaison in 1997. That year, NEI launched its first web site. Since then, NEI has won 13 awards for web-site design and patient-education guides. The office also has received 20 Blue Pencil awards, three Gold Screen awards-two of which were for first place, nine NIH Plain Language awards for various publications and audiovisual products, and other awards for office products and activities. Her individual awards include an NIH Director's Award in 1991 and NEI Director's Awards in 1994 and 2000.

At a recent retirement celebration, NIH Associate Director for Communications and Public Liaison John Burklow said Stein "actually did the things that most people only talk about. She was a leader among the NIH communication directors and a font of good ideas. She created a model for NIH to follow. She is adventuresome and creative, but practical."

Reflecting on her career at NIH, Stein admitted she had one of the "best jobs in the world. It has always been a pleasure to come to work, and my work has been meaningful, rewarding and, most of all, fun. I have always been given the staff and resources to make things happen, and that has been wonderful and very rare."

In retirement, she and her husband, Arnie Porsch, have relocated to Ormond Beach, Fla. She will continue working as a communications consultant for NIH and will start a new business marketing art in health care and corporate settings. She plans to "generally enjoy life, walking or riding my bicycle on the beach every day."
  Barbara Merchant, associate director for management at NIDDK, retired after 30 years of service at NIH. Dr. Griffin Rodgers, NIDDK director, recognized her accomplishments at a retirement luncheon.
  Barbara Merchant, associate director for management at NIDDK, retired after 30 years of service at NIH. Dr. Griffin Rodgers, NIDDK director, recognized her accomplishments at a retirement luncheon.

NIDDK Associate Director Merchant Retires

Barbara Merchant, associate director for management at NIDDK, has retired after 30 years of service at NIH, the last 12 of which were at NIDDK. Dr. Griffin Rodgers, director of the institute, recognized her accomplishments at a retirement luncheon recently. Merchant spent her first 4 years at NIDDK as chief of the Administrative Management Branch in the Division of Intramural Research, where she assisted with the establishment of the Transplant and Autoimmunity Branch.

As associate director, she worked with the director to develop a workable consolidated acquisition structure to meet HHS objectives, while maintaining a responsive acquisitions program for NIH scientists. Most recently, she implemented succession planning for all NIH administrative positions and championed a new NIH fellowship, the Administrative Fellows Program, to attract recent masters' graduates into training positions as administrative officers, grants management specialists and contract specialists. Throughout her career, Merchant mentored and developed numerous administrative staff into outstanding senior professionals at NIH.

  Dr. Anthony Coelho, Jr.
 

NIH Review Policy Officer Coelho Retires

Dr. Anthony Coelho, Jr., a 15-year NIH veteran, retired in mid-May. As NIH's review policy officer in the Office of Extramural Programs, Office of Extramural Research, he developed and implemented regulations governing NIH extramural review functions and ensured standard approaches to peer review of grants, cooperative agreements and research and development contracts.

An accomplished and engaging public speaker, Coelho skillfully paired his expertise in NIH scientific peer review and grant mechanisms with his ability to entertain and educate. At hundreds of domestic and international con- ferences, symposia, workshops (and onsite at NIH), he informed scores of audiences about the NIH Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer programs, the peer review process, grantsmanship and grant application preparation.

"It was a privilege working at the NIH and serving its community," he said. "It was memorable and pleasurable."

Coelho served as acting director of the NIH Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy during 2005. For 7 years he was chief of NHLBI's clinical studies and training review section, where he concurrently served as a scientific review administrator.

Prior to joining NIH, Coelho was a scientist in the department of physiology and medicine and a laboratory director at the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research in San Antonio. He also held positions in the School of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. He was a professor in the department of surgery and the department of neurosurgery, an associate professor in the department of pediatrics and an associate professor in the dental school's department of dental diagnostic science.

Coelho received more than 18 years of continuous grant and contract funding from NIH and other federal agencies. This supported his research into the role of diet, exercise and stress on blood pressure regulation, atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease, and the effects of exposure to electric and magnetic fields on the central nervous system. He also served for 12 years as a peer reviewer of grants and contracts for NIH and various federal agencies. Coelho received his doctoral degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. Sam Shekar, director of OEP, said, "[Coelho] has made significant contributions to the NIH over the past 15 years, first at NHLBI and then in OER, where he served as the NIH review policy officer for the past 8 years. We wish Anthony well as he returns to his home state of Texas and enjoys the many years ahead."

Dr. Joseph J. Knapka

Long-Time Animal Nutritionist Knapka Dies

Dr. Joseph J. Knapka, a world leader in laboratory animal nutrition, died Apr. 22.

He received his Ph.D. in animal nutrition from the University of Tennessee in 1967, and then served as the NIH laboratory animal nutritionist for 28 years. Knapka will be remembered by the scientific community for the development of "open formula" lab animal diets.

In the early 1970's, he initiated a program to standardize laboratory animal diets at NIH by creating the first "open formula" laboratory animal diets. Since then, the diets have been accepted by the lab animal community and are being used at scientific institutions around the world. Over the years, the diets resulted in significant savings in diet procurement for NIH and improved research by reducing the variation intrinsic in natural-ingredient diets, which facilitated interpretation of results among experiments.

Throughout Knapka's distinguished career, he was involved in basic and applied nutrition research resulting in over 60 publications. Many had a significant impact on lab animal science. His research was diverse including the effects of irradiation on digestibility in burros, the effects of open and closed formula diets on mice, the effects of dietary fat on golden hamsters, the effects of caloric restriction on aging in nonhuman primates, the effects of carbohydrates on hypertension in hypertensive rats, the effects of dietary protein on inbred strains of mice, dietary prevention of cataracts in the RCS rat, the effects of dietary fiber on morbidity in recently imported macaques and effects of dietary intervention on "wasting marmoset syndrome."

In the late 1980's, Knapka worked with NASA to develop the first diet-"space paste"-for rats flying on board the space shuttle. As a consultant to the Pan American Health Organization, he traveled to Peru to formulate a nutritionally balanced New World Monkey diet based on local ingredients.

Knapka served on 13 advisory committees and three editorial boards, including Lab Animal. He was a member of several National Research Council committees and was an active member, serving on several committees, of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science since 1968. In 1994, he received a Distinguished Alumni Award from Pennsylvania State University, where he earned his undergraduate degree.

Knapka retired from NIH in 1995. However, he continued to serve as a lab animal nutrition consultant and board member of Taconic Farms. He is remembered as a kind, common sense type of scientist and lab animal science diplomat who befriended everyone with whom he came into contact. He is survived by his mother Helen, his widow Dorothy, his son John, daughter Cynthia and four grandchildren.

Dr. Robert C. Moschel

NCI Chemist Moschel Mourned

Dr. Robert C. Moschel, a senior investigator at NCI's Center for Cancer Research in Frederick, died at home on Apr. 20 due to complications from pancreatic cancer.

He was born and reared in Cincinnati, received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Ohio State University in 1973, and conducted postdoctoral research in organic chemistry at the University of Illinois before moving to Frederick, Md., to work in NCI's intramural program. He became head of the carcinogen-modified nucleic acid chemistry section, Laboratory of Comparative Carcinogenesis, in 1992.

"I first met Bob in the mid 1980's soon after my arrival in Frederick. We immediately shared two major interests-science and golf. His work on cancer adjuvants was a brilliant application of organic and biochemistry applied to cancer," said Dr. David Garfinkel, also of NCI.

Moschel and his colleagues developed compounds that can inactivate a human DNA repair protein. The inactivation of this protein can bring about a dramatic improvement in the effectiveness of drugs used to treat brain tumors.

"Scientifically, Bob was my role model, a superb chemist who had long since accomplished what I have set out as my highest and as yet unfulfilled goal at the NCI-to translate basic chemistry research findings into direct benefits for humankind," said Dr. Larry Keefer. "It was always inspirational to see the organ scans of patients whose tumors were regressing-indeed disappearing-after dosage with the combination drug therapy he developed."

"I came to Frederick to work with Bob in 1987. I enjoyed working with him so much I never left," said Dr. Gary Pauly. "He leaves behind a series of compounds which are improving patient therapy as a legacy. As important, he leaves a collection of memories with those who had a chance to know him well.

" In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Community Foundation of Frederick County, c/o Mary Ann Moschel Memorial Scholarship Fund, 312 East Church St., Frederick, MD 21701; or the Center for the Inland Bays, 39375 Inlet Rd., Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971.

Melanie KellerKeller Is CSR's New Executive Officer

Melanie Keller is the new executive officer at the Center for Scientific Review. In this role, she will oversee staff and contractors who provide critical services to CSR and NIH: administrative, financial management, committee management, information technology, procurement and management analysis services. Each year, CSR receives about 80,000 grant applications, uses nearly 20,000 reviewers and hosts more than 1,600 review meetings, which require over 60,000 hotel rooms and travel reimbursements.

Keller comes to CSR from the NIH Office of Strategic Management Planning, where she was director of the Workforce Development Program, after serving as director of the NIH Training Center. Earlier she worked for the NIH Office of Human Resources, where she was program manager of the Emerging Leader intern program, after serving as training program manager for administrative systems training.

Keller's first job at NIH was as human resource specialist and administrative officer for the Clinical Genetics Branch and the Nutritional Epidemiology Branch at NCI. Before coming to NIH, she held a number of administrative/personnel positions at the Food and Drug Administration.

She serves on the International Public Management Association for Human Resources-eastern region's executive committee and has held a variety of leadership roles in that organization since 1997. Keller holds a B.S. degree in management studies and human resource management from the University of Maryland.

Dr. Joseph J. Knapka

NCI's Chattoraj Honored

Dr. Dhruba K. Chattoraj, senior investigator and head, control of DNA replication section, National Cancer Institute, has been elected to fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology. Fellows are elected annually through a highly selective, peer-reviewed process, based on their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology. Chattoraj's scientific contributions have been in the field of plasmid replication. Using plasmid P1 as a model system, he defined the sites and proteins involved in origin control and its mechanism using genetic, biochemical and electron microscopy analysis. He received his Ph.D. from Calcutta University, India. There are now over 2,500 fellows representing all subspecialties of microbiology, including basic and applied research, teaching, public health, industry and government service.

Dr. Joseph J. Knapka

Fall-Dickson Wins PHS Research Initiative Award

National Institute of Nursing Research intramural researcher Dr. Jane Fall-Dickson was honored recently with the 2007 Hasselmeyer Award for Research Initiatives, from the Public Health Service. The award recognizes "exemplary leadership resulting in noteworthy accomplishments in conducting nursing research and clinical investigation which stimulates the development of new knowledge and practice in nursing and/or health professions." Fall-Dickson, a tenure-track investigator and director of NINR's mucosal injury unit laboratory, was recognized for her outstanding accomplishments in establishing an interdisciplinary program of bio-behavioral research. Her work focuses on the oral complications of cancer treatment, specifically stomatitis, a severe inflammation of the mucous membranes of the mouth.

 

Dr. Robert C. Moschel

Sieving Receives Health Care Leadership Award

NEI director Dr. Paul Sieving was recently awarded the American Optometric Association's Health Care Leadership Award. Dr. David Cockrell of the AOA board of trustees presented him with a plaque and praised him for his dedication and achievements in the area of eye and vision health. In his acceptance speech, Sieving highlighted recent advances in vision research. Each May, the Health Care Leadership Award is presented during AOA's Congressional Advocacy Conference. Recipients of the award include members of Congress and the administration who are chosen based on their involvement in health care issues.

 

 

Melanie KellerYu Named ASA Fellow

Dr. Kai Fun Yu, chief of the Biometry and Mathematical Statistics Branch in NICHD's Division of Epidemiology, Statistics and Prevention research, was recently named a fellow of the American Statistical Association. The honorary title recognizes members who have made significant contributions in statistical work. In its award citation, the association recognized Yu "for outstanding contributions to mathematical statistics, sequential analysis, longitudinal data analysis and other quantitative methods in biomedical research" as well as for his leadership in the field. ASA notes that the yearly award is limited to no more than one-third of 1 percent of its membership.

 

 

 

Dr. Laurel Haak and Dr. Crina Frincu AWIS Honors OTT's Haak

Dr. Laurel Haak (l) accepts the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) Bethesda chapter's annual Award for Excellence in Mentoring from Dr. Crina Frincu, a protégé at NCI. The award is given in recognition and appreciation of outstanding mentoring of young women and men in science. Haak is currently a program manager with Discovery Logic, Inc., and a contractor in NIH's Office of Technology Transfer. According to AWIS, "Whether at the National Academies, where she mentored and guided dozens of science policy fellows, or in the National Postdoctoral Association, she has put to good use her energy, wisdom, intelligence, and charm, being instrumental in shaping a new, friendlier environment for women and men at an early stage in their careers." The local AWIS chapter is supported in part by the Office of Research on Women's Health, the Office of Community Liaison and the National Library of Medicine.

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