Murray Joins NIH in Disease Prevention Role
Dr. David M. Murray of Ohio State University’s College of Public Health has been named NIH associate director for prevention and director of the Office of Disease Prevention.
“This is an exciting time for research in disease prevention and health promotion, which is gaining more and more visibility at the NIH,” said NIH director Dr. Francis Collins, who announced the appointment. “I am confident that Dr. Murray’s experience will be a strong complement to the mission of the ODP.”
Murray is a professor and chair of the division of epidemiology in the College of Public Health. He has taught courses on writing NIH research grants, served on more than 45 grant review panels and worked on more than 40 NIH-funded grants and contracts, including many multi-center trials. Much of Murray’s research has focused on the design and analysis of group-randomized trials and evaluating the effectiveness of public health intervention initiatives. He is a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, has written more than 230 articles in peer-reviewed journals, served on the editorial board for Preventive Medicine and was the first chair of the community-level health promotion study section at NIH.
His experience lends itself to the mission of the ODP to assess, facilitate and stimulate research on disease prevention and health promotion and disseminate the results of this research to improve public health.
“I believe that we can best advance the nation’s health by ensuring that disease prevention and health promotion programs are based on good science, that they are carefully designed and evaluated, that effective interventions are disseminated and that ineffective interventions are identified and discarded,” said Murray.
He earned a B.A. in psychology from Denison University and a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Tennessee. He is expected to join NIH in September.
NIAID’s Green Receives Mentor Award
|NIAID’s Dr. Kim Y. Green (front, second from r) was recently named Outstanding Mentor. On hand for the award were (rear, from l) Eugenio Abente, Dr. Stanislav Sosnovtsev, Dr. Gabriel Parra Gonzalez and Dr. Carlos Sandoval Jaime. In front are (from l) Dr. Rachel Dexter, Dr. Wendy Fibison and Dr. Karin Bok.
Fellows at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases recently bestowed the institute’s Outstanding Mentor Award on Dr. Kim Y. Green, chief, caliciviruses section, Laboratory of Infectious Diseases (LID). The award is given annually to a faculty member who encourages inquiry, innovation and critical analysis and most closely exemplifies the spirit of a quality mentor.
Describing Green as a “gifted researcher with an acute intellect,” Dr. Karin Bok, a postdoc in Green’s lab, went on to add that Green is viewed by her fellows as a mentor who follows rigorous ethical standards and ensures that her trainees do so as well. A large part of her success is the “constant support of a mentor who cares about my career advancement and success,” says Bok. “I am confident that [Green] has had an enormous positive impact on my career and will continue to do so.”
Green explained that much of what she learned about mentoring came from her own mentor, Dr. Al Kapikian, also in LID. She added that “it takes a good mentee to make a good mentor. I have been fortunate to have wonderful fellows and students over the years. This is truly a highlight of my career.”
Eugenio Abente, a graduate student in Green’s lab, remarked that “despite the many challenges of tight budgetary constraints and an increasingly competitive field, Dr. Green has constantly led by example: true to the science, always available and continually supportive.” He added that mentoring skills often seem to be transmitted vertically. In addition to Green, others “willing to impart their wisdom on me, share their knowledge and truly want me to succeed are...her mentor, Dr. Al Kapikian, and her mentee Dr. Karin Bok,” he said.
In addition to her mentoring duties, Green pursues opportunities to advance women in science. She is the NIAID representative to the NIH working group on women in biomedical careers and this past year was on the committee to organize a workshop honoring the institute’s women scientists.—Marci Karth Better
Katz Highlights NIH Imaging Research at Congressional Briefing
NIAMS director Dr. Stephen Katz (r) recently participated in a panel discussion on osteoarthritis (OA) at a congressional briefing organized by the Coalition for Imaging and Bioengineering Research (CIBR). He was joined by (from l) four-time Super Bowl champion L.C. Greenwood from the Pittsburgh Steelers, who has OA; CIBR President Renée L. Cruea; and NYU Langone Medical Center researcher Dr. Michael P. Recht.
Former Dental Institute Director Scott Mourned
Dr. David B. Scott, 93, former director of NIDR (now NIDCR), died June 8 at Atlantic Shores retirement community in Virginia Beach, Va. He served as director of the dental institute from 1976 until his retirement in 1981, his second tenure working at NIH. He was one of the original 13-member staff of the institute when it was established by Congress in 1948, and was a dental researcher whose career saw work in myriad subjects, from fluoridation to dental forensics.
“Dr. Scott’s work set the stage for much of the research we do today,” said Dr. Martha Somerman, director of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. “His dedication to research and to training the next generation of researchers left an indelible mark on the field of dental and craniofacial science.”
Scott was internationally recognized as an expert on calcified and mineralized tissues. He was among the first to use electron microscopy to study the structure of tooth enamel and dentin and used the electron microscope to investigate sodium fluoride’s action on enamel. He also served as an examiner for the landmark project in Grand Rapids, Mich., that demonstrated the benefits of water fluoridation to prevent tooth decay. Scott additionally became one of the nation’s first few recognized authorities on dental forensics.
Under his leadership, NIDR placed a greater emphasis on periodontal disease in the extramural research program and on clinical studies. He expanded behavioral and social science research at the institute, established a branch for studying noninvasive diagnostic techniques and also created a clinical investigations and patient care branch, which coordinated patient treatment with institute clinical research.
“Dr. Scott was a very special man. He was internationally respected for his science and leadership, but carried it with such grace and ease that all were comfortable in his presence,” said Dr. Michael Roberts, who was recruited by Scott to NIDR as head of the dental clinic’s patient care section. “He was a wonderful man with a great sense of humor, a kind word for all, a thoughtful and probing scientist and a leader you considered it an honor to follow.”
David Bytovetzski Scott was born May 18, 1919, in Providence, R.I., and earned a B.A. in physical biology from Brown University in 1939 and his D.D.S. from the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, University of Maryland, in 1943. The following year, he added an M.S. from the University of Rochester, where he was a Carnegie fellow in dental research.
Scott served as a commissioned officer in the Public Health Service from 1944 to 1965. He arrived at NIH in 1944 and worked in the dental research section and then NIDR when it was established in 1948. He served as chief of NIDR’s Laboratory of Histology and Pathology from 1956 to 1965, when he retired from PHS. He then joined Case Western Reserve University, serving on the dental and medical school faculties, and later as dean of the School of Dentistry.
On Jan. 1, 1976, he returned to NIDR as director, resuming active duty with the PHS and becoming a rear admiral and an assistant surgeon general. Scott held the post until the end of 1981, when he retired a second time.
He received numerous awards, including those recognizing his contributions to forensic dentistry and to research in mineralization. He was awarded several honorary degrees and also held memberships in a number of dental associations.
Scott was predeceased by his first and second wives, Mary Elizabeth Motter of York, Pa., and Nancy Moss Hamann of Cleveland; his son, Steven; and his stepson, William C. Hamann. He is survived by two sons, David and his wife, Susan, of Spotsylvania, Va., and Peter and his wife, Linn, of Hampton, Va.; his stepdaughter, Heidi Hamann Fortune of Midway, Utah; five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
NIAID Virologist Receives Lifetime Achievement Award
Dr. Bernard Moss, chief of NIAID’s Laboratory of Viral Diseases, was recently awarded a lifetime achievement award in virology at the International Poxvirus 2012 conference.
Moss has been a leader in poxvirus research since the 1960s and has trained many of the investigators currently in the field. He and colleagues discovered much of what is known about the biology of vaccinia, the virus used in the smallpox vaccine. He and colleagues also developed a method for using poxviruses as vaccine vectors, a technology that has led to several USDA-approved animal vaccines for diseases such as rabies and feline leukemia. This pox-vector technology is being used in candidate HIV vaccines that currently are in clinical trials, as well as in experimental vaccines for malaria, tuberculosis and influenza, and potential treatments for cancer.
Moss has received numerous awards and prizes including the Dickson Prize for Medical Research, the Invitrogen Eukaryotic Expression Award, the ICN International Prize in Virology, the Taylor International Prize in Medicine and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Infectious Disease Research. He has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Microbiology and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He also has served as president of the American Society for Virology.
NIDCD Program Director Davis Dies
Dr. Barry Davis, father, friend and mentor, passed away on July 3 at age 65 after a long illness. Born in San Pedro, Calif., he received his B.A. in 1968 in psychology from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, and his Ph.D. in 1975 in the neurosciences from the University of Rochester Medical School. He then held positions as an associate professor at the University of Alabama followed by the University of Maryland at Baltimore. During that time, he studied the gustatory, or taste, areas in the brainstem of rodents, research that was continuously funded by NIH.
In 1999, Davis left academia to join NIH as director of the taste and smell program within the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, where he worked with the chemosensory community for 14 years. His research interests included the anatomical, physiological and biochemical similarities and differences among brain structures involved in the processing of taste and smell.
“Before coming to NIDCD, Barry was a successful scientist in his own right,” said NIDCD director Dr. James F. Battey, Jr., “making significant contributions to our understanding of the anatomical organization of the gustatory system.”
As a program director, Davis’s broad understanding of the field helped move NIDCD forward in surprisingly innovative and productive ways. On a personal level, as many grantees who worked with him would attest, he was someone who did not mince words. But he was revered for his fairness, honesty and his direct and candid style.
Davis was affiliated with the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Society for Neuroscience and the Association for Chemoreception Sciences (AChemS), where he actively participated in meetings, led workshops and advised junior investigators. He was an advocate for AChemS research endeavors and participated in NIH-wide initiatives that helped to expand AChemS resources within NIH. In 2009, Davis received the AChemS Distinguished Service Award in recognition of outstanding service to the chemical sciences research community.
According to Dr. Judith Cooper, NIDCD deputy director, “Barry was an invaluable program officer, serving as a strong and fair advocate for his research community, which held him in the highest regard. In addition, he was a leader in numerous institute activities and served the broader NIH on various committees, including the Pain Consortium, the NSF/NIH Collaborative Research in Computational Neuroscience Initiative and the U.S.-Japan Brain Research Program. He will be terribly missed by all of us.”
Dr. Charles Greer, a research associate of Davis’s and former president of AChemS, said, “His advocacy for the chemosensory community was unparalleled. His knowledge of the leading questions, his understanding of the techniques and his personal relationships throughout the field heralded a new era for chemosensory representation at NIH.”
Davis is survived by his son, Kyle Tucker-Davis, a recent graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy.—Phalla Keng
NIAMS’s Katz Presents Lupus Leadership Award
Dr. Stephen Katz (third from l), director of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, presented the Lupus Foundation of America’s National Policy Leadership Award to the U.S. House of Representatives Congressional Lupus Caucus co-chairs: (from l) Reps. Tom Rooney (R-FL), Jim Moran (D-VA), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and William Keating (D-MA). The award was given for their leadership to ensure that members of Congress understand the impact of lupus and actively support the advancement of lupus research and awareness. The presentation was made at the LFA’s Butterfly Gala. Also pictured (r) is co-presenter Shannon Boxx, U.S. women’s national soccer team player and Olympic gold medalist, who is living with lupus.
Photo: Kaye Evans-Lutterodt