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Vol. LXV, No. 5
March 1, 2013
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Milestones

Rudick Retires from ORWH

Joyce Rudick retired Dec. 31.
Joyce Rudick retired Dec. 31.

Despite its size, NIH is like a family to many people, featuring supportive relationships, proud achievements and a nurturing environment for a new generation of researchers. During a recent interview, Joyce Rudick recalled many of her NIH career experiences in family terms. She retired Dec. 31 after 19 years as director of programs and management for the Office of Research on Women’s Health. Prior to her ORWH career, Rudick spent 10 years as lab manager for Dr. Ira Pastan in the molecular biology section at NCI.

Rudick arrived at ORWH in 1993, just after former director Dr. Vivian Pinn was appointed to lead the office. With Pinn and other pioneers at ORWH, Rudick helped realize the office’s mission in its first two decades. ORWH’s signature initiatives promoting interdisciplinary and collaborative women’s health research programs and career development opportunities for women and men in the biomedical research workforce testify to her commitment, creativity and innovative thinking.

“It was a very hopeful time,” she recalls. “There was real excitement that finally women would be treated as equals in clinical research. We were committed to the big package the ORWH mission encompassed—inclusion, clinical research and career development. We all were very interested in spreading the word about the office’s focus. We worked with and encouraged the NIH institutes and centers to include women’s health research in their research portfolios. And, we worked actively with legislators to promote the importance of women’s health research.

“It was because of this excitement that we knew we’d be successful,” said Rudick.

The Specialized Centers of Research on Sex Differences (SCOR) and Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health program co-funded by ORWH continue to expand to support innovative research. With Rudick’s input, in collaboration with IC and ORWH colleagues, these programs have helped advance NIH’s commitment to women’s health research.

“The enthusiasm from the past is what we see now when the principal investigators involved with these programs get together. It’s a very solid network,” Rudick noted.

One of her proudest achievements is the NIH/ORWH Re-entry into Biomedical Research Careers program she helped create with Pinn, Dr. Judith La Rosa and Dr. Wally Schaffer. This effort supplements existing NIH grants to support full- or part-time research by women or men to return to their biomedical or behavioral science careers following family-related leave. The program now is available to scientists at the post-doctoral level.

Dr. Janine Austin Clayton, director of ORWH, noted, “Joyce welcomed me upon my arrival at ORWH, where she had been acting deputy director for Dr. Pinn. One of Joyce’s strongest traits is her interest in getting things done and her multifaceted interests. She shaped the way the office was developed.” Rudick also served as executive secretary for the NIH advisory committee on women’s health research and the NIH coordinating committee on research on women’s health.

Mentoring has played a large role in Rudick’s career. “Joyce has been a terrific mentor—for new staff, interns, fellows, students and just about anyone who came to ORWH,” said Teresa Kendrix, ORWH administrative officer. “No one who sought an experience in this office was ever turned down by Joyce. She, herself, was mentored by one of the best, Dr. Ruth Kirschstein.”

Rudick sees an optimistic future for biomedical research despite contemporary challenges. “It’s important to not let ideas get buried,” she said. Of the young scientists she’s known over the years and those she’s mentored most recently, Rudick said, “Once they choose to be in science, their dedication is endless.”

Rudick looks forward to retirement, though her energy and wide interests suggest it won’t be inactive. She is part of the Senior Leadership Montgomery program, which gives her exposure to policy and social and economic challenges at the local level and she hopes to become a docent at the Library of Congress.

With trips planned to South Africa and to her beloved San Francisco and spending time with her children and seven grandchildren, Rudick’s calendar is already booked.

NIAID Mourns Retrovirus Expert Jeang

Dr. Kuan-Teh Jeang

Dr. Kuan-Teh Jeang, an accomplished virologist and chief of the molecular virology section of the NIAID Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology, died suddenly on Jan. 27 at age 54. He had worked at NIH since 1985.

Jeang’s research focused on the gene regulation of HIV and how human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1, or HTLV-1, causes leukemia. He was a prolific scientist who authored or coauthored more than 300 publications. He cofounded and served as editor-in-chief of the online journal Retrovirology. In this position, he helped establish an award to recognize mid-career scientists and advocated passionately for open access to scientific information.

“Teh was a talented researcher who believed strongly in the equal and global distribution of scientific knowledge,” said NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci. “He made many important contributions to our understanding of HIV and HTLV-1, leaving a lasting legacy here at NIH and beyond. We will miss him deeply.”

Jeang also was an editor at Cell & Bioscience and an associate editor of Cancer Research. From 2010 to 2011, he served as president of the Society of Chinese Bioscientists in America, where he sought greater representation in leadership positions for Asian-American scientists. His recent awards include the International Retrovirology Association’s Dale McFarlin Award in 2011, Biomed Central’s Open Access “Editor of the Year” award in 2010, and research support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

“Teh’s death is a blow to the NIH, the retrovirus research community and his many friends and colleagues around the world,” said Dr. Kathryn Zoon, director of the NIAID Division of Intramural Research. “He was a dynamic and thoughtful scientific leader who ran an incredibly creative and productive lab.”

Jeang earned his M.D. and Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 1982 and 1984, respectively. He performed his postdoctoral studies with the late Dr. George Khoury at the National Cancer Institute and joined NIAID in 1987.

“Teh Jeang was a very special person,” said Dr. Malcolm Martin, chief of the NIAID Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology. “His scientific achievements had an enormous impact on multiple areas of retrovirology and his influence extended to the related fields of cellular and cancer biology.”

Jeang leaves behind his wife and three children, as well as an NIAID community profoundly saddened by his passing.

NIAAA’s Hommer Dies

Dr. Daniel Hommer

Dr. Daniel Hommer, 64, chief of NIAAA’s section on brain electrophysiology and imaging, died on Jan. 2. He had served as head of the section since 1992, his second tenure working at NIH.

Hommer was born in Easton, Pa., and received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and his M.D. from Albert Einstein College of Medicine. After completing his residency in psychiatry at Yale University, he joined the section of neuropsychopharmacology at NIMH in 1982. From 1982 to 1987, he was co-director of electrophysiology unit of the Clinical Neuroscience Branch.

A dedicated and respected scientist and physician with many contributions to the field of alcohol research and imaging, Hommer was an outstanding mentor and was world-renowned for his discoveries on structural and functional differences in brains of alcoholic and non-alcoholic individuals, said Dr. Markus Heilig, clinical director for NIAAA and NIDA. Hommer had more than 150 publications. “Many of his students and mentees are now well-known and major contributors to the field of imaging and addictions,” Heilig added.

He served the community in diverse ways, notably by chairing and serving on the NIAAA and CNS human research committees and serving on the NIAAA promotion and tenure committee and scientific review committee. He was a member of several scientific organizations including the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Organization for Human Brain Mapping and Research Society for Alcoholism.

“Above all, Dan was known as a kind and tolerant individual who was much beloved by his family, friends and colleagues and he will be sorely missed,” said Heilig.

NIH Alumnus Gary Dies at 90

Dr. Norman D. Gary, 90, a former chief of special review at the Division of Research Grants (now CSR), died on Feb. 8.

Born in Takoma Park, Md., he graduated from Montgomery Blair High School in 1940 and attended the University of Maryland for three semesters. Seven days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Forces and served for the duration of World War II.

After discharge, he attended North Dakota Agricultural College in Fargo, graduating with honors in 1948 in bacteriology. He earned his M.A. in 1950 at Indiana University and his Ph.D. in 1952, both in bacteriology.

Gary was first employed by the Department of the Army. He worked at Ft. Detrick from 1952 to 1971. After a year’s leave of absence to be a visiting professor at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., he worked for DRG from 1971 to 1978, heading the special studies section. His final job was teaching in the biology department at Hood College, where he retired in 1989. Gary was an accomplished local artist and was frequently exhibited. He painted numerous works reflecting his seven trips to Norway, where his wife’s family originated.

He is survived by his wife Myrtle, with whom he recently observed their 70th wedding anniversary. Other survivors include a daughter, Cynthia Smith of Reisterstown, Md., a son, Kurke Gary of Taneytown, Md., four grandchildren, four greatgrandsons and one great-granddaughter.

New NCAB Members, Chair Named

The White House recently announced the appointment of six new members to the National Cancer Advisory Board and the designation of the NCAB chairperson, Dr. Tyler Jacks.
Photo of Dr. Tyler Jacks Jacks is director of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and David H. Koch professor of biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; he is also an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He has pioneered the use of technology to study cancer-associated genes and to construct animal models of many human cancer types, including cancers of the lung, pancreas, brain and ovaries.

Photo of Dr. David Christiani Dr. David C. Christiani is Elkan Blout professor of environmental genetics, departments of environmental health and environmental & occupational medicine and epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is recognized internationally for his pioneering work in the fields of occupational health and molecular epidemiology.

Photo of Dr. Judy Garber Dr. Judy E. Garber is director of the Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. She has two areas of active interest: the identification of individuals with genetic factors that place them at high risk of developing cancer and the development of strategies to reduce cancer risk.




Photo of Dr. Elizabeth Jaffee Dr. Elizabeth M. Jaffee is the Dana and Albert “Cubby” Broccoli professor of oncology, co-director of the gastrointestinal cancers program and associate director for translational research at Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University. She has focused her scientific career on the pre-clinical and clinical development of vaccines for the treatment of cancer.



Photo of Dr. Beth Karlan Dr. Beth Y. Karlan is director of the women’s cancer program at Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute and director of gynecologic oncology in the department of obstetrics & gynecology at Cedar-Sinai Medical Center. Her research interests include the genetic definition and phenotypic determinants of human ovarian carcinomas, molecular biomarker discovery and inherited cancer susceptibility.



Photo of Dr. Mack Roach III Dr. Mack Roach III is a professor in the departments of radiation oncology & urology and chair of the department of radiation oncology at the University of California, San Francisco, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is recognized as an authority on the treatment of clinically localized prostate cancer.



Photo of Dr. Charles Sawyers Dr. Charles L. Sawyers is chairman of the human oncology and pathogenesis program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and an HHMI investigator. He is investigating signaling pathways that drive the growth of cancer cells, with an eye toward designing new treatment options for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia, prostate cancer and glioblastoma.


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