Monday, May 16, 2022
The IRP community is profoundly saddened by the recent passing of Joost “Joe” Oppenheim, M.D., Senior Investigator and Head of the Cellular Immunology Section in the Cancer Innovation Laboratory at NIH's National Cancer Institute (NCI). He died on May 14, 2022, at the age of 87.
Dr. Oppenheim was engaged in cellular immunology research at NIH for five decades and was instrumental in the discovery of cytokines, chemokines, and alarmins, which are substances produced by immune cells that enable them to communicate and act as 'first responders' to injury or infection.
Friday, October 8, 2021
The NIH community is profoundly saddened by the recent passing of Thomas A. Waldmann, M.D., Chief Emeritus of the Lymphoid Malignancies Branch and NIH Distinguished Investigator.
Considered a giant in the field, Tom was a renowned immunologist whose more than 60-year career at the National Cancer Institute led to numerous high-impact discoveries that advanced the fields of organ transplantation, autoimmune disease and cancer. He was a leader in the study of cytokines and their receptors and of monoclonal antibodies, now a dominant form of cancer immunotherapy.
Friday, June 25, 2021
George Harold Patterson, a senior investigator and chief of the Section on Biophotonics at NIH’s National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), died of complications from pancreatic cancer on June 20, 2021. He was only 50 years old, recently tenured, with a wife, two small children, and a promising career before him. We are just so sad about the loss of this warm friend and brilliant and creative scientist taken away far too soon.
George's research focused on the development of probes and techniques for diffraction-limited and sub-diffraction-limited fluorescence imaging of cells and tissues. Indeed, as a staff scientist in the NIH lab of Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz, George worked intimately with Eric Betzig in the development of the nanometer-level resolution techniques that earned Eric a Nobel Prize in 2014.
Thursday, July 16, 2020
Flossie Wong-Staal — a pioneering former NIH scientist, a major figure in the discovery of HIV, and the first to clone that virus — died on July 8, 2020. She was 73 years old.
Flossie arrived at the NIH as a Visiting Fellow in 1973 and began working in the National Cancer Institute (NCI) lab of Robert Gallo, who was on the cusp of a remarkable string of discoveries. Flossie, with her Ph.D. from UCLA in molecular biology, became the ideal complement to Bob Gallo's medical-based scientific intuition, and the two would go on to co-author more than 100 journal articles over the next 20 years.
Thursday, February 6, 2020
Our friend and former colleague Phil Leder, among the world's most accomplished molecular geneticists, died on Sunday, February 2, at age 85. His work with Marshall Nirenberg — namely, the famed Nirenberg and Leder experiments starting at the NIH in 1964, which definitively elucidated the triplet nature of the genetic code and culminated in its full deciphering — helped set the stage for the revolution in molecular genetic research that Phil himself would continue to lead for the next three decades.
Thursday, June 20, 2019
Along with scientists around the country and the world, the IRP community is mourning the loss of former NIH Director James B. Wyngaarden, M.D, who passed away on June 14. Dr. Wyngaarden served as the 12th NIH Director from 1982 to 1989. During that time, he guided the NIH's instrumental role in responding to the HIV/AIDS epidemic and initiating the Human Genome Project. He also played a key role in the creation of the NIH Children's Inn.
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
The NIH community and cancer scientists around the world were saddened to learn that Alan Rabson, M.D., a prominent former IRP researcher and Deputy Director of the NIH’s National Cancer Institute (NCI), passed away on July 4 at the age of 92.
Dr. Rabson first joined the NIH in 1955 as a pathologic anatomy resident in the NIH Clinical Center, which had opened just two years before, and he began studying cancer-causing viruses in an NCI intramural laboratory a year later. Over the course of his ensuing six decades with NIH, Dr. Rabson accumulated a great many stories, a few of which we have shared in his own words, pulled from a 1997 “NCI Oral History Project” interview.
Thursday, May 24, 2018
Theodor Kolobow, M.D., passed away on March 24, 2018. He was 87 years old. His contributions while at the NHLBI to the field of cardiovascular and pulmonary research fall nothing short of extraordinary, and include advancements in the development of artificial organs, and the pathophysiology of acute lung injury. Over the course of his career he was actively involved in the innovation and development of new dialysis machines, cuffless endotracheal tubes, and devices to prop open right-sided heart valves, thereby preventing left heart distention during percutaneous cardiopulmonary bypass. He designed special low-resistance endotracheal tubes to limit the necessary ventilatory pressure, in addition to endotracheal tubes that would help to limit bacterial colonization and methods for preventing ventilator associated pneumonias.
Monday, May 21, 2018
James F. Holland, M.D., a renowned cancer expert who was a major figure in the development of cancer chemotherapy, died on March 22, 2018, at the age of 92. Dr. Holland was among the first group of research physicians recruited to the NIH Clinical Center, serving as a senior surgeon at the National Cancer Institute from 1953 to 1954. In that short year at the NIH, he initiated a clinical trial to compare continuous or intermittent treatment with two chemotherapy agents for acute leukemia in children: methotrexate and 6-mercaptopurine. Dr. Holland moved to Roswell Park Memorial Institute in Buffalo before the trial was completed, but he continued to collaborate. His work ultimately turned an incurable illness into one with an 80% survival rate. In 1972, he and his NIH collaborators shared the Albert Lasker Clinical Medical Research Award for "outstanding contribution to the concept and application of combination therapy in the treatment of acute leukemia in children."
Thursday, June 22, 2017
Michael A. Beaven died unexpectedly on Saturday, April 8, 2017, at age 80. Mike was an expert in mast cell biology and beloved friend and colleague of many. He had worked at the NIH since 1962.
In the past seven years during his formal “retirement,” Mike remained incredibly productive, coauthoring more than 20 primary publications as well as a number of reviews; and he continued to perform experimental work as well as being the “go to” scholar in a range of areas.