Died in 2021
Barbara V. Allen (died October 2, 2021, at 82) took a research position at the National Cancer Institute in 1960 and spent 27 years there before transferring to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, where she studied pain.
Margaret (Margo) Campbell Heun Bradford (died December 30, 2021, at 75) was Operations Manager at the NIH Children’s Inn and later served as the founding Operations Manager at the NIH Safra Family Lodge. She retired in 2011.
Ann-Marie Broome (died Nov 26, 2021, at 53, from pneumonia due to COVID-19) was a Program Director in the Division of Translational Research, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Before coming to NIH in 2020, she served as a faculty member at the Medical University of South Carolina (Charleston, South Carolina) and Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland), where she worked on many translational aspects of cancer research.
Elihu Estey (died October 8, 2021, at 75) began his career at MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston) with Emil Freireich, a former National Cancer Institute (NCI) researcher who also died in 2021, at age 93. Estey briefly worked at NCI with Richard Simon, Chief of the Computational and Systems Biology Branch.
George J. Galasso (died November 5, 2021, at 89) was a pioneer in antiviral research whose efforts led to the successful treatment of many viral infectious diseases and cancer. He retired in 1996 as the Associate Director of Extramural Programs at NIH but continued his efforts in biomedical research and later that year became the first leader of what is now the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health.
Edmund A. Gehan (died September 28, 2021, at age 92) spent his career as a biostatistician in cancer research at the National Cancer Institute, the University of Texas MD Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute (Houston), and the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center of Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.). His name is associated with important cancer trial designs and analyses.
James E. Hamner III (died June 6, 2021, at 88), was an internationally renowned pathologist who enjoyed a distinguished career with the National Institute of Dental Research (now NIDCR) and the National Cancer Institute over many years, with a particular focus on oral-cancer research.
S. Peter Nissley (died in March 2021, at 84), was a pioneer in the field of insulin-like growth factors and their receptors. He came to the NIH first in 1966 as a Clinical Associate in the Clinical Endocrinology Branch of the National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases. He returned in 1970 as a Staff Fellow in the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Laboratory of Molecular Biology under the direction of Ira Pastan. In 1972 Nissley became a Senior Investigator in the NCI Metabolism Branch. Then, from 1994 until his retirement in 2005, he was Chief of that branch’s Endocrinology Section.
Samuel H. Wilson Jr. (died April 23, 2021, at 82) was a protein biochemist in the National Cancer Institute (1968 to 1992), first as a Postdoctoral Fellow, then as a researcher. In 1992, he was recruited by the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas, to establish the Sealy Center for Molecular Science. In 1996, he returned to NIH as Deputy Director (later Acting Director) of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), where he maintained an active laboratory for the rest of his life. Through his leadership, NIEHS developed initiatives to create more precise measurements of human exposures to harmful pollutants.
Died in 2022
Bernard W. Agranoff (died October 21, 2022, at 96) joined the Section of Lipid Chemistry in the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in 1952, where he developed his long-standing interest in the role of lipids in cell signaling within the nervous system. He identified key intermediates required for the synthesis of phosphatidylinositol and cholesterol. In 1961, he moved to the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor (Ann Arbor, Michigan) in the mid-1960s, he published several groundbreaking studies demonstrating that protein synthesis was required for long-term memory formation. He is one of the founding editors of the classic textbook Basic Neurochemistry, now in its 50th year.
Kenneth L. Brigham (died June 18, 2022, at 82), a pulmonologist who worked for the U.S. Public Health Service in Phoenix, Arizona (1968-1971) and researched and worked with disease outbreaks in multiple populations, including dengue fever in Puerto Rico, tuberculosis in the Havasupai Nation at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, and diarrheal disease among the White Mountain Apache. In 1973, he became a faculty member at Vanderbilt School of Medicine (Nashville), and in 2002, he joined the faculty of Emory University (Atlanta) and helped found the Emory/Georgia Tech Predictive Health Institute.
Israel L. Burch (died July 19, 2022, at 49) was a 20-year veteran of NIH Fire and Rescue Services and was Acting Fire Chief of the NIH Fire Department.
Maurice B. Burg (died April 24, 2022, at age 91) was a Scientist Emeritus in the Renal Cellular and Molecular Biology Section in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). He came to NIH as a Postdoctoral Fellow in 1957 and later became Chief of NHLBI’s Laboratory of Kidney and Electrolyte Metabolism. He demonstrated that it was possible to isolate the kidney’s renal tubules that together determine the aggregate function of the kidney. His work in defining the kidney-transport mechanism, which is responsible for regulation of body acid-base balance, became the foundation for an understanding of kidney function that underlies much of contemporary nephrology.
C. Thomas “Tom” Caskey (died January 13, 2022, at 83) is renowned for his characterization of the HPRT gene and identification of its mutations in patients with Lesch-Nyhan syndrome, and his discovery of a novel genetic mechanism for human disease involving expansion of unstable trinucleotide repeats, such as those in of fragile X syndrome and myotonic dystrophy. When he was a medical student at Duke University (Durham, North Carolina), he did research with James B. Wyngaarden, who later became the Director of NIH (1982-1989). In 1965, Caskey came to NIH as a Research Associate “Yellow Beret” during the Vietnam War, joining the lab of Marshall Nirenberg, who received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1968. In 1971, Caskey left NIH to initiate a program in genetics at Baylor College of Medicine (Houston).
Homer D. Chalifoux (died September 8, 2022, at 88) began his career as a biomedical engineer at NIH and developed an improved dialysis machine.
Richard N. Dexter (died April 23, 2022, at 88) interrupted his medical residency to spend two years as a Research Associate in the Laboratory of Metabolism in the National Heart Institute, and as a Senior Assistant Surgeon in the U.S. Public Health Service. In 1967, he joined the faculty of the Indiana University School of Medicine (Indianapolis) and worked there for 48 years until his retirement in 2015.
Lois J. Dienes (died September 18, 2022, at 81) worked as a nurse at NIH and elsewhere during her career.
Harry Ettinger (died December 12, 2022, at 88) worked in the U.S. Public Health Service and NIH before moving to the Los Alamos National Laboratory (Los Alamos, New Mexico) in 1961, where he spent 36 years in positions ranging from Field Industrial Hygienist to Acting Deputy Division Leader.
Paul Farmer (died February 21, 2022, in Rwanda, at 62) was a global health leader, physician, medical anthropologist, Harvard professor, author, and longtime friend of NIH. He spent decades expanding health care access and providing medical care to the world’s poorest, underserved populations. In 1987 he cofounded the nonprofit Partners in Health, which today operates in 12 countries across Africa, Latin America, Central Asia, and the United States.
Mary C. Fraser (died March 5, 2022, at 70) was a Clinical Research Nurse Specialist in the National Cancer Institute’s Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (NCI-DCEG) and a Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Public Health Service. She worked with cancer-prone families; pioneered the central role of nurses in long-term studies of families at increased risk of cancers; and was a nationally acknowledged expert in the long-term effects of cancer therapy. She served NCI-DCEG for nearly three decades before retiring in 2018.
Norma Lee Funger (died July 4, 2022, at 90) was a philanthropist and a board member of the Children’s Inn at NIH.
John Jacob Gart (died January 24, 2022, at 90), who worked at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) from 1965 to 1991, was Chief of NCI’s Mathematical Statistics and Applied Mathematics Section until his retirement in 1991. He was one of the world’s foremost experts on the statistical analysis of categorical data, particularly in the development of methods that were appropriate and accurate for data from experiments with small sample sizes. He also published papers providing code for computer programs that allowed his methods to be implemented by a wide range of researchers.
Anthony J. Giradi (died August 4, 2022, at 96) investigated the transmission process of the poliovirus during a postdoctoral fellowship at Yale University (New Haven, Connecticut) before coming to NIH, where he developed culture media for supporting cells growing for virus cultures. After he left NIH, he moved to Philadelphia, where he worked on polio vaccine development at Merck and then on cancer virology and immunology in his own lab at the Wistar Institute. In the 1970s, he moved to Knoxville, Tennessee, to organize and direct the new East Tennessee Cancer Research Center. He returned to Philadelphia three years later, to work at the Coriell Institute for Medical Research (Camden, New Jersey), and later for an NIH-funded medical-research information company.
Harriett Greenwald (died November 9, 2022, at 87) was the Executive Director of the NIH Alumni Association and Editor of its newsletter. She worked diligently at preserving NIH history and coauthored a history of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Her husband, Peter Greenwald, created and became Director of the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control at the National Cancer Institute in 1981.
Emery C. Herman Jr. (died February 26, 2022, at 92) worked at NIH in the 1950s before moving to Cooperstown, New York, to become a research physician in bone marrow transplantation at Bassett Hospital and later a practicing physician.
George A. Jacoby (died February 14, 2022, at 89), who trained in biochemistry at NIH, spent 25 years in Boston as a consultant in infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital and then as head of the Infectious Diseases Department at the Lahey Clinic.
Bernard William Janicki (died October 27, 2022, at 91) had a multi-faceted career including as a Health Scientist Administrator in the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases and as a Special Assistant at the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research to support its technology transfer program.
Dianne Kay (died November 3, 2022, at 84) and her husband oversaw the construction of the NIH Children’s Inn.
David R. Kominz (died November 4, 2022, at 98), who studied muscle and protein biochemistry, began his distinguished career as a medical researcher at NIH and as an officer in the U.S. Public Health Service. By the time he retired in the early 1970s, he had become Section Chief of Bioenergetics in the Laboratory of Biophysical Chemistry within the National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases. He had a brief second career as a researcher at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (Worcester, Massachusetts).
Carl Levanthal (died February 22, 2022, at 88) was a neuropathologist who began his career at NIH in 1964 and retired in 1996 as a Division Director in the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
Sanford “Sandy” Markey (died February 6, 2022, at 79), a career-long mass spectroscopist, founded the Laboratory of Neurotoxicology in the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in 1996, and served as its Chief until his retirement in 2013. He used mass spectrometry to research the molecular mechanisms of normal and aberrant cellular protein architecture and the biochemical pathology of behavioral diseases. His group first identified a compound that was a cause of chronic Parkinsonism and also studied the mechanism and effects of the neurotoxin quinolinic acid in various neurological disorders. He joined NIMH in 1974 as a pharmacologist and, in 1982, became the Chief of the Section on Analytical Biochemistry in the Laboratory of Clinical Science. He also served as NIMH’s Acting Deputy Scientific Director (1995-1996).
Susan F. Meikle (died August 1, 2022, at 62) worked for various hospitals in Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona before joining the Centers for Disease Control and NIH, rising from epidemiologist and medical officer to senior scientist and then to Program Director at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development. She was a coauthor on a landmark study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2008, “Prevalence of Symptomatic Pelvic Floor Disorders in US Women,” which was cited more than 1,100 times in the medical literature.
Doris M. Merritt (died April 12, 2022, at 98), a pediatric physician, was named the first Acting Director of NIH’s National Center for Nursing Research in 1986. She started her career at NIH in 1978 as a Special Assistant to the NIH Director (Donald Fredrickson) for research training and research resources in 1978. The same year she became the first woman to chair the National Library of Medicine’s Board of Regents and helped create the library’s electronic information system. Her husband, Donald Merritt, a physician at NIH, died in 1986.
Barbara F. Mishkin (died January 7, 2022, at 85), a lawyer, began her career as a bioethicist helping the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development prepare proposed regulations to protect children as research subjects. She was also the Assistant Director of the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research and helped draft the Belmont Report, which has become the touchstone of human-subjects research ethics in the United States. She also assisted in drafting federal regulations governing institutional review boards. She became the pre-eminent voice in the protection of human subjects in biomedical research and institutional review boards in the United States. She later served as Director of the Health and Human Services Ethics Advisory Board and then as Deputy Director of the President’s Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine and Biomedical and Behavioral Research. Her husband was National Institute of Mental Health cognitive neuroscientist Mortimer Mishkin, who died in October 2021.
Donald F. Morrison (died July 11, 2022, at 91), a Professor Emeritus of Statistics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia), spent the early part of his career working in research positions at NIH and elsewhere.
Mark Mueller (died November 19, 2022, at 55) worked in scientific planning and development for the Division of AIDS Research in the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). He was also a Health Specialist at the NIH Vaccine Research Center and a member of the NIAID Pandemic Preparedness Task Force.
James E. Nagel (died September 29, 2022, at 78), a pediatrician, started working as a scientist for NIH in 1979 and spent 30 years there.
Neal Nathanson (died August 11, 2022, at 94), a pioneering researcher on polio and HIV/AIDS, was the Director of NIH’s Office of AIDS Research 1998-2000.
David Michael Neville (died January 14, 2022, at 87) was a pioneer in immunotoxin research and spent 48 years at the National Institute of Mental Health. His group worked for three decades to develop an immunotoxin platform producing well-folded bivalent toxic proteins targeting a variety of cell epitopes. Eventually, their research led to the development of Resimmune, a targeted anti-T-cell therapy they believed would be less damaging to healthy cells. The research led to a phase 1 study for the treatment of cutaneous lymphoma and other T-cell-related diseases, and FDA Fast Track Development Designation. After he retired in 2008, Neville and two other NIH scientists founded Angimmune (Rockville, Maryland).
Ward Odenwald (died March 3, 2022, at 71, while hang-gliding) had a three-decade career as a Principal Investigator at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). He first came to NIH in 1978; in 1990, he established the Neurogenetics Unit in the Laboratory of Neurochemistry, where he pursued the identification and functional analysis of neuronal-identity networks that control stem-cell lineage development in the central nervous system. He next became Chief of the NINDS Neural Cell-Fate Determinants Section, where he studied the role of transcription factor regulatory networks that participate in the temporal development of Drosophila ganglia. In recent years, his lab developed a set of comparative genomics tools to aid in the evolutionary analysis of gene regulatory DNA and viral evolution. His efforts led to the development of web-accessed multigenome alignment tools (EvoPrinter) to rapidly identify functionally important DNA sequences and the generation of conserved sequence databases, which are now helping research groups worldwide. With the onset of the Zika and Ebola epidemics, Odenwald further developed alignment tools for analyzing the evolution of these viruses.
Roger O’Neill (died May 8, 2022, at 50) was a Postdoctoral Fellow at NIH and went on to work for biotech companies and at one—Applied Biosystems—developed the reagent used by both NIH and Celera (originally headquartered in Rockville, Maryland) in their race to sequence the human genome.
Joost J. “Joe” Oppenheim (died May 14, 2022, at 87) was a pioneer in the field of immune-cell regulation and response and one of the first to acknowledge the importance of intercellular cytokine signals in the regulation of immune defenses against infections and tumors. In his early research on interleukin 1 (IL-1), he proved the compound’s capacity to protect animals from death caused by radiation and chemotherapeutic agents. His findings led to clinical evaluation of IL-1 for human cancer treatments. His research group generated landmark discoveries and the birth of the chemokine field. He started his career at NIH in 1962 in the postgraduate program and trained as a Clinical Associate at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). In 1966, he started his lab at the National Institute of Dental Research. He served as the Medical Director of the United States Public Health Service from 1975 to 1983, then moved to the NCI in 1983 and served as the Chief of the Laboratory of Immunoregulation until 2015.
Marianne K. Oskarsson (died November 7, 2022, at 86) spent 25 years in research at the National Cancer Institute’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology. Her early work led to some of the greatest discoveries in cancer research including the discovery of genes that play a major role in leukemia and a few other cancers.
Beverly Ann Peterkofsky (died June 13, 2022, at 90), a biochemist who spent 40 years at NIH, was a trailblazer as a female lead scientist having to overcome many obstacles of bias and prejudice in order to advance her career to the level of Section Chief. She was also a dedicated violinist, playing with the NIH Orchestra and various string quartets. Her husband, Alan Peterkofsky, is a Scientist Emeritus in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
John E. Porter (died June 3, 2022, at 87), a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1980-2001), was a long-time champion of biomedical research and played a key role in doubling the NIH budget during his term in office. A Republican representing Illinois, he was a member of the House Appropriations Committee and chaired its Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies. The committee had jurisdiction over all of NIH’s health programs as well as those of other health-related federal agencies. After he retired from Congress, he continued his commitment to the health and well-being of American citizens: He chaired Research!America; served as Vice Chair of the Foundation for the NIH; was a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences; and served on the boards of the RAND Corporation and the American Heart Association. The Porter Neuroscience Research Center, which opened in 2014—on the NIH Bethesda, Maryland, campus—is named for him.
E. Arthur “Art” Robertson (died September 9, 2022, at 78) was a pathologist who worked at NIH for 10 years in the 1970s. He left to become Chief of Laboratory at Memorial Hospital in St. Joseph (St. Joseph, Michigan).
Paul Shinn (died November 17, 2022, at 46, after a traffic accident) was a foundational member of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) and its Division of Preclinical Innovation (DPI). As DPI’s Compound Management Group Leader, Shinn worked with his team to oversee large libraries of investigational and approved drug compounds. He pioneered methods to automate the screening of drug combinations, including the development of novel software used throughout the biomedical community. Before joining NCATS, Shinn worked at the NIH Chemical Genomics Center within the National Human Genome Research Institute.
Earle Silber (died June 21, 2022, at 97) was a neuropsychiatrist who, in addition to having a private practice, held teaching and research positions at the National Institute of Mental Health and elsewhere.
Lucius E. Sinks (died June 3, 2022, at 91) pioneered an aggressive treatment of cancer in children that dramatically increased their chances of survival. (He was Chief of Pediatrics at Roswell Park Memorial Institute in Buffalo, New York, at the time—in the 1960s.) He came to the National Cancer Institute in 1984, where he served as a Branch Chief until 1990. He left NIH to become Cancer Center Director at Middlesex Hospital (Middletown, Connecticut), a position he held until he retired in 2004.
Michael Sporn (died September 29, 2022, age 89) had a 35-year career at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) that started in 1960. In 1970 he became Chief of the Lung Cancer Branch, and his lab made groundbreaking discoveries that established the field of retinoids. In 1978, he became Chief of NCI’s Laboratory of Chemoprevention; his lab was credited with novel insights into how tumor cells communicate with each other and for the breakthrough discovery of transforming growth factor-beta. In 1995, he left NCI to become a Professor of Pharmacology and Medicine at Dartmouth Medical School (Hanover, New Hampshire), where he pioneered the design and development of synthetic triterpenoid drugs for the treatment of cancer and other chronic diseases. In 2016, he became an active Professor Emeritus at Dartmouth and in 2018, at the age of 85, he founded Triterpenoid Therapeutics, Inc. (Braintree, Massachusetts), which is actively working to commercially develop his final discoveries.
Michael Steinmetz (died July 30, 2022, at 70, after a boating accident) was the Director of the Division of Extramural Science Programs in the National Eye Institute (NEI). He came to NIH in 2003 as a Referral Officer and Scientific Review Officer for the central visual processing and the cognitive neuroscience study section in the Center for Scientific Review. He joined NEI in 2007 as Director of the Strabismus, Amblyopia, and Visual Processing Program. He was named Director of NEI’s Division of Extramural Science Programs in 2014 and was NEI Acting Deputy Director from 2017 to 2018.
Ji Ming Wang (died December 24, 2022, at 72), a Senior Investigator in the National Cancer Institute, joined NIH in 1990 and studied the role of chemoattractant receptors in infection, inflammation, immune responses, and cancer progression for over 30 years.
John Mayer Weiler (died September 7, 2022, at 77) practiced medicine in Wisconsin in the 1970s as a member of the U.S. Public Health Service Corps for his military commitment. After a serious house fire, the Weilers transferred to Washington, D.C., where he worked in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. He left to continue his medical residency at the University of Kansas Medical Center (Kansas City, Kansas) and later began his professional research program in the immunology research laboratory at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital at Harvard (Boston).
Robert P. Wersto (died November 16, 2022, at 68), a research scientist who held a Ph.D. in biochemistry and biophysics, had positions at the National Cancer Institute, at the National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute, and lastly at the National Institute on Aging, from which he retired five years ago as the Director of the Core Flow Cytometry Lab.
This page was last updated on Sunday, January 8, 2023