OBITUARIES 2013

R. Wayne Albers (died on September 28, 2013, at age 85) was a world-recognized neuroscientist most noted for his research in the field of membrane cation transport and neuronal excitability in the nervous system. He was a scientist emeritus and former chief of the Section on Enzyme Chemistry in the NINDS Laboratory of Neurochemistry. He came to NIH in 1954. Albers also was one of the founding co-editors of the comprehensive text Basic Neurochemistry: Molecular, Cellular and Medical Aspects, first published in 1972, continuing as co-editor for eight editions, the latest published in 2012. 

Lynne Angerer (died on March 30, 2013, at age 68) was chief of NIDCR’s developmental mechanisms section and a world-renowned expert in the field of developmental biology. Using sea urchins, she unraveled the core regulatory processes that direct the early development of animal embryos. She led her NIDCR lab to numerous pioneering discoveries including the revelation that some neurons are of a unique tissue origin, differentiating de novo from cells in the gut; this finding was a challenge to the prevailing dogma that nerves develop only from another embryonic tissue. Her group also found numerous unexpected complex regulatory interactions that are required to prevent most cells of the embryo from becoming neural stem cells (Wnt signaling). One of Angerer’s major scientific accomplishments was the microarray she helped develop from the newly obtained sea urchin genome sequence, an important tool for genome-wide screens to identify genes and signaling molecules involved in early embryonic development. Her husband and long-term scientific collaborator is NIDCR Scientific Director Bob Angerer.

Roy A.E. Bakay (died on September 5, 2013, at age 64), an award-winning physician, was a leading authority on Parkinson disease and in the efforts to develop surgery to ease the associated tremors. After his residency in neurological surgery, he did a fellowship at NIH in neuroplasticity (1981–1982). He later held positions at Emory University School of Medicine (Atlanta) and Rush University Medical Center (Chicago).

Joanne Hebb Belk (died on March 4, 2013, at age 89) who directed NIH’s compliance with the Freedom of Information Act for many years. In 1967, she joined the staff of Science magazine as an editor, received her paralegal certification from George Washington University in 1975, and, in 1977, began a 22-year career at NIH as acting director of the FOIA Office, part of the Office of Communications and Public Liaison. She retired from NIH in 1998.

Costan W. Berard (died on January 5, 2013, at age 80) was a pathologist who came to NCI in 1963. As chief of the hematopathology section (1970–1980), he established close collaborations with colleagues who revolutionized the treatment of malignant lymphoma and Hodgkin disease. He also assembled a team of younger pathologists who pursued translational studies of malignant lymphomas using many advances from the basic sciences. From 1980 to 1997, Berard was chairman of the department of pathology and laboratory medicine at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (Memphis).

John “Jack” Bieri (died on July 30, 2013, at age 93) was a former NIDDK biochemist. From 1955 until his retirement in 1983, he served as head of the nutritional biochemistry section in NIDDK’s Laboratory of Nutrition and Endocrinology. His research focused on metabolism of vitamins A and E and essential fatty acids. He also developed the NIH standard diet for laboratory rodents.

George F. Borge (died on August 7, 2013, at age 75) was a psychiatrist who navigated bureaucracy to treat veterans. He did his general medical internship with the United States Public Health Service in Seattle and completed his psychiatry residency at the now-closed Michael Reese Hospital (Chicago). His last stop in the federal public-health service was as a staff psychiatrist at NIMH, where he developed his interest in treating alcoholism and depression. He returned to Chicago in 1969 and later served as chief of the psychiatry service (1976–1999) at Edward Hines Jr. V.A. Hospital outside Chicago.

Otis R. Bowen (died May 4, 2013, at age 95) was a small-town doctor who served two terms as governor of Indiana and later led efforts to respond to the AIDS crisis as the first physician to head the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (1985–1989). Along with his deputy, Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, who died in February, Bowen led public education efforts about human immunodeficiency virus and AIDS and sent pamphlets about how to avoid contracting the virus to more than 100 million households nationwide.

Thomas P. Cameron (died on November 28, 2013, at age 87) was a veterinarian who later became a captain in the U.S. Public Health Service and an official at NIH. He came to the Washington, D.C., area in 1957 and had a small-animal veterinary practice in Camp Springs, Md., before joining the Public Health Service in 1963. At the time of his retirement in 1993, he was assistant coordinator of NCI’s environmental carcinogenicity program.

Sheldon Cohen (died March 26, 2013, at age 94) was a noted extramural scientist at NIAID, physician, and medical historian. Cohen joined NIH in 1972 as a training consultant to NIAID. The following year, he became chief of the Allergy and Immunology Branch, and in 1977, he was selected for the newly created position of director of the institute’s Immunology, Allergic, and Immunologic Disease Program (1977–1988). After completing his tenure as director of the program, he continued to work at NIH as a scientific advisor at NIAID and as a visiting scholar at the History of Medicine Division at the National Library of Medicine.

Ricardo V. “Rick” Dreyfuss (died March 14, 2013, at age 58) was a photomicroscopist with 33 years of experience in creating images that illustrated the most complex biomedical research results, processes, and procedures. He worked for more than 25 years—until his death—in the Division of Medical Arts, Office of Research Services. He used microscopes and fluorescent dyes to take magnified photographs of cells and organisms invisible to the naked eye. His photomicrographs graced the covers of countless scientific journals.

Juliana D. Franz (died on May 24, 2013, at age 84), who practiced psychiatry in Maryland for more than 50 years, worked as a medical officer and psychiatrist at NIMH (1953–1970).

Emil Frei III (died on April 30, 2013, at age 89) was an oncologist who was one of the first to use combination chemotherapy to treat cancer. He was at NCI for 10 years in the 1950s and 1960s, where he did his seminal work on chemotherapy for which he subsequently won a Lasker award in 1972. A clinician, researcher, and administrator, Frei held senior leadership positions at three prominent cancer centers: NCI; the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center (Houston); and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (Boston). At his death, Dr. Frei was the emeritus director and emeritus physician-in-chief of Dana-Farber.

Norman D. Gary (died on Feb. 8, 2013, at age 90) was a former chief of special review at NIH’s Division of Research Grants from 1971 to 1978.

Jacquelyn Gentry (died on March 26, 2013, at age 76) worked for 22 years at NIMH, where she had served as chief of the science communication and mental-health education branches. Later she spent 13 years with the American Psychological Association and retired in 2002 as director of its public interest initiatives.

Audrey Georges (died on March 6, 2013, at age 76) retired in 2009 as administrative lab manager at NEI after a 17-year career at NIH.

John Gergely (died on July 26, 2013, at age 94), a biochemist, was renowned for his pioneering research in muscle biochemistry and was co-founder of the Boston Biomedical Research Institute (1968). His early research helped reveal key details about troponin, a complex of three proteins found in cardiac and skeletal muscles. The research showed that elevated concentrations of the protein were often a sign of an imminent heart attack, which led to more rapid detection. He spent a year at NIH (1949–1950) and then spent most of his career in Boston.

Ronald Herberman (died June 2, 2013, at age 72) worked at NIH (1966–1985) in such programs as biological-response modifiers, biological therapeutics, the laboratory of immunodiagnosis, and various immunology programs. He was a senior investigator in NCI’s immunology branch (1960s), where he organized a research program related to tumor and cellular immunology. In 1971, he became head of a newly established cellular and tumor immunology section in NCI's Laboratory of Cell Biology, where he oversaw research on cell-mediated immune responses to tumors. His lab discovered a new category of lymphocytes, now called natural killer (NK) cells. Later he studied the role of NK cells in resistance to cancer growth. In 1975, he was made chief of NCI's new Laboratory of Immunodiagnosis. He left NIH in 1985 to become the founding director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.

Leonard Herzenberg (died on October 27, 2013, at age 81), a professor at Stanford University, was honored with the Kyoto Prize (the Japanese equivalent of the Nobel Prize) in 2006 for his role in the development of the first fluorescence-activated cell sorter (Flourescence-Activated Cell Sorter or FACS). He was a U.S. Public Health Service officer at NIH from 1957 to 1959.

Jean Hickman (died on August 26, 2013, at age 89), who led the way for many female scientists, retired in 2008 after 57 years of service to NIH. She spent more than 30 years as a bench scientist (1951–1984) in the Laboratory of Physical Biology in the National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases. After the institute split into NIDDK and NIAMS, she moved to the NIAMS Extramural Program. She became a scientific review officer in the Center for Scientific Review’s tropical medicine and parasitology study section and worked until she was well into her 80s.

Daniel Hommer (died on January 2, 2013, at age 64) had been chief of NIAAA’s section on brain electrophysiology and imaging since 1992, his second tenure working at NIH. He studied how the brain responds under the influence of alcohol and was world-renowned for his discoveries on structural and functional differences in brains of alcoholic and nonalcoholic individuals. From 1982 to 1987, he was co-director of the electrophysiology unit of NIMH’s Clinical Neuroscience Branch.

Peter Huttenlocher (died August 15, 2013, at age 82), a University of Chicago neuroscientist and pediatric neurologist, conducted research that changed the way scientists and educators viewed developing brains. Beginning in the late 1970s, his innovative approach to counting billions of synapses in the brain led to the discovery that brain-cell connections proliferate rapidly during an infant’s first year and then undergo progressive “pruning” throughout life. His career was kick-started when he took a clinical associate position at NIMH (1957–1958). He worked at Harvard and Yale, and in 1974, he moved to the University of Chicago, where he spent the rest of his career.

Juan-Teh Jeang (died on January 27, 2013, at age 54) was a researcher at NIAID’s Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology. He studied the factors that influenced the spread of retroviruses such as human immunodeficient virus and human T-lymphotropic virus, which is known to cause leukemia and lymphoma. He was a strong proponent of open-access publishing, and in 2004 he co-founded the journal Retrovirology, which became the highest ranked journal in the field. He did postdoctoral work in NCI. (See NIH Catalyst article on his death: https://irp.nih.gov/catalyst/v21i2/obituaries-kuan-teh-jeang)

C. Everett Koop (died on February 25, 2013, at age 96), a pediatric surgeon, was America’s best-known surgeon general (1982–1989) for his public-health campaigns against smoking, domestic violence, and preventable accidents. He also helped to educate the public about the dangers posed by AIDS, an emerging disease in the 1980s, by distributing information booklets directly to 107 million households.

Edward J. Leonard (died on December 28, 2013, at age 87) was one of the original clinical fellows at NIH (1950s). He retired after a 49-year career at NIH when he was director of the Immunopathology Section in NCI’s Laboratory of Immunobiology. Among his major accomplishments was the identification of macrophages, neutrophils, and their chemoattractant factors.

Carol H. Letendre (died on August 22, 2013, at age 75), a biochemist and a former deputy director of NHLBI’s Division of Blood Diseases and Resources, spent 32 years at NIH, 20 of them at NHLBI. She helped guide research that led to such advances as an understanding of the role of blood clots in heart attacks, a national blood-safety program, and new developments in the management of hemophilia and sickle-cell disease. Early in her NIH career, she was a research chemist in NICHD’s Laboratory of Biomedical Sciences. She retired from NIH in 2001.

W. Chadwick “Chad” Leyshon (died on May 20, 2013, at age 87) began his NIH career in 1954 as a medical technician at the Clinical Center. He later worked as a biologist in the human genetics branch and the laboratory of developmental biology and anomalies at the National Institute of Dental Research (now NIDCR). He retired in 1987.

Lewis “Lew” E. Lipkin (died on September 24, 2013, at age 87), a neuropathologist, was head of the Imaging Processing Section in the National Institute of Neurological Disease and Blindness (now NINDS) and later head of NCI’s Imaging Processing Section. He was a pioneer in developing and integrating computer hardware and software to analyze microscopic images of biomedical material. He used the accuracy of digital positioning, which allowed him to treat a slide as a two-dimensional matrix in which every point had a unique address that could be recorded. In the 1970s, he conceived of and initiated the real-time picture processor, one of the first special-purpose hardware computers developed for gray-scale image processing and designed to aid in biological image analysis. He began working at NIH in 1962 and retired in 1994.

Walter Magruder (died on November 28, 2013, at age 98) retired from the federal government in 1974 after 40 years of service. His career spanned many agencies, from the National Recovery Administration, the War Department’s Army Engineers, and the Atomic Energy Commission, to the National Institutes of Health—with the National Microbiological Institute (now NIAID), NCI, and NIAMS.

Stephen Malawista (died on September 18, 2013, at age 79) was an infectious-disease researcher who orchestrated the detective work that in the mid-1970s led to the discovery of Lyme disease. A team led by Malawista, as chief of rheumatology at the Yale School of Medicine (New Haven, Conn.), is widely credited with defining the ailment. Malawista spent two years as a clinical associate at the then National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases (1960–1962). He joined the Yale faculty in 1966 and was chief of rheumatology there for 21 years.

Robert L. Martensen (died on September 26, 2013, at age 66) directed the Office of NIH History (ONH) from 2007 until his retirement in 2012. Martensen came to NIH with a unique background: He had been a physician in emergency rooms and intensive-care units and a professor at Harvard Medical School (Boston) and Tulane University (New Orleans). As a professor, he taught both bioethics and medical history. After Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, he left Louisiana for NIH. As the second director of ONH, he expanded the Stetten fellow research program, which brings in postdocs in medical history to work on topics in specific institutes. Martensen was particularly concerned with mentoring the next generation of medical historians and worked closely with the fellows to develop their research topics, skills, and output. He also built up the office by adding an archivist and exhibit designer to the staff.

Nancy K. Mello (died on November 25, 2013, at age 78), who became a leading researcher in the field of substance abuse, directed a research program at NIMH’s National Center for Prevention and Control of Alcoholism. In 1974, she and her husband, Jack H. Mendelson, co-founded the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Center at McLean Hospital (Belmont, Mass.). In 1980, they published groundbreaking findings (in Science) in which they used the painkiller buprenorphine to treat heroin addicts. Eventually buprenorphine received FDA approval for treatment of opioid dependence. Mello and her husband also wrote Alcohol Use and Abuse in America (1985), in which they traced the history of alcoholism in the United States since colonial times and examined the issue from a variety of angles.

Helen F. Michaelian (died on November 28, 2013, at age 85), who worked for more than two decades as a registered nurse in the Washington, D.C., area, including at NIH’s psychiatric unit for boys. She retired from Holy Cross Hospital (Silver Spring, Md.) in the late 1980s.

John Milner (died on December 31, 2013, at age 66), well known for his broad understanding of nutrition and its role in cancer prevention, was chief of the Nutritional Science Research Group in NCI’s Division of Cancer Prevention (1999–2012). After leaving NIH, he became the director and senior scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Human Nutrition Center (Beltsville, Md.).

Peter T. Mora (died January 11, 2013, at age 88) conducted research for about 25 years at NCI and helped develop protease inhibitors, drugs used to help prolong the lives of AIDS patients. Mora, who arrived at NCI in the late 1950s, retired in the mid-1980s as a supervisor in cancer research in NCI’s macromolecular biology section. In the 1960s, he and other NCI researchers gained national attention for their work on the motility and binding properties of bacteriophage and other viruses. In the early 1970s, he participated with an NINDS lab in discovering a biochemical defect in cells that had been transformed by DNA viruses into cancer cells. This was the first finding of a specific biochemical change associated with cell transformation by tumorigenic viruses. He was named scientist emeritus in 1990.

Candace B. Pert (died on September 12, 2013, at age 67) was a neuroscientist and pharmacologist who, while in graduate school, helped to discover the opiate receptor, the cellular binding site for endorphins in the brain. She held several research positions at NIMH (1975–1987), culminating as chief of the Section on Brain Biochemistry. She was among the first female section chiefs at NIH. She led the team that discovered peptide T, a chemical possibly capable of impeding the HIV virus. In 1987, she left NIH to form her own biotech company with her husband, immunologist-virologist Michael Ruff.

Robert Neil Philip (died on January 30, 2013, at age 89) a former NIAID epidemiologist, served for more than 30 years in the Public Health Service, including appointments at NIH in Bethesda (1949–1956) and at NIAID’s Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML) in Hamilton, Mont. (1960–1982), serving as assistant RML director (1965–1979). Philip was recognized internationally for his contributions to the diagnosis and control of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, a bacterial disease spread by ticks. After retirement, Philip continued his passion for research. In 2000, he published Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in Western Montana: Anatomy of a Pestilence. The book remains among the best accounts of the early days of infectious disease research in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley and of the establishment of Rocky Mountain Laboratories. Philip’s father, Cornelius B. Philip, had also worked at RML (1930–1970) and was its director from 1962 to 1964.

Michael Potter (died on June 18, 2013, at age 89) was a scientist at NCI whose research led to greater understanding of tumors and the immune system. He won the Lasker award in 1984 for his fundamental research into the genetics of immunoglobulin molecules, paving the way for the development of hybridomas. Potter joined NCI in 1954 and worked there for more than 50 years. He was a principal investigator in NCI’s Laboratory of Cell Biology and was chief of the Laboratory of Genetics (1982–2003). He remained affiliated with NCI until his death.

Milton Puziss (died on October 9, 2013, at age 93) was a microbiologist who helped develop the first human vaccine against anthrax in the United States. Puziss was working for the Army Department at Fort Detrick, Md., when he developed an anthrax vaccine in the late 1950s with another scientist. After 17 years with the Army Department, Puziss joined NIAID in 1968. He conducted research on Legionnaires’ disease and other bacterial and fungal diseases. He retired as chief of the NIAID bacteriology and virology branch in 1986.

Sonia I. Skarlatos (died on August 6, 2013, at age 59) was deputy director of the NHLBI Division of Cardiovascular Sciences. During her 20-year career with NHLBI, Skarlatos became a distinguished national and international leader in vascular science. She helped develop several gene- and cell-therapy programs and was one of NIH’s most respected leaders in advancing an agenda to support translational research. Skarlatos’s husband is Howard Kruth, a senior investigator in NHLBI.

James H. Steele (died on November 10, 2013, at age 100) was a veterinary scientist with the Planned Veterinary Public Health Program in Washington, D.C., in the 1940s. He later became Chief Veterinary Officer and advisor to the surgeon general on all matters involving veterinary medicine and veterinary public health. In 1968, Steele became the first Assistant Surgeon General for Veterinary Affairs with the U.S. Public Health Service, where he remained until 1971. He was later appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health and Human Services and went on to become a professor of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Texas School of Public Health (Houston) from 1971 until 1983, when he became a professor emeritus.

John L. Swanson (died on July 8, 2013, at age 76) helped revitalize NIAID’s Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML) by championing the latest tools and methods in microbiological investigation in the 1980s. He came to RML in 1979 and started internationally recognized research programs on the bacteria that cause gonorrhea, chlamydia, and Lyme disease. He served as chief of RML’s former Laboratory of Microbial Structure and Function (1979–1997) and retired in 2001.

Barbara Terry-Koroma (died on January 23, 2013, at age 56) was a fellow in NCI from 1992 to 1997. Then she joined the Congressionally Mandated Medical Research Program (CDMRP) and served as a program manager on many military relevant 
medical research and minority-focused programs.

Rodney Ulane (died on March 7, 2013, at age 69) was a NIH microbiologist and director of scientific programs at the Office of Extramural Research and spent a total of 24 years at NIH. He held various positions beginning in 1971 including in what is now NIAMS, NICHD, Center for Scientific Research, and NIGMS. In 1991, he became an associate dean at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (Dallas) and ran the M.D.-Ph.D. program; in 2004 he left to run a similar program at New York University School of Medicine. He returned to NIH in 2009 and served as the director of the Division of Scientific Programs in the Office of Extramural Programs.

J. Paul Van Nevel (died on August 4, 2013, at age 75) came to NCI as communications director in 1973. He initiated many government health-information practices that are ubiquitous today, including toll-free information hotlines and pamphlets delivering the latest scientific findings in everyday language.

Charles L. Williams, Jr. (died on January 5, 2013, at age 96), represented the United States at international health conferences and was a director of international research at NIH. After 26 years in the U.S. Public Health Service, Williams became deputy director of the Pan American Health Organization, a branch of the World Health Organization, in 1967. In 1979, he became executive vice president of the American Association for World Health, a former WHO-supported organization. He retired in 1980.