Obituaries 2016

Former NIH scientists and other NIH-affiliated people who died in 2016.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand (died on October 13, 2016, at 88) was the world’s longest-serving modern monarch, ruling for seven decades. He visited NIH on June 30, 1960, to dedicate the new building for the Division of Biologic Standards, Building 29. He was invited to participate in the dedication ceremonies because of his active role in health measures in his own country as well as in the NIH Cholera Research Project.

Cornelius B. Alexander (died on April 20, 2016, at 84) was a research microbiologist at NIAID for 40 years until his retirement in 2007. He contributed to work on genetics of antibodies, first in mice and then in rabbits, in the molecular immunogenetics section of NIAID’s Laboratory of Immunology.

Carolyn Bondy (died on September 14, 2016, at 71) was chief of the NICHD Developmental Endocrinology Branch until her retirement in 2012, when she was appointed scientist emerita. Her early work concerned insulin-like growth factors in brain development and reproduction. Later she changed gears to investigate how sex-chromosome genes contribute to normal human development and gender-based differences in susceptibility to congenital heart, autoimmune, and coronary diseases. This led to her pioneering work in monosomy X, also called Turner syndrome, in which a female is partially or completely missing the X chromosome; upward of half of women with this condition have congenital cardiovascular defects. Her research led to many revelations of the roles that sex chromosomes play in numerous chronic diseases.

Lisa Christine Bowes (died on July 9, 2016, at 47) worked as a research librarian at NLM.

Roscoe Owen Brady (died on June 13, 2016, at 92), who worked at NH from 1954 to 2006, was a scientist emeritus and retired chief of NINDS’s Developmental and Metabolic Neurology Branch. For more than 50 years, he conducted research on hereditary metabolic storage diseases, also called lipid or lysosomal storage disorders, such as Gaucher disease, Niemann-Pick disease, Fabry disease, and Tay-Sachs disease. He and his research team developed diagnostic tests, carrier-identification procedures, and methods for prenatal detection of these disorders that provided the basis for genetic counseling to at-risk families. In 1991, his team established the first effective treatment—enzyme replacement therapy—for Gaucher disease.

Robert Lewis “Bob” Bruun (died on June 11, 2016, at 73), a former NIAMS executive officer, served for more than 22 years as a commissioned officer in the Public Health Service (PHS). Before joining NIH in 1983, he worked as a manager at PHS hospitals in Baltimore and Nassau Bay, Texas.

Charles Delmus Butler (died on June 13, 2016, at 81) worked as a recreation therapist for 30 years in the Clinical Center’s Rehabilitation Medicine Department until his retirement 2006.

Claire M. Callahan (died on February 11, 2016, at 88) worked at NIAAA in a collaborative program with NIDA, overseeing the development of curricula to educate primary-care physicians, nurses, psychologists, social workers, and other health-care professionals to prevent and treat addiction.

Laurence P. Clarke (died on April 16, 2016, at 72) was chief of the Image Technology Development Branch in NCI’s Cancer Imaging Program. He was a leader in medical-imaging technology for cancer and championed the advancement of bringing quantitative imaging into clinical trials. He came to NIH in 1999. He established several NCI programs and research networks for the development and validation of quantitative imaging methods for current and next-generation imaging platforms that support multicenter clinical trials and preclinical research.

Gregory Curt (died on July 31, 2016, at 64), a noted cancer researcher, did research on high-grade gliomas, drug resistance in cancer cells, and fatigue in cancer patients. He came to the NCI in 1980 as a medical oncology fellow; later served as deputy director of the NCI Division of Cancer Treatment; was appointed NCI clinical director in 1989; and left NIH in 2002 for AstraZeneca Oncology, where he served as senior director and alliance manager for the NIH.

David R. Davies (died on September 1, 2016, at 89) was widely considered to be one of the greatest innovators in the field of X-ray crystallography. Among the first to structurally characterize nucleotides and important classes of proteins such as antibodies and toll-like receptors, he was intricately connected with some of the most significant scientific discoveries to arise from the NIH campus. His structural identifications served as a platform for Nobel Laureate Marshall Nirenberg’s cracking of the genetic code and Lasker winner Michael Potter’s contributions to the development of monoclonal antibodies, among other great advances. Davies came to NIH in 1955, later became chief of the Section on Molecular Structure in NIDDK’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology, retired in 2012, and became scientist emeritus.

Catalina Ramos Delgado (died on December 19, 2016, at 58) came to NIH in 2003 as a staff nurse and subsequently became a research nurse for NHLBI specializing in oncology-hematology where she worked for the next decade.

Harry Michael Doukas (died on January 3, 2016, at 96) retired from NIH’s Division of Research Grants after more than 30 years in government service (Department of Defense/Chemical Corps, National Science Foundation, and NIH). He then went to Georgetown University School of Medicine (Washington, D.C.), where he spent 16 years as associate dean for research.

David Alexander Drachman (died on December 5, 2016, at 84) led pioneering work to define the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer disease, and he also developed a revolutionary strategy for treating Alzheimer disease, which is in the final phase of development. He did some of his residency training in internal medicine at the NIH Clinical Center in the 1950s.

Dale Birkle Dreer (died on March 12, 2016, at 60), who came to NIH in 2001 from academia, was chief of NCCIH’s Office of Scientific Review. His scientific expertise was on brain structure and function, particularly the consequences of exposure to drugs and environmental insults.

Robert L. Eskay (died on August 13, 2016, at 72) worked at NIH (mostly in NIAAA, but also as a staff fellow in NIMH) as a research scientist from 1976 until his retirement in 2014. He was the former chief of NIAAA’s Section on Neurochemistry. He studied the role of hypothalamic hypophysiotropic hormones on pituitary function as well as the extrahypothalamic distribution and synthesis of hypothalamic hormones throughout the brain. He made several key discoveries related to the important relationship between ethanol and endocrine regulation, notably of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.

Robert Westcott “Dr. Bob” Frelick (died on September 1, 2016, at 96) left private practice in 1982 and became program director for NCI’s Community Clinical Oncology Program. He helped establish the Association of Community Cancer Centers, which facilitated community hospitals’ use of proven protocols for treating various forms of cancer and thereby allowing cancer patients to stay closer to home. He left NCI in 1987 to take on other challenges.

Mark Flanders Gourley (died on September 17, 2016, at 58) was the director of the NIAMS Rheumatology Fellowship and Training Branch until his retirement in 2013. His experience at NIH began when he was a medical student (at Tulane University Medical School in New Orleans) and did a nine-week immunology rotation. In 1988 he returned to NIH as an NIAMS rheumatology fellow, eventually conducting the landmark study that established cyclophosphamide as the standard of care in the treatment of lupus nephritis. In 1996, he left the NIH to establish the first lupus clinic in Washington, D.C. He returned in 2002, this time to NIEHS, as a clinical investigator and focused on environmental causes of autoimmune diseases. Then, in 2007, he returned to NIAMS to serve as director of the Rheumatology Fellowship Program and to oversee clinical care at the NIAMS Community Health Center.

Gerald “Jerry” Hecht (died on November 24, 2016, at 88) was a photographer at the NIH from 1959 to 1987, who documented many of the seminal moments in health care during the 1960s and 1970s. His photographs documenting the visual history of NIH raised its profile during the NIH Director James Shannon era (1955–1968) of health care, when the fields of heart surgery and biomedical research were growing. Many of his photographs were displayed in science journals and newspaper articles about NIH research advances.

Kuo-Ping “K.P.” Huang (died on February 29, 2016, at 74) was a scientist emeritus and a long-time biomedical researcher. He served as the chief of NICHD’s Section on Metabolic Regulation from 1984 until his retirement in 2014. In his four decades at NIH, he made several major contributions to the understanding of brain function, cell signaling, and the body’s control of metabolism. His early research began with studies of the metabolism of glycogen. His later research focused on neuroscience and his identification of neurogranin, a relatively obscure molecule at the time. He showed that in mice, neurogranin is essential for normal cognition and behavioral well-being. Dysfunction of neurogranin has been linked to Alzheimer disease, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and likely attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Ostler H. Laster (died on April 4, 2016, at 90), who spent more than 40 years at NIH, came to NCI in 1972 as a training officer and in the early 1990s, became a diversity program manager in the Office of Equal Opportunity in the Office of the NIH Director. He also served on the NIH child-development committee that was responsible for implementing plans for the first NIH day-care center.

Heinrich Malling (died on May 23, 2016, at 85) was a genetic toxicologist who advanced the field with many discoveries, including his work on alternative models for the study of mammalian mutagenesis. He was one of the first to investigate in vitro methods for converting potentially mutagenic chemicals to their metabolically active forms. He worked at NIEHS for 32 years and retired in 2004 as head of its Mammalian Mutagenesis Group.

Vincent Manganiello (died on January 10, 2016, at 76) joined NHLBI in 1968 and later became chief of the Laboratory of Biochemical Physiology. He studied cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases (PDEs) and showed regulatory roles for PDE3A in fertility, platelet aggregation, myocardial contractility, and vascular tone. PDE3B was shown to control energy homeostasis, especially effects of insulin on fat and glucose metabolism. Results of his studies suggest potential new avenues for PDE-directed therapies in pulmonary diseases.

Paul Nettesheim (died on January 16, 2016, at 82), a pulmonary biologist who came to NIEHS in 1977, was a former senior science advisor and head of the Laboratory of Pulmonary Pathobiology. He made seminal contributions to the understanding of the adverse effects of environmental agents on the respiratory system, particularly abnormal growth in the airways induced by carcinogens, as well as the process of differentiation of airway epithelial cells. He developed new experimental models for studying cell behavior that enabled better assessment of environmental risks to health and supported the development of novel therapies.

Robert Nussenblatt (died on April 17, 2016, at 67) was chief of NEI’s Laboratory of Immunology and served as NEI scientific director through most of the 1990s. He arrived at the NIH as a clinical associate in 1977 and, for nearly four decades, was the embodiment of translational research, using knowledge gleaned from his passionate clinical practice to inform basic research and develop therapies to be tested back in the clinic. He was the first to take the approach of using an immunosuppressant compound for uveitis, the inflammation of the uvea and surrounding areas in the eye. Although many at the time thought it was unlikely to be effective, cyclosporine has become a standard treatment for uveitis. In more recent work, he demonstrated the effectiveness of daclizumab, another immunosuppressive agent, for the treatment of uveitis. His protocol for the use of daclizumab has subsequently been adapted for treatment of multiple sclerosis. He also made major contributions to the development of treatments for AIDS-related eye disease and, quite recently, the immunological aspects of age-related macular degeneration.

Donald Dennis Price (died on September 7, 2016, at 74), a scientist at NIDCR from 1974 to 1979, combined the disciplines of neurophysiology, psychology, and experiential science in an effort to connect the neurophysiological mechanisms and psychological experience of pain.

Richard Hudson Quarles (died on August 9, 2016, at 77) was an internationally renowned neuroscientist, who retired in 2007 after 39 years at NINDS. His research was on the myelin-associated glycoproteins (MAG); he was the first to identify a glycoprotein known as P0 as the major protein of peripheral myelin. His laboratory produced the first antisera to MAG.

George Frederick Russell, Jr. (died on March 20, 2016, at 85) worked more than 30 years at NIH, retiring as the Director of Management Policy. He was involved in the planning for the Children’s Inn.

Alexis Shelokov (died on December 16, 2016, at 97) brought some of the first tissue-culture techniques to NIAID where he worked with the polio virus starting in 1950. He introduced the roller-tube technique, which involved growing a monolayer of cells in nutrient media–filled tubes in a rotating drum. He was chief of NIAID’s Laboratory of Tropical Virology in the 1950s and 1960s until he moved to Panama to set up the Middle America Research Institute as part of the U.S. Public Health Service.

Thressa “Terry” Stadtman (died on December 11, 2016, at 96), who retired from NIH in 2009, was a senior investigator and former chief of the Section on Intermediary Metabolism and Bioenergetics in the NHLBI Laboratory of Biochemistry. She made seminal discoveries on the role of vitamin B12 and the physiological functions of selenium and selenocysteine, the latter an amino acid she discovered. In a career spanning nearly 60 years, she became known as the “mother of selenium biochemistry”; she demonstrated that selenium is an essential constituent of several enzymes in prokaryotes. She and her husband, Earl Stadtman, were one of the first husband-and-wife scientist pairs at the NIH, arriving in 1950. Earl Stadtman, who died in 2008, was a renowned NIH biochemist and mentor to two Nobel laureates and many elected members of the National Academy of Sciences.

Glennwood Trivers (died on September 26, 2016, at 82) was a research biologist in NCI’s Laboratory of Human Carcinogenesis from 1956 until his retirement in 2013.

Joy Ann Williams (died on November 18, 2016, at 55) was a staff scientist in NCI who helped advance the understanding of the biology of thymic development and the cross-talk between thymic epithelium and the developing T-cell repertoire.

Robert Emerson Windom (died on October 21, 2016, at 86) served as the United States Assistant Secretary for Health and Human Services under President Ronald Reagan from 1986 to 1989.

Barbara Evelyn Wright (died on June 23, 2016, at 90), a microbiologist at the National Institutes of Health (1953–1961), was a pioneer in sports kayaking.