T H E   N I H    C A T A L Y S T     J U L Y   -  A U G U S T   1999



The comings and goings, honors, and activities of people at NIH could fill a book every month. The NIH Catalyst takes note of appointments, awards, and life passages only every so often and without selection criteria.


The Wonder of Witkop

Bernhard Witkop

Scientist Emeritus Bernhard Witkop, who served as chief of the NIDDK (and formerly NIAMDD) Laboratory of Chemistry for 30 years until he stepped down in 1987—and who still maintains a base here as an NIH Scholar—has been elected to the American Philosophical Society. Others elected in this year’s Biological Sciences cohort include Harvard’s Judah Folkman and David Nathan, Berkeley’s Corey Goodman, and Pittsburgh transplantation surgeon Thomas Starzl. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma and artist Frank Stella were inducted in The Arts class. Benjamin Franklin started the Philosophical Society in 1743, and members have included George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Charles Darwin, and Louis Pasteur.


Among the Most Cited

Elaine Jaffe

NCI's Elaine Jaffe, Steven Rosenberg, and Joseph Fraumeni; NIAID's Tony Fauci; and retired NHLBI investigator Stephen Epstein, were listed among the 10 most-cited clinical investigators in their fields in the May/June issue of Science Watch. The Institute for Scientific Information survey spanned the years 1981 to 1998.

Jaffe, whose early NCI mentor Alan Rabson points out is the only woman on the list, is chief of the Hematopathology Section in the NCI Laboratory of Pathology and has developed a cell classification system used worldwide in the diagnosis and treatment of lymphoma and leukemia. Her work will be featured in an upcoming issue of The Catalyst.



The Company She Keeps

Susan Gottesman

In the old news but good news department, NCI’s Susan Gottesman was elected last month to the American Academy of the Arts and Sciences in record time from her first nomination. She was the only NIHer to be elected this year, and this Academy election follows her election to the National Academy of Sciences last year. Other biologists elected this year include Mary-Claire King, Eric Lander, Harvey Lodish, Michael Wigler, Louis Ignarro, Kim Nasmyth, and Martin Raff. Some nonbiologists who were elected this year include: Calvin Trillin, Jane Alexander, Robert Altman, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and Meryl Streep.


Battle for Funding

Constance Battle

Constance Urciolo Battle assumed the position of executive director of The Foundation of the NIH May 24, 1999, succeeding Anne Alexander.Battle comes to the Foundation with 30 years' experience directing complex organizations. As chief executive officer and medical director of the Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, D.C., she secured a $19 million construction and renovation project and a tenfold increase in hospital budget. She has headed international, national, and local professional associations and is a professor of pediatrics at George Washington University and Children's National Medical Center.

Battle emphasizes her intention to obtain support for NIH initiatives "for which government funding is not available."


Lipsky Returns to NIH

Renowned rheumatologist and immunologist Peter Lipsky of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas will be NIAMS new scientific director as of September l. Lipsky has been head of the Simmons Arthritis Research Center and the Rheumatology Division for the past 15 years. Early in his career Lipsky was a clinical associate in the NIAID Laboratory of Clinical Investigation. He also recently served as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Immunology.


Gordon Guroff, NICHD deputy scientific director and nerve growth factor guru, died in a car accident on vacation in New Hampshire. He’d spent the day—his birthday—fishing on a lake (and actually caught some fish) and surrounded by his beloved family. In the photo at left, taken in his NIH office in late 1997, he was talking about the postbaccalaureate program here and how he delighted in mentoring students and helping those few each year who are "bound to get lost" to find their way through the bureaucratic maze and their own career confusions.

July 9, 1933- July 9, 1999


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