Forty NIEHS staff were recognized Sept. 1 during the annual National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s Awards in Bethesda, Maryland.
The Director’s Awards honor outstanding support of the NIH mission in several main areas.
- Ruth L. Kirschstein Mentoring Award
- Common Fund Leadership Award
- Alan S. Rabson Award for Clinical Care
- Equality and Inclusion
- NIH Work/Life and Well-Being Champion Award
- PHS Commissioned Corps Awards
“These awards are truly a mark of distinction, signifying superior involvement and leadership in substantial projects,” said Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D., NIEHS and National Toxicology Program Director. “Congratulations to all the awardees and thank you for your exceptional efforts.”
Big results from a big year at NIEHS
NIEHS staff were recognized an impressive five times during the event, in multiple categories.
One of these came in the Equality and Inclusion category, where NIEHS senior scientist Trevor Archer, Ph.D., received the prestigious NIH Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Award of the Year. This award recognizes an outstanding NIH executive, supervisor, or manager who has made significant contributions in furthering equity, diversity and inclusion.
“I am humbled, as it’s always an honor to be recognized by one’s peers, especially in an area like equality and inclusion,” said Archer, who leads the NIEHS Epigenetics and Stem Cell Biology Laboratory. “The research field should always strive to be diverse and inclusive as we recruit the brightest and best. I’m so very proud that NIEHS is making that a priority.”
Elsewhere, officials from the NIEHS Worker Training Program (WTP) were honored in the Science and Medical category, for their work with the Ebola Biosafety Training Initiative. Developed in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and others, this initiative created an innovative safety training program for infectious disease responders during the 2014-15 national Ebola crisis.
“The work I’ve done with WTP has been among the most fulfilling of my 26 years at this institute,” said Kathy Ahlmark, NIEHS program analyst. “I honestly can’t imagine a more deserving group of partners with whom to receive such a prestigious award.”
Finally, NIEHS staff were recognized four times in the Administrative category. Among the honorees were members of the institute’s Workforce Relations Team, Administrative Services and Analysis Branch, and committee members that planned the 2016 yearlong 50th anniversary celebration.
“I’m immensely proud of my contribution to the 50th anniversary celebration, and of the impact our team had on the institute,” said Claire Long from the NIEHS Administrative Services and Analysis Branch. “It was exciting to see our work recognized at the NIH level, along with so many other inspiring accomplishments.”
An agency-wide affair
In all, 855 individuals from across NIH were recognized at this year’s Director’s Awards ceremony.
“NIH remains the global leader in biomedical research, and it achieves that because of contributions from people like we have here today,” said NIH Director Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D.
(Ian Thomas is a public affairs specialist with the NIEHS Office of Communications and Public Liaison, and a regular contributor to the Environmental Factor.)