Return to NIEHS | Current Issue
Increase text size Decrease text size

Staff Recognized With NIH Director's Awards

By Robin Arnette
August 2010

Presenters and award winners: Birnbaum, Stone, Riley, and Collins.
Birnbaum and Collins congratulate two of the four NIEHS winners. From left to right: Birnbaum, Stone, Riley, and Collins. Adelman and Portier were unable to attend. (Photo courtesy of Michael Spencer)

NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., playing guitar.
Collins displays his musical talent and songwriting ability for the NIH audience. (Photo courtesy of Michael Spencer)

Karen Adelman, Ph.D.
In 2006, Adelman received a Rising Star Early Career Award at the annual NIEHS Science Day. When Collins visited NIEHS this year, he mentioned Adelman as a shining example of the talented young scientists working at the Institute. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Christopher Portier, Ph.D.
Portier has recently been named as director of the National Center for Environmental Health/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Ga. (see story ( He assumed his new post on August 1. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Each year the NIH holds an awards ceremony that recognizes employees who have performed exceptional work on behalf of the agency. On July 15, four NIEHS employees along with representatives from all of the other NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) joined NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., at the 2010 NIH Director's Awards Ceremony. The festivities took place at the Natcher Conference Center on the main campus in Bethesda, Md.

This external video is no longer available from the host source. We are corry for the inconvenience.

John Burklow, Associate Director of the Office of Communications and Public Liaison at NIH, served as the master of ceremonies and explained that the NIH Director's Awards "recognized superior performance or special effort significantly beyond regular duty requirements and related directly to fulfilling the mission of the NIH." As Collins presented the plaques, awardees were also congratulated by their individual IC Directors. NIEHS/NTP Director Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D., was on stage during the NIEHS portion of the event.

Awardees from NIEHS

  • Management Analyst Kent Stone received an administrative award for sustained excellence in providing essential administrative support for the NIEHS Division of Intramural Research, while serving in acting roles.
  • Administrative Officer Connie Riley won her administrative award for sustained excellence in providing essential administrative support for the NIEHS Division of Intramural Research, while serving in acting roles.
  • Karen Adelman, Ph.D., a principal investigator in the Laboratory of Molecular Carcinogenesis, was recognized in the Scientific/Medical category for her seminal work on the mechanism of RNA polymerase stalling, a regulatory process for rapid change in the transcriptional status of specific genes.
  • Senior Advisor Christopher Portier, Ph.D., also received a Scientific/Medical award for his outstanding vision and leadership of an interagency working group in creating a federal research needs report on climate change and health.

NIH Director provided entertainment

Before Collins handed out the plaques, he serenaded the audience with his guitar, using his own rendition of the folk song, "For All the Good People." The lyrics, modified to fit the occasion, praised not just the awardees, but all NIH'ers for their hard work and commitment.

He introduced the song by saying, "This is a song for all of the good people, and by this I mean all of you and all of the thousands of people who dedicate themselves everyday to the amazing mission of the NIH, to try to find the causes and, ultimately, the treatments, cures, and preventions for those diseases that affect too many."

"A Fitting Tribute to..." - previous story Previous story Next story next story - "Chromatin Remodeling and..."
August 2010 Cover Page

Back to top Back to top