Ruth Kirschstein, a trusted advisor and long-time administrator at the National Institutes of Health who helped develop and refine safety tests of viral vaccines for diseases such as rubella, measles, and polio, died last night (Oct. 6) after "battling a long illness," according to the NIH. In 1974, Kirschstein was the first woman to serve as director of an NIH institute -- the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)-- and served as acting NIH director on several occasions. She was 82.
"She was a very fine and strong role model for women," Anthony Fauci, the director of the NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a colleague of Kirschstein's, told The Scientist. "She assumed a leadership role, as director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, well before women in general were assuming leadership roles. I'll miss her not only...
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