Thank You Iris
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MaryBanach - 20 Sep 2013 - 11:36
Please email Laura Lee Johnson for updates on Iris
Patient, gentle, calm, supportive, encouraging, knowledgeable, and professional are all words that describe Iris. I have known Iris for several years, ever since the old GCRC days. Iris faithfully attended our AGS meeting during the GCRC era, and after that faithfully attended the ACTS meetings and national BERD meetings. It was always a pleasure to see her and to speak with her. She has been a wonderful project officer, a strong advocate for CTSA biostatisticians and epidemiologists, and an enthusiastic promoter of the national BERD consortium. The combination of her personal and professional attributes endeared (and endears) her to us all.
Iris is a beacon of light and indefatigable champion of excellence in clinical and public health research. She is a shining example to epidemiologists, biostatisticians, clinical and public health researchers everywhere. Where Iris goes, the spark for transdisciplinary synergy flows. She is proof that still and gentle waters run far deeper than most of us lucky enough to encounter them ever consciously realize. To reflect on her career and accomplishments (adapted as follows from her bio) is humbling. Iris began her Public Health Service career over 20 years ago at the National Cancer Institute. Until 2001 she served as Associate Director for extramural cancer epidemiology, which included the cancer biostatistics and biometry grants program. From 2001 through 2005, she served as medical officer for population health and managed care measurement for US Coast Guard health services, in the Department of Homeland Security. Iris has made outstanding and steadfast contributions to the leadership of NCRR and NCATS at NIH. She has been elected to Alpha Omega Alpha, Phi Beta Kappa, and Delta Omega, and is a recipient of the NIH Merit Award, the Coast Guard Achievement and Commendation Medals, and the Public Health Service Achievement, Commendation, Outstanding and Meritorious Service Medals. She is a Fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine. Iris completed her undergraduate studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York and received her M.D. at Albany Medical College. She trained in residency at Eastern Virginia Medical School and then moved to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore for her Master of Public Health, residency in preventive medicine, and Ph.D. in epidemiology. Thank you, Iris!
Iris has been a wonderful liaison with the GCRC statisticians and now the CTSA statisticians. Her contributions to our annual meetings have been invaluable. During the transition from GCRC to CTSA, her insights were very helpful. Her knowledge of our discipline and her understanding of the workings of the government agencies helped us navigate more smoothly than if we had not had her input. Her gracious personality and professionalism, combined with her high level of competence, set her apart.
LeahWelty - 04 Dec 2012 - 09:13
Iris is not only a delight to work with, but a fantastic role model. I have always admired her ability to make incredibly brief, information packed, and helpful statements. She's calm, positive, and encouraging, but at the same time realistic. It's something I'm working on myself, and having such a great role model is inspiring. Many thanks, Iris.
LaBeckett - 03 Dec 2012 - 19:45
Iris has been awesome to work with, as others have said. She is a consummate professional, knowledgeable and committed to having us all do our best work for NIH and CTSA. Every time she makes a suggestion, it turns out to be a great idea - just the right thing to do.
She's also a joy to work with as a person. Not only is she calm and organized, as noted by others, but she has a great, gentle sense of humor, and she can make even the most frustrating challenges melt into a smile and assurance that we'll get through this together. Yes, we will!
XuR - 03 Dec 2012 - 17:19
I've known Iris since the old GCRC days, at one of the GCRC statisticians' meeting in conjunction with JSM. I remember talking to her about concerns over biostatistics at NCRR, as compared to NCI (where I used to be funded on). She made me feel that she's an officer that we can communicate with, and that she was very supportive.
MaryBanach - 03 Dec 2012 - 15:12
Iris Obrams is the greatest project officer that I have ever worked with. She is so incredibly patient and supportive. She sees what a project needs years before I myself see what the project needs. CTSpedia would not exist without Iris' mentoring and care.
Iris is the most generous person that I have met in my BERD work. She is always available to guide and encourage our activities. I have sent many investigations to Iris to discuss their grant applications and she has always provided excellent guidance.
From the very first BERD meeting onward, I think of Iris' calm and gentle manner as contributing to the positive tone of the BERD meetings. It is clear that Iris cares very much about BERD and about CTSpedia. She was a key player in helping to keep CTSpedia funded while the lead institution and funding mechanisms changed. I am very grateful for all that Iris has done and is doing for BERD, both behind the scenes and at our meetings. Thank you!
Iris has made a multitude of particular contributions to BERD over the years, including helping me doing a better job as chair of the group. On several occasions, Iris help me develop a sensible agenda for BERD consortium conference calls, and Iris took a mess of a face-to-face BERD agenda and edited the daylights out of it to morph it into a coherent and workable agenda that led to a very successful meeting.
Besides Iris' many tangible contributions to our national consortium, Iris goes much farther by showing us the very best side of the federal government. Iris cares deeply about the consortium and the improvements in the scientific process that the consortium is trying to make. She is not there just to see that government procedures are followed. Iris is the single best example I've witnessed during my career that the federal government can act intelligently and with energy.
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