Bioethics Blogs

NIH Researchers Recognized for Service to America

Caption: Steve Rosenberg receiving his Sammie as 2015 Federal Employee of the Year.
Credit: Aaron Clamage/

It was a pleasure for me last night to attend the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals, also known as “the Sammies.” This Washington, D.C. event, now in its 12th year as the “Oscars of American government service,” was a big night for NIH. Steven Rosenberg, a highly regarded physician-scientist at NIH’s National Cancer Institute (NCI), took home the evening’s highest honor as the 2015 Federal Employee of the Year.

Also hearing their names called were NCI’s Jean Claude Zenklusen and Carolyn Hutter of NIH’s National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). They received the inaugural People’s Choice Award. It marks the highest vote-getter from the general public, which was invited to choose from among this year’s 30 finalists in eight award categories.

Jean Claude Zenklusen and Carolyn Hutter

Caption: Francis Collins presenting 2015 People’s Choice Award medals to Jean Claude Zenklusen and Carolyn Hutter.
Credit: Aaron Clamage/

The Sammies are the inspiration of the non-profit Partnership for Public Service. The Partnership teams with federal agencies and other stakeholders to inspire a new generation of civil servants and transform government, in part, through efficient management and high quality leadership. It’s in this spirit that the Partnership initiated the Sammies in 2002 to highlight the work of “feds” who make significant contributions to the health and well-being of Americans.

Prior to last night, the significant contributions of NIH staff already had produced Federal Employee of the Year honors an impressive three times in twelve years. In 2007, NCI scientists John Schiller and Doug Lowy—the latter now the acting institute director—shared the honor.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.