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Retirement of NIDCD Director Dr. James B. Snow, Jr.

(Bethesda, MD) James B. Snow, Jr., M.D., the Director of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), one of the Institutes of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has announced that he will retire on September 15, 1997. Dr. Snow was appointed as the first Director of the NIDCD in February of 1990.

Dr. Snow has guided the institute through its formative years and brought research in human communication to the threshold of the new century having built a national infrastructure for research and research training in hearing, balance, smell, taste, voice, speech and language. His encouragement of molecular genetic research and the development of vaccines against otitis media, his establishment of support for nationwide clinical trial cooperative groups, and his leadership in establishing increased collaboration among federal agencies that have responsibilities in human communication are but a few of his major accomplishments.

Dr. Snow received his M.D. cum laude from Harvard Medical School and subsequently took his internship at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and his residency and research training in otolaryngology at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. Beginning in 1960, he served as a captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps for two years. He returned to his home state of Oklahoma and began work at the University of Oklahoma Medical Center where he rose to Professor and Head of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology.

In 1972, Dr. Snow moved to Philadelphia to become Professor and Chairman of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Human Communication at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He was the Medical Director of the Smell and Taste Research Center and the Speech and Hearing Center of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and served as the principal investigator of the University of Pennsylvania Smell and Taste Research Center.

Dr. Snow has authored more than 175 articles, books and abstracts on aspects of human communication research including studies on the blood flow in the inner ear, radiation therapy and surgery for cancer of the head and neck and on the chemical senses of smell and taste. He has received, among many prestigious honors, the Regents' Award for Superior Teaching from the University of Oklahoma and the Golden Award of the International Federation of Oto-Rhino-Laryngological Societies in 1985 and was elected to the Society of Scholars of the Johns Hopkins University in 1991. In 1993 he received the Distinguished Achievement Award of the Deafness Research Foundation. Dr. Snow was awarded the Senior Executive Service Presidential Meritorious Executive Rank Award for his Federal service in 1994.

He has served on the editorial boards of several journals and was the founding editor of the American Journal of Otolaryngology. Dr. Snow is a member of numerous professional societies including the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, the American Neurotology Society, the American Otological Society, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the Association for Chemoreceptive Sciences and the Association for Research in Otolaryngology. He has served on the Council on Scientific Affairs of the American Medical Association and as a Regent of the American College of Surgeons as well as a Director of the American Board of Otolaryngology.

Dr. Snow was president of the American Broncho-Esophagological Association, the Society of University Otolaryngologists-Head and Neck Surgeons, the Association of Academic Departments of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, and the American Laryngological Association. Prior to his tenure as Director of the NIDCD, Dr. Snow taught medical students and resident physicians and carried out research. His practice has dealt with the clinical problems of hearing impairment, dizziness, loss of the senses of smell and taste and the disorders of voice, speech and language.

A search committee for a new director for NIDCD is being established.

The NIDCD supports and conducts research and research training that will benefit 46 million Americans who are challenged by disorders of human communication.


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