NIH News Release
John E. Fogarty International Center
For Advanced Study in the Health Sciences

Wednesday, March 28, 2001

Jennifer Cabe or Irene Edwards
(301) 496-2075

Fogarty International Center Establishes Sheldon M. Wolff, M.D. Fellowship on International Health

National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md. — The new Sheldon M. Wolff, M.D. Fellowship on International Health provides opportunities for American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellows in the Science, Engineering, and Diplomacy Program to work at the Fogarty International Center (FIC) on program, policy, and planning initiatives. FIC initiated the fellowship in honor of the late Sheldon M. Wolff, M.D., a world leader in infectious disease research. In addition to his enormous contributions toward the understanding of fever, its causes, effects on the host, and role in infectious, inflammatory, and immunologic disorders, Wolff was also a strong advocate of international collaborations as a means to advance key research areas and improve human health. Throughout his career at NIH and later at Tufts University School of Medicine and New England Medical Center Hospital, Wolff trained many scientists from the United States and the developing world who went on to establish productive research careers. He also possessed enormous insight into the broad impact of infectious disease on societies, including the economic burdens, and was among the first to recognize the great toll HIV/AIDS would take on humanity.

Wolff began his distinguished career in 1960 in the Laboratory of Clinical Investigation at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). He subsequently became NIAID's clinical director, a post he held until 1977 when he left NIH to become professor and chairman of the Department of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine and Physician-in-Chief at the New England Medical Center Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.

"Shelly Wolff was an inspiring leader who strongly believed in nurturing the careers of others and in the role science can play in improving global health," said FIC Director Gerald T. Keusch, M.D. "Since these are the goals of the FIC at Dr. Wolff's beloved NIH, we are thrilled to name this fellowship in his honor."

Describing the new international health fellowship as a fitting part of her late husband's scientific legacy, Mrs. Lila Wolff said, "There is a quote by Mark Twain that I think describes perfectly how people remember Shelly: 'Praise is well, compliment is well, but affection — that is the last and most precious reward that any man can win, whether by character or achievement.' I know that anyone who had the opportunity to work with Shelly feels that affection because of his great achievements, and most particularly because of his character." She added, "Shelly displayed so much integrity in his work, and he had the courage to follow through in difficult times. He influenced science in many countries."

Rachel Nugent, Ph.D. is the first recipient of the Sheldon M. Wolff, M.D. Fellowship on International Health. An international economist by training, Nugent served most recently at the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization, where she developed analyses of global environmental policies. Prior to that, Nugent was a professor of economics at Pacific Lutheran University in Washington state. At FIC, she is working on economic issues related to health and environmental policy. She also serves as the Program Director for FIC's new grant program, International Studies on Health and Economic Development (ISHED), which is co-sponsored by FIC and the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Institute of Mental Health, the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, and the World Bank's Global Development Network. More information about the ISHED is available at

Information about AAAS Fellowships is available at

FIC is the international component of the NIH. FIC promotes and supports scientific discovery internationally to reduce disparities in global health. NIH is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Fact sheets, press releases, and other FIC-related materials are available at: