As the director of NIGMS from 1974 to 1993, Ruth L. Kirschstein molded the Institute’s agenda for basic science, research training and promoting diversity. She also set a tone for the Institute that remains to this day. After leaving NIGMS, Ruth went on to serve as the deputy director of NIH, and, for two periods, she was NIH’s acting director.
From the time she recruited me to NIGMS in 1981 until her death in 2009, Ruth was also my mentor and friend, as she was to many others who worked for or interacted with her.
A new biography by science writer Alison Davis, Always There: The Remarkable Life of Ruth Lillian Kirschstein, M.D., tells the inspiring story of a scientist, physician, administrator, leader, humanitarian, classical pianist, lover of music and art, and devoted wife and mother. This amazing, multitasking woman really was “always there.”
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in reading about an extraordinary woman and her dedication and many contributions to NIH and beyond. The book is available for free in several digital formats.