Washington Update

Howard Garrison Honored with FASEB Public Service Award

By: Todd Bentsen
Thursday, June 14, 2018

On June 4, at a reception in his honor, Howard Garrison, PhD, (pictured on the left) was presented with the FASEB Public Service Award. Garrison will retire from FASEB on June 29 after 25 years of distinguished service.

The FASEB Public Service Award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to biological and medical research through their work in government, public affairs, journalism, science policy, or related fields. Previous recipients include National Institutes of Health (NIH) Directors Dr. James A. Shannon and Dr. Francis Collins; former Deputy Directors Dr. Ruth L. Kirschstein and Dr. Raynard S. Kington; Senators Roy Blunt, Arlen Specter, and Tom Harkin; and Representatives Tom Cole, John Porter, David Obey, and Michael Castle.

“Howard’s passionate advocacy for increased federal funding for science, commitment to science policy, and ability to convey the excitement and promise of biological research to policymakers and the public has created a legacy of accomplishments few others have achieved,” said FASEB President Thomas O. Baldwin, PhD, as he presented the award to Garrison. “Thanks to his leadership, FASEB is now recognized as the policy voice of biological and biomedical researchers.”

Director of FASEB’s Office of Public Affairs, Garrison has led FASEB’s efforts in advocacy, government affairs, and policy analysis. Under his direction, FASEB convened consensus conferences that brought the biomedical research community together to produce funding recommendations for NIH and other federal agencies that were submitted to Congress each year. A seat at the table during the FASEB consensus conferences quickly became one of the most coveted invitations in Washington.

Garrison also guided FASEB’s policy activities including the preparation of statistical analyses and reports and the development of positions on animal research, training and career opportunities for scientists, research integrity, rigor and reproducibility, regulatory burden, peer review, and many other science policy issues. FASEB’s initiatives helped shape policies at NIH as well as numerous pieces of legislation on Capitol Hill.

Communicating the value of biomedical and biological research was another area where FASEB excelled, thanks to Garrison’s influence. The state and district NIH and research agency factsheets produced by FASEB are regularly used by federal officials in briefings and members of Congress display them in their offices. Winning images from the FASEB BioArt contest have been highlighted in foreign and domestic press and on the NIH Director’s blog. Science teachers use the Breakthroughs in Bioscience and Horizons in Bioscience articles to supplement other educational material.

Garrison also made many valuable contributions as a NIGMS Advisory Council member, served in leadership positions on the Commission on Professionals in Science and Technology, and advised the National Research Council on several critical projects and reports.

“The entire biological science research community has benefited from Howard’s wisdom and experience,” concluded Baldwin in his remarks to the reception’s guests.