These Women Make a Difference in Our Lives

By Maritta Perry Grau, Staff Writer
Four women's portraits

Clockwise from top left: Rachel Bagni, Cheryl Lamb, Karen McNitt, Julie Hartman

By Maritta Perry Grau, Staff Writer

Producing viral vectors for in vitro and in vivo studies, evaluating new technologies, organizing outreach and internal events and special programs, preparing site visit reports, helping make newcomers feel comfortable, collaborating on statistics and other projects—these are just some of the ways that the women of the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research go about their everyday work lives—and in the process, make history.

In March we celebrated four such women, selected by fellow employees from all areas of the Frederick National Laboratory.

Rachel Bagni, Ph.D., is a scientist II in the Protein Expression Laboratory, SAIC-Frederick; Julie Hartman is an education specialist in the Office of the Director, NCI; Cheryl Lamb is an administrative laboratory manager in the Cancer and Inflammation Program, Center for Cancer Research, NCI; and Karen McNitt is the manager of Scientific and Microcomputer Applications, Computer and Statistical Services, Data Management Services. Together, they represent 89 years of experience with the Frederick National Laboratory.

Rachel Bagni

Rachel Bagni, 13 years at the Frederick National Laboratory, is inspired by working with people who are passionate about their mission and who work hard every day to deliver their best.

She noted, “I'm especially proud of a recent project … to assess whether a newly described retrovirus/human disease link could threaten the human population.”  The cross-lab effort between government and contractors “demonstrated the flexibility and scientific power at” the Frederick National Laboratory, she said, because “we provided immediate support to a new area of virology in a fast and coordinated manner.”

Bagni mentors high school students through the Werner Kirsten Student Intern Program and college students through the NIH Summer Intern Program.  “I remember and value my experiences as an intern and hope to provide the same opportunities to other students,” she said.

Julie Hartman

Julie Hartman, at the Frederick National Laboratory for 15 years, often works behind the scenes on everything from the new Frederick National Laboratory website to outreach programs in local elementary schools, the Spring Research Festival, and Take Your Child to Work Day (TYCTWD).

Hartman often encourages “individuals to volunteer along with me for Elementary Outreach Program (EOP), TYCTWD, and STEM school nights. The EOP is the most rewarding program–young scientists engaged and having fun!”

Cheryl Lamb

Cheryl Lamb, with 24 years at the Frederick National Laboratory, supports 15 principal investigators, three core services, and two Office of Scientific Operations chiefs.  She helps with budget, travel, personnel, training, purchasing, seminars, outside activities, and technology transfer; supervises four secretaries; and teaches classes on budget, travel, and personnel.

As if these support activities weren’t enough, she helped establish a buddy system for the administrative laboratory managers and secretaries when Advanced Basic Laboratory employees transferred to NCI 12 years ago.

Lamb noted, “I enjoy working with people and experiencing the different types of culture. I like the feeling that I contribute in some small way to the fight against cancer.” 

Karen McNitt

Karen McNitt, Data Management Services, has worked at the Frederick National Laboratory for 37 years. She works with the scientific and associated administrative community, developing custom databases, data/sample management systems, and with CSS statisticians to develop analysis systems for use by single users or small groups of users.

When McNitt began work here, only her group had access to computers—operated with punch cards and mainframe computers. She was involved “in some of the first microcomputer instrumentation here—we hooked an Apple II to an ELISA reader. Now, most of our work is PC-based. One project I’ve worked on originally … ran for hours on the Cray. It now runs in 30 seconds on my PC.” 

McNitt collaborates with her customers on projects to help “advance their research or enable them to perform their job better.” She noted that she loves “working with the customer and seeing projects develop as I begin to understand their needs and they see the services I can provide, services that I hope will make their work easier and more exciting to them.”


Previous Winners

Karen Hite, Research Associate III, Molecular Targets Screening Laboratory, SAIC-Frederick, Inc.|
Courtney Kennedy, Financial Systems Analyst III, Business Information Systems Group, Information Systems Program, SAIC-Frederick, Inc.
Siobhan Tierney, Assistant Program Manager, Environment, Health, and Safety Directorate, SAIC-Frederick, Inc.
Terry Van Dyke, Ph.D., Director, Center for Advanced Preclinical Research; Chief, Mouse Cancer Genetics Program, Canter for Cancer Research, NCI-Frederick

Kathy Easterday, Administrative Assistant, Information Systems Program, SAIC-Frederick, Inc.
Krista Frankenberry, Ph.D., Research Fellow, HIV Drug Resistance Program, Viral Mutation Section, NCI-Frederick
Amy Huter-Imming, Administrative Director, Basic Science Program, SAIC-Frederick, Inc.
Jeanne Warfield, Associate Scientist, AIDS Monitoring Laboratory, Applied/Developmental Research Directorate, SAIC-Frederick, Inc.

Kathleen Noer, Flow Cytometry Core Manager, Basic Science Program, SAIC-Frederick, Inc.
Mary Katherine Green, Assistant Manager, Scientific Publications, Graphics & Media, Information Systems Program, SAIC-Frederick, Inc.
Kim Iman, Senior Subcontracts Specialist, Research Subcontracts Department, SAIC-Frederick, Inc.
Sandra Ruscetti, Ph. D., Principal Investigator and Chief, Retroviral Molecular Pathogenesis Section, Laboratory of Cancer Prevention, Center for Cancer Research, NCI-Frederick

Ranee Baker, National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, SAIC-Frederick, Inc.
Christine Beard, Secretary, Logistical Support, SAIC-Frederick, Inc.
Nancy Colburn, Ph.D., Chief of the Gene Regulation Section, Basic Research Laboratory, NCI-Frederick
Demetria Harvin, Biologist, HIV-Drug Resistance Program, NCI-Frederick
Debby McCalpin, Scientific Library Director, Wilson Information Services Corporation
Della Reynolds, Biologist, Laboratory of Experimental Immunology, NCI-Frederick
Jami Willette-Brown, Microbiologist, Senior Research Technician, Laboratory of Experimental Immunology, NCI-Frederick
Sue Wilson, Project Manager, Scientific Library; President, Wilson Information Services Corporation