NIH doctor's work transforms once-fatal illness

Thursday - 8/30/2012, 9:55am EDT

Neal Young, Chief of the Hematology Branch at National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, NIH

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When Princeton University football player Jordan Culbreath was diagnosed with aplastic anemia in 2009, there was only one place to go: the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute at NIH.

The once-fatal illness now carries an 80 percent survival rate, thanks to the efforts of Dr. Neal A. Young. Young is the chief of the Hematology Branch at NIH's National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

Culbreath was completely cured of the illness and returned to football field during his senior year. It's achievements like these that have made Dr. Young a finalist for a Service to America Medal.


Federal News Radio asked Young to tell us a bit about himself.

What three words best describe your leadership philosophy?

Motivation, coordination, perseverance.

What's the best piece of advice (or words of wisdom) you've ever received and who gave it to you?

Be yourself.

Who is your biggest role model and why?

Not one individual; better to pick and choose aspects of behavior from many individuals in different circumstances.

What's the last thing you read and what's next on your reading list?

Daniel Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow — highly recommended!

Next is [Ludwig] Wittgenstein, for language games and how they apply to science.

What's your favorite bureaucratic phrase?

Close of business day, usually arriving Friday afternoon.

Meet the rest of hte 2012 Service to America Medal finalists.