The obituary of Samuel Abramson, published Sept. 11, incorrectly reported how his marriage to his first wife, Bertha Feinberg, ended. She died of natural causes in 1956. (Published 9/12/04)
Samuel Abramson, 89, whose work as a science administrator at NIH contributed to the development of a revised public health policy for the care and use of laboratory animals, died Sept. 1 at his home in Bethesda. He had pneumonia.
Dr. Abramson worked in the National Institutes of Health's Office for Protection from Research Risks, in the office of the NIH director, from 1982 to 1985. He organized a national symposium on "Imperatives in Research Animal Use" and participated in the design and preparation of U.S. regional programs on the care and use of laboratory animals.
Earlier at NIH, he was executive secretary to several research grants study sections and fellowship review groups.
Dr. Abramson was born in Philadelphia and graduated from St. Joseph's College there. He received a doctor of veterinary medicine degree in 1945 and a master's degree in microbiology and experimental pathology in 1946, both from the University of Pennsylvania.
He was commissioned in 1946 as an officer in the U.S. Public Health Service and served in several positions before retiring as a captain in 1968. Dr. Abramson participated in tuberculosis research at the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell Medical School from 1946 to 1952. He also was the Public Health Service's chief of the airborne infection unit of the epidemiology branch of the Communicable Disease Center, working mainly in the Department of Medicine at the University of Chicago.
At NIH from 1956 to 1962, he was a health science administrator in the division of research grants. Later, he developed policy for and administered the Public Health Service International Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program for health research training in the United States for citizens of 43 foreign countries. He also administered NIH's visiting scientist program.
In 1969, he was an administrator in the research department of the American Cancer Society.
He then held positions within the National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences from 1969 to 1980. His last position was senior staff officer with the agency's Institute of Laboratory Animal Resources (ILAR), Assembly of Life Sciences. Among other duties, he served as editor of "ILAR News," a quarterly journal distributed to more than 3,500 recipients in the United States and foreign countries.
He was a member of the Society of Phi, an honor society in veterinary medicine, the Society of Sigma Xi, a scientific honor society; and a fellow of the American Public Health Association.
He was also a Knight, First Class of the Lion of Finland, in recognition of his service in further strengthening the ties of friendship and understanding between the people of Finland and the United States.
Dr. Abramson was a member and board member of Congregation Beth El of Montgomery County from 1957 to 1972. He was board member, secretary and committee chairman at Ohr Kodesh Congregation in Chevy Chase. In his tenure as chair of the Funeral Practices Committee, he revitalized the committee and developed funeral practices procedures and educational programs -- for which Ohr Kodesh Congregation received a Solomon Schechter Award from the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.
His marriage to Bertha Feinberg ended in divorce.
Survivors include his wife of 45 years, Alice Umans Abramson of Bethesda; two children from his first marriage, Rachel Abramson of Chicago and Rabbi David Abramson of Minneapolis; a daughter from his second marriage, Ruth Abramson of Herndon; and six grandchildren.