Howard Schachman, a UC Berkeley biochemist who served as the National Institutes of Health Ombudsman in the 1990's, passed away on August 5, 2016 at the age of 97. He was appointed by NIH Director Harold Varmus and served in the position for six years. Schachman was the first NIH Ombuds to solicit feedback on NIH policies.
Reflecting on his work at the NIH, he wrote: "This part-time activity involved extensive visits to more than 45 universities and medical schools where I learned a great deal about the conduct of biomedical research and the problems encountered by investigators." Schachman was a noted biomedical ethicist and was described by a colleague as "ornery and spirited." (UC Berkeley Press; Journal of Biochemistry.)