John Laws Decker Memorial Fund

The Dr. John Laws Decker Memorial Fund honors the late John Laws Decker, M.D., who began working at the NIH in 1965 and had a long career as Chief of Arthritis and Rheumatism Branch before serving as the NIH Clinical Center Director and Associate Director for Clinical Care from 1983 until his retirement in 1990.

Dr. Decker was an outstanding teacher who strived to connect scientific communications around the world in an effort to accelerate important research. As part of the memorial, the NIH Fellows Committee nominates a presenter for the annual John Laws Decker Memorial Lecture at the Contemporary Clinical Medicine: Great Teachers Grand Rounds Program. This speaker also receives the Distinguished Clinical Teacher's Award. The John Laws Decker Memorial Lecture is a fitting tribute to a recognized leader and teacher who was dedicated to education and to promoting research communication.

In June 2018, James D. Katz, M.D. a staff clinician with the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, presented the 15th annual John Laws Decker Memorial lecture. Dr. Katz, who was honored with the Distinguished Clinical Teachers Award by his peers in September 2017, spoke on misattribution and misclassification.


  • Present the annual John Laws Decker Memorial Lecture and the Distinguished Clinical Teacher's Award


To donate, please contact or visit the FNIH donation page.

Results & Accomplishments

Beginning in 2004, the Decker Memorial Fund has presented 15 John Laws Decker Memorial Lectures. Learn about the 2017 Memorial Lecture here


Contemporary Clinical Medicine: Great Teachers: John Laws Decker Memorial Lecture: The Dark Side of "Explaining": Misattribution and Misclassification
Clinical Center News (July/August 2017): Sawa Ito earns Distinguished Clinical Teachers Award, presents on Interleukin-2 during John Laws Decker Memorial Lecture


Public-Sector Partners:
NIH Clinical Center

Private-Sector Partners:
Family of John Laws Decker*

*Provided financial or in-kind support for this program.

FNIH Contact

Please contact the Advancement Office for more information at or 301-402-4976.