gram would continue was "reassuring." Don Mainland, the New York University medical statistician who had evaluated the committee, agreed that the follow-up program still had what he called "potentialities, but I would think that its future would not be easy to plan."95 Ultimately, Cannan delayed the appointment of the successor committee for several years, allowing the agency to operate on the advice of ad hoc groups as it worked out various problems related to its future.
There were two problems as the CVMP passed into memory. First, the Veterans Administration had funded the Committee on Veterans Medical Problems and no similar means of support existed for a committee that would advise the Medical Follow-up Agency. As Cannan put it, the agency had to be supported on a "fluid basis," and the NRC was actively pursuing this possibility with the National Institutes of Health. Second, the MFUA was a "research tool, not a research institution." It therefore needed to develop "a better relationship with clinical investigation.''96
The death of Bernard Cohen in 1963 exacerbated this second problem. For 15 years he had played a key role in the program's development. At the time of his death, his monograph with Michael DeBakey on Buerger's disease was in press, and he had completed major papers on coronary heart disease and Hodgkin's disease. He also played a key role in the twin project. Adding to the interruption caused by Cohen's death, the agency continued its relationship with the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission. Dean Nefzger left in 1962 for a two-year tour of duty, and Robert Keehn planned to go to Japan in 1963.
Simply put, the agency faced a desperate need for new staff to deal with a growing workload. For the twin study, it hired Glenn Atkinson, a graduate student in statistics at Cornell with considerable background in biology. He spent his first few months with the agency at the University of Michigan, studying human genetics with Dr. Neel. After a brief tenure with the agency, however, he left in 1965. In December 1962, Zdenek Hrubec joined the agency after having spent three years working for the ABCC in Nagasaki. He held a doctorate in public health statistics from the School of Public Health at Pittsburgh. Unlike Atkinson, Hrubec remained with the agency for a lengthy period of time and ultimately became the lead staff officer for the twin study.
The new staff members went to work on projects with subjects as disparate as multiple sclerosis (see Box 7) and herniated lumbar disks. Only one of the studies, on the effects of light mineral oil used as an adjuvant in experimental trials of influenza vaccines, was completed by fiscal year 1964. Even so, the agency initiated two new studies: one a long-term follow-up of x-ray technicians trained by the Army in World War II and the other an examination of the association between late-appearing cataracts and exposure to military radar. As these studies proceeded, Beebe and his associates also tried to shore up the statistical resources available to the agency. They persuaded the VA to retain a representative sample (2 percent) of the World War II National Service Life Insurance record cards, an invaluable source for developing control groups.97