NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Linda E. Nee (1938 - )
Linda E. Nee was the first woman and first individual with a Master’s degree appointed to the Institute Review Board of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke at The National Institutes of Health (NIH). The highlight of her work has been the contribution to the study of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders and psychiatric conditions. Her pioneering work was published in more than 100 scientific papers from 1976-2004. Her mapping work of Alzheimer’s (AD) led to major international collaborations with clinicians and scientists and a number of field expeditions to examine patients, obtain research specimens, and collect family history. Her work enabled scientists to learn the precise chromosomal location for AD. Linda Nee’s career focus has been on the interpersonal relationships, clinical conditions and genetics of families in several countries. She was not only a social worker who gave traditional psychosocial services to individuals and families but she enabled these families, all with neurological disorders, to better understand and participate in research projects at several institutes of the NIH.
Nee has served as an independent contractor and social science analyst and genetic counselor for the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and National Human Genome Research Institute since March 2004. Prior to that, she was a social science analyst and genetic counselor at the Family Studies Unit of NIH’s Neurological Disorders and Stroke unit. She served in this capacity from December 1984 until January 2004.
Nee was a clinical research social worker from 1974 until 1984 at the Laboratory of Clinical Science, NIMH and a medical social worker in 1967. She also was a social worker at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York and supervised students and taught from 1982-84, including a teaching stint at Catholic University of America.
She has been a full member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors since 1995, a member of the NASW’s Washington, DC chapter since 1968, served as chairperson of the DC Chapter’s Ethics and Grievances committee from 1978-80, and as president of the Metropolitan Washington, DC Chapter from 1975-77. She has served on numerous professional committees studying neurological issues as well as on ethics committees and the NIAAA Institutional Review Board.
Ms. Nee was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1938. She earned her BA in Sociology (1961) from Russell Sage College in New York. She received her MSW in 1968 from the Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. Her genetics consulting business is located in Rockville, MD.
Significant Achievements and Awards
In May 1977, Ms. Nee delivered the commencement address at the National Catholic University’s School of Social Service.
She was included in the 2001 edition of Who’s Who of Scientists and Engineers, the 1997 edition of Who’s Who in America, 1979 Who’s Who of American Women and the 1986 edition of Who’s Who in the East.
She won a U.S. Public Health Service Volunteer Award in 1986 in recognition of her leadership with the . Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Association of Greater Washington, DC and in appreciation of her efforts to promote a better quality of life for patients and families affected by the disease. In 1991, she was awarded the 75th Anniversary Commemorative Medal of Russell Sage College.
Her 1987 report of work with a family with Alzheimer’s was featured in a PBS television series. The story of this work was also the subject of a feature "In Search of a Killer" (Washington Post Magazine, September 25,1988, by David Van Biema).
Nee has published more than 90 articles in scientific and medical journals, primarily on Alzheimer’s Dementia, Tourette’s Syndrome, and other neurological conditions.