My 8-year-old nephew Luke has a sixth-grade reading level, while still in the third grade. Yet, he often struggles to finish his chores. He carries a timer in his backpack to keep himself on task. His school provides Luke with special assistance, including extra time for tests and repeated, detailed instruction. The challenges arise because Luke, like his mother Rebecca, has attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Isaac was born to fight. Arriving more than five weeks early by emergency C-section, it wasn’t just his way of coming into the world that made him different from his three brothers. While he initially looked healthy, his parents soon realized Isaac’s health was something he and the entire family would need to be fighting for every single day.
Last month I moderated our annual retreat with the NIH Scientific Directors, those individuals tasked with leading their Institute or Center (IC)-based intramural research program. We were joined by many of the IC Clinical Directors. And this year we decided to do something a little different: listen to a series of talks about exciting, new IRP research.
What do Presidents Lincoln, Wilson, Eisenhower, and Bush have in common? They all supported the creation of a group of scientists, elected by their peers, to advise the government on matters of science and technology. In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re focusing on the women NIH scientists who’ve been elected to the National Academy of Sciences to serve their country with their expertise.
Alexis Shelokov, who studied the polio virus at the NIH in the 1950s and was a powerful scientific force in what would become the famed NIAID Laboratory of Infectious Diseases in Building 7, died on December 12, 2016, in Dallas, Texas. He had a prolific scientific career that took him around the world.
Roberto Weigert is a cell biologist who specializes in intravital microscopy (IVM), an extremely high-resolution imaging tool that traces its origins to the 19th century. What’s unique about IVM is its phenomenal resolution can be used in living animals, allowing researchers to watch biological processes unfold in organs under real physiological conditions and in real time.
Many cultures through history marked the new year in the spring, at the vernal equinox in March when the daytime and nighttime at the equator are equal lengths, 12 hours each. That certainly makes sense: Spring is a time of renewal, as the earth is giving birth to new crops. And I'm surely in the mood for some renewal. One of the most exciting things I have to report is the 21st Century Cures Act, which was signed into law on December 14, 2016.
Sometimes as a museum curator, I come across a box in the collection with a vague marking and full of bits and pieces of … something. One of the coolest things is finding out what that something was and who created it. This photo shows pieces from the NIH lab of Dr. Stanley Sarnoff, dating from 1954-1962.
For gene therapy research, the perennial challenge has been devising a reliable way to insert safely a working copy of a gene into relevant cells that can take over for a faulty one. But with the recent discovery of powerful gene editing tools, the landscape of opportunity is starting to change. Instead of threading the needle through the cell membrane with a bulky gene, researchers are starting to design ways to apply these tools in the nucleus—to edit out the disease-causing error in a gene and allow it to work correctly.
To paraphrase President Obama from his guest editorial in the November issue of Wired magazine, there’s never been a better time to be alive. One NIH institute leading us into the future is the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), which supports avant-garde investigators at the nexus of engineering and the physical and life sciences with innovations that improve global health.