Tuesday, October 24, 2017
There are many ways to categorize the research performed at the NIH Intramural Research Program: biomedical or behavioral; computational, basic, translational, or clinical; excellent or outstanding; wow or double-wow; and so on. When we launched the irp.nih.gov website, we utilized the concept of scientific focus areas, or SFAs, and identified 21 such SFAs at the IRP, from biomedical engineering & biophysics to virology.
We thought the 21 SFAs did a rather nice job of summing up all the diverse science in the IRP. Then along comes RNA biology. It's not as if the field is new; some 30 Nobel Prizes have been won involving RNA over the decades. But the field has had a renaissance in recent years with discoveries such as that of noncoding RNA (ncRNA) functioning in genome defense and chromosome inactivation. Newly revealed classes of RNAs and their remarkable functions are poised to revolutionize molecular biology, with profound implications for clinical sciences.
Thursday, June 22, 2017
Michael A. Beaven died unexpectedly on Saturday, April 8, 2017, at age 80. Mike was an expert in mast cell biology and beloved friend and colleague of many. He had worked at the NIH since 1962.
In the past seven years during his formal “retirement,” Mike remained incredibly productive, coauthoring more than 20 primary publications as well as a number of reviews; and he continued to perform experimental work as well as being the “go to” scholar in a range of areas.
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
The NIH Lasker Clinical Research Scholars Program is approaching a milestone. This program is a unique intramural–extramural partnership that aims to nurture a new generation of clinical researchers with dedicated support to help them establish a research career.
Friday, May 5, 2017
Claude Klee, a true giant among the many great NIH biochemists, died on Monday, April 3, after suffering a heart attack. She was 85 years old. Claude was a pioneer in the biochemistry of calcium-binding proteins and calcium-dependent signaling. Although retired for more than a decade, she remained an active mentor and advisor at the NIH in the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and a consistent presence on the Bethesda campus until her death.
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
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.
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
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.
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
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.
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
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.
Thursday, December 15, 2016
Yasmine Belkaid, chief of the Mucosal Immunology Section in the NIAID Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, has won the Sanofi–Institut Pasteur 2016 International Mid-Career Award for “outstanding research in the life sciences…contributing to progress in global public health,” announced on December 13, 2016 in Paris.
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
Last month we lost a remarkable investigator, Robert Nussenblatt, M.D., M.P.H., chief of the Laboratory of Immunology at the National Eye Institute (NEI). Bob was a world-renowned expert in uveitis, an inflammatory eye disease and a leading cause of blindness in younger people. He was instrumental in establishing the pathology of and treatment for uveitis. Bob was diagnosed with a metastatic cancer just a few months ago. He remained characteristically optimistic even as his prognosis rapidly grew worse. He died on April 17, 2016, at age 67 with his family by his side. The NIH staff just devastated to hear the news of his death, because so few knew Bob was ill.