Making a Difference
My blog usually celebrates biomedical advances made possible by NIH-supported research. But every August, I like to try something different and highlight an aspect of the scientific world that might not make headlines. This year, I’d like to take a moment to pay tribute to just a few of the many NIH family members around the country who, without pay or fanfare, freely give of themselves to make a difference in their communities. I’d like to start by recognizing my wife Diane Baker, a genetic counselor who has always found time during her busy career to volunteer.
When Taezia was 4 years old, an MRI showed a myriad of tumors crowding her organs and wrapping themselves around her spine. Without emergency surgery, Taezia would lose her ability to walk and become paralyzed from the neck down. Doctors knew they couldn’t remove the entire tumor, but their goal was to “debulk” it enough to preserve Taezia’s ability to walk and move around.
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.
This year, members of the National Academy of Medicine elected four NIH Intramural researchers to their ranks, one of the highest honors in science. Learn a bit about each of their research and follow the links to their IRP profiles for more information.
Inspired by September’s World Alzheimer's Awareness Month and driven by my interest in cognitive aging and dementia, I'm asking my fellow IRP postdoctoral researchers about which approaches they believe hold promise for advancing our understanding of Alzheimer’s disease.
“I kind of made it a mission of mine to find out as much as I can, what’s available out there as treatments, trials,” John says, “and just my way of giving back, whether it helps me directly or somebody who comes after me.”
From Travis’ appearance and attitude, you’d never believe that, inside his body, many things are wrong. His legs are different lengths, his bones are prone to breaking, and he has a long, “deep” tumor running from his lower spine down across his hip to below his knee. He also has lower back pain from constant irritation to the nerves in his spine.
Terran Dupree, 16, is one of the most positive teenagers you will ever meet. With the brightest smile and the most humbling personality, you would never know that she is fighting a rare form of cancer.
Hi, my name is James. I’ve always really liked science and I want to be a scientist when I grow up, but I never got to see where scientists work until I went to Take Your Child to Work Day at NIH with my Auntie Kit. It was awesome!