IRP Research Leads to First FDA-Approved Therapy for Merkel Cell Carcinoma
Tuesday, May 4, 2021
May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Skin cancers are the most common cancer in the U.S., affecting as many as five million people every year. Yet the rarest of these cancers is also one of the deadliest. Merkel cell carcinoma affects about 3,000 Americans each year, and until recently a lack of effective treatments meant only half of patients survived five years or longer after diagnosis. The median survival was nine months.
This bleak outlook changed radically in 2017 with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of a new immunotherapy drug called avelumab. Developed through a collaboration between IRP researchers and the pharmaceutical company EMD Serono, Inc., and marketed as Bavencio, avelumab was the first treatment approved specifically for Merkel cell carcinoma.
Program Boosts Initiatives Supporting Researchers Across NIH
Tuesday, September 1, 2020
From Superbowl-winning football teams to comic book cohorts like The Avengers, combining the efforts of multiple talented individuals is a proven strategy for achieving remarkable results. It may come as no surprise, then, that the NIH’s Intramural Research Program (IRP) strongly encourages collaborations that breach the boundaries of its 24 Institutes and Centers. One example of these efforts is the Director’s Challenge Innovation Awards Program, which since 2009 has funded high-impact scientific projects that bring together researchers from across the IRP.
The IRP’s Mario Roederer and Robert Seder Discuss the Science Behind the Headlines
Monday, March 23, 2020
Some say that if something’s not broken, then don’t fix it, but that doesn’t mean there’s no room for improvement. At least, those were the thoughts of IRP senior investigators Mario Roederer, Ph.D., and Robert Alan Seder, M.D., who recently found that the century-old tuberculosis (TB) vaccine is far more effective when administered via injection into a vein (IV) rather than into the skin, which has long been the standard way it is given. This major breakthrough received extensive media coverage, including a story in the New York Times. We went Behind the Headlines to get the inside scoop on this potentially life-saving discovery.
Scientific Team-Up Identifies Source of Tumor Drug Resistance
Tuesday, December 17, 2019
It’s an unfortunate reality that nearly everyone knows somebody whose life has been affected by cancer. However, a discovery by two researchers who met by chance years ago might one day help more cancer patients overcome their disease. Two scientific teams led by the IRP’s Craig Thomas, Ph.D., a group leader at the NIH’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), and Daniel Starczynowski, Ph.D., of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, recently published a study describing a possible breakthrough in the fight against acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a form of cancer responsible for nearly 11,000 deaths per year in the United States.
Tuesday, August 13, 2019
Overcoming complex diseases, from viruses to cancers to mental health and beyond, requires teams of people in a variety of settings. At the NIH IRP, researchers with very different expertise and backgrounds tackle the most difficult biomedical questions by working together.
If you’re planning to engage in team science or collaborations of any sort, keep these four words in mind, as they are what newly organized team members should expect on the road to success: forming, storming, norming and performing. Each step, outlined in this blog entry with insights from two leading IRP investigators, is a phase of team development, as originally introduced in the 1960s by Bruce Tuckman (See page 46 of NIH’s Collaboration and Team Science Field Guide).
Tuesday, October 2, 2018
What attracts talented scientists to the IRP? And, once they are here, why do they stay? One major factor is the proximity to brilliant colleagues and collaborative relationships across the spectrum of biomedical research.
Seeking to understand the key elements that contribute to successful team science, we studied a number of NIH research teams to discover the secrets of their success. The results are examined in the second edition of Collaboration and Team Science: A Field Guide, which contains new insights from individuals, teams, and organizations around the world.
What are the 10 Elements of Successful Teams? Read on to find out.
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
For many young researchers, spring is the time to make a decision of how to continue with their education and perhaps whether partnering with a lab in the NIH IRP for their dissertation research might be the right path for them. What is it like to be a graduate student at two institutions?
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Highly talented scientists underlie the innovative biomedical research conducted at the NIH IRP. I asked one of them, Dr. Howard Young, Senior Investigator at the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Frederick, Maryland, campus, about how the environment of opportunity, access to resources, and proximity to cutting-edge science influences his work.
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Second in the Orloff Award recipient series are Drs. Jay Chung and Stewart Levine for their characterization of the role of DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) in dendritic cell function in asthma and for the identification of the role of pharmacological inhibition of DNA-PK as a novel treatment approach for asthma.
Monday, April 4, 2016
A little-known fact about the NIH Intramural Research Program (IRP) is that a Ph.D. student can conduct dissertation research at NIH as a formal partnership with his or her graduate institution. So, how does a graduate institutional partnership with the NIH begin?