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.
Are you beginning to think that slide rules look alike? If you could see the types and number of scales, you’d understand that each slide rule model is different. There are specialized scales for cubes, spheres, voltage, etc. Check out a few of the slide rules that made history with IRP investigators.
Have you ever had a PET scan? (That’s short for positron emission tomography.) This computer board, called a discriminator, was one of 64 in the Neuro-PET scanner designed and built at the NIH under the direction of Dr. Giovanni De Chiro.
If you’ve ever skipped meals for a whole day or gone on a strict, low-calorie diet, you know just how powerful the feeling of hunger can be. Your stomach may growl and rumble, but, ultimately, it’s your brain that signals when to start eating—and when to stop. So, learning more about the brain’s complex role in controlling appetite is crucial to efforts to develop better ways of helping the millions of Americans afflicted with obesity.
As a recently graduated student at the NIH, in partnership with University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I felt so privileged to be a member of this amazing community of scientists, and I want to create awareness that there are opportunities for graduate students to do research in the NIH Intramural Research Program (IRP). The NIH IRP provides training to scientists at every level of experience.
The brain’s complexity and how its coordinated actions of billions of neurons shape our behavior and cognition have always fascinated me. So, I decided to go into neuroscience as a career and contribute to biomedical science.
Mitochondria are dynamic cellular organelles involved in ATP synthesis and in apoptotic mechanisms (programmed cell death). However, in addition to these classically known functions, recent studies at the NIH have deciphered another intriguing role for mitochondria in the development and plasticity of neurons.
The NIH Research Festival always has a strong theme running through it, from “Bench-to-Bedside” in 2002 and “Chromosomes in Modern Biology and Medicine” in 2007 to “The NIH at 125: Today's Discoveries, Tomorrow's Cures” in 2012. The year 2014 was no different, but it marked the first time that the Festival was focused on a single organ within the human body: the brain.
Let’s start with some numbers: 30,000 neuroscientists, five days, and 20 pages of notes. It all adds up to a week well spent at the recent Society for Neuroscience (SfN) conference in Washington, D.C. Researchers from around the world, many from the NIH IRP, descended on the Washington Convention Center to share their most recent research, discoveries, thoughts, and future ideas.