Speaking at the NIH Research Festival in September, Michael Gottesman, M.D., the NIH Deputy Director for Intramural Research said, “The real research is being done by the fellows, by the students.” The FARE awards are meant to commend those researchers doing outstanding work at the NIH.
What could be better than a big festival celebration? How about a festival celebrating science! Sounds like a nerd’s dream, right? Read more...
With the Long-Term IRP Planning Report in hand, the 28th annual NIH Research Festival committee organized the 2015 event around the theme of A Celebration of Intramural Science to honor not only what has been achieved but also what is yet to come.
As I trekked along the manicured sidewalk of Convent Drive, heading toward Building 10, I felt the now-familiar weight of the poster tube hanging over my shoulder. Inside that poster tube was, as the name implies, a scientific poster with which I was extremely familiar. My calves burned underneath the intensity of my power walk, as I remained calm and ready to present my project about mice undergoing anesthesia.
Following on the successful launch and continued expansion of the IRP Web site, we turned our attention to developing a new, allied Web site to give people a broader view of the programs overseen by the Office of Intramural Research (OIR). The new site (oir.nih.gov), which is officially making its debut today, is intended to provide “one-stop shopping” regarding the oversight and coordination of the research, training, and technology transfer activities that take place within each Institute’s and Center’s intramural program, across all of our research campuses nationwide.
For the junior scientist, the poster session is a rite of passage, an opportunity to think about the big picture, and an exercise in communicating your work to a broad audience.
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.
The NIH Research Festival this year was themed “The Era of the Brain,” so Dr. Francis Collins, NIH Director, began the plenary session by highlighting the BRAIN Initiative (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies). The President’s initiative has been the talk of the town recently and, thanks to some hard work by the leaders at the NIH, has now been transformed into a 12-year scientific vision.
Optogenetics, a new technology used to control brain activity with light, has revolutionized the field of neuroscience in the past decade. The combination of two powerful tools, genetics and optics, has provided both temporal and spatial acuity in understanding how the brain works in response to sensory and motor cues in the environment. At the recent NIH Research Festival symposium titled “Optogenetic approaches to investigating the nervous system,” fellows and scientists from the NIH community presented their research encompassing topics that make use of this approach to study different systems.
Walking around the NIH’s Bethesda Research Campus is a stimulating experience on any day. The cluster of National Institutes and Centers (ICs) within a 1.5-mile radius is a hive of activity, with researchers walking and talking as they move from building to building to use centralized resources, meet with collaborators, or learn the latest in techniques and news from the other ICs.