Monday, December 15, 2014
During my Ph.D., I decided to pursue my thesis project in a lab working in the RNA field and, more specifically, on the mechanisms of alternative splicing regulation. Moving onto my post-doctoral training, I decided to stay in this field mainly because I found it fascinating to work with RNA. It is such a flexible and diverse molecule, but also largely unexplored. I believed that this relatively new area of research would attract more interest among scientists, and the last few years show that I was thinking in the right direction.
Saturday, December 13, 2014
This is National Influenza Vaccination Week. Since we are in the midst of flu season, it is an appropriate time to highlight the importance of continuing influenza vaccination. I won’t go into the details of the NIH Foil the Flu campaign, the annual flu vaccination clinic sponsored by the Office of Research Services that provides all NIH staff and contractors with the seasonal flu vaccine for free. Instead, I’d like to highlight the importance of influenza research and a couple of intramural investigators who are tackling interesting questions along the pipeline to creating safe and effective influenza vaccines.
Friday, December 12, 2014
“Locusts provide a good simple model system for studying basic questions in neuroscience," writes Mark Stopfer, Ph.D., an Investigator at NICHD.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
I have been thinking a lot recently about how the tools we use in our work have improved so dramatically in the last few decades and how this is mostly down to the frequently disparaged study of microbes. While everyone can get behind studying bacteria that cause life-threatening diseases like typhoid fever and cholera, I think that it is often harder to convince people of the value of studying ordinary and sometimes obscure bacteria that do not directly affect human health. However, over the years, such studies have revolutionized many aspects of our lives.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Recently, more than a dozen of our Institutes and Centers (ICs) came together to tell a story of interconnected, cross-discipline science at one of the largest medical meetings in the world, the 31,000-attendee-strong Society for Neuroscience (SfN) Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.
Monday, December 8, 2014
How did I end up here? Nearly two decades of school. Countless coffee cups, pages of notes, and lost hours of sleep. College came and went like a whirlwind. Finally, I graduated with the piece of paper that people have been telling me is the ticket to the rest of my life: a Bachelor’s degree. Not only does this paper signify a level of previously non-existent expertise, it is also a stepping-stone to whatever’s next.
Friday, December 5, 2014
Here’s an example of how basic science can lead to clinical applications: Dr. Julius Axelrod’s discoveries about neurotransmitters and the metabolism of the nervous system lead to the development of a pain reliever, a new class of antidepressants, and a Nobel Prize.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Dr. L. Michelle Bennett, Director of the Center for Research Strategy at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), has lectured extensively on the subject of “Collaboration and Team Science” in conjunction with former NIH Ombudsman Dr. Howard Gadlin. Their Field Guide has become the go-to resource for scientific teams around the world who are interested in establishing successful collaborations. We spoke with Dr. Bennett about why collaboration plays such an essential role in science today and why researchers within the IRP value access to it so highly.
Monday, December 1, 2014
Ever since studying transposons (mobile genetic elements) in graduate school, I’ve been fascinated by DNA and the many natural ways DNA moves and recombines within genomes. Transposons are responsible for multidrug resistance in bacteria, and the major players in V(D)J recombination in humans were derived from transposons. Now, as a postdoctoral fellow in the National Cancer Institute of the NIH, I conduct research focused on gene therapy strategies for hematologic malignancies and immunodeficiencies, because I am interested in the clinical application of basic biology.
Friday, November 28, 2014
Rocky Mountain wood ticks, or dermacentor andersoni, carry many diseases including Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF), which can be fatal. Research on the cause, prevention, and treatment of tick-borne diseases began about 1900 at what is now the NIAID’s Rocky Mountain Laboratory (RML).