Friday, March 13, 2015
Each day, hundreds of thousands of biomedical researchers around the world design and execute studies, with diverse trajectories and outcomes and where success is based largely on reproducibility. However, a large percentage of experiments using cell culture techniques have been labelled as irreproducible, with around 25 percent of all cell-line research described as either contaminated with other cells or mischaracterized in some way. In other words, if your kidney cancer cell isn’t really a kidney cancer line, then how will anyone else be able to reproduce your work?
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
We are all given a name by our parents, nicknames by friends, roles and titles in school and at work. In my life, I have been known as “Goose,” “that blonde girl over there,” and, most commonly, “Lucy.” Here at the NIH, my most important title is that of “postbac,” or, more endearingly, “fledgling scientist.” Although this title does not necessarily command awestruck wonder, it does indicate recent graduates’ integral roles in labs at the NIH. The road to success is long, yet well worn, and we all have our own starting points.
Monday, March 9, 2015
Jill Koshiol, Ph.D., is an epidemiologist and one of eight Stadtman Investigators who joined the NIH IRP in 2009-2010, the search's inaugural recruitment year. As a tenure-track principal investigator within the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG), Dr. Koshiol and her team study the epidemiology of infectious agents and cancer, and they are increasingly interested in the role of immune stimulation and inflammation in carcinogenesis.
In the following Q&A, Dr. Koshiol shares some thoughts on how she became a scientist and what's its like to conduct biomedical research at the NIH IRP.
Friday, March 6, 2015
February 19, 2015 kicked off one of the largest celebrations on Earth, the Chinese New Year. For the next 15 days, people around the world ushered in good luck and prosperity by gathering with friends and loved ones to celebrate the Year of the Goat—or Sheep, depending on translation—which is the eighth animal of 12 within the Chinese zodiac. Looking back 24 trips-around-the-sun, to the year of the Goat/Sheep in 1991, it was a particularly busy and successful time for the NIH IRP.
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
“Know your enemy” describes the work of Dr. Sarah Branham (1888-1962). She dedicated much of her career to understanding meningitis, identifying different strains, and developing the effective tests and treatments for the disease in anti-serum and sulfa drugs.
In this September 1937 photo, Branham and technician Robert Forkish inoculate a mouse with meningococcus antiserum to determine whether it will protect against meningitis:
Monday, March 2, 2015
Academic job applications typically include a cover letter, CV, research statement, summary of previous research, and a teaching statement. My number one recommendation on how to prepare your packet is to get several examples from your colleagues, such as a previous postdoc from your lab who recently started his or her own lab, or a new assistant professor/investigator in your current department...
Friday, February 27, 2015
“Then we have ‘prevention is more important than cure.’ That’s the one I like best. That’s my pet peeve…."
Dr. Emil Freireich, NCI, in his 1997 oral history. Dr. Freireich helped develop combined chemotherapy for childhood leukemia.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
As part of a microscopy course at the National Center For Biological Sciences in Bangalore, India, Dr. Hari Shroff and Dr. Abhishek Kumar of the NIBIB IRP led a team of students in building a dual-view selective plane illumination microscope (diSPIM). It took them about eight hours to complete, but you can view the whole process in just four minutes in the timelapse video below:
Monday, February 23, 2015
If you've been asking yourself what good your taxpayer dollars have been doing, let me tell you a story. I work at one of the most amazing places in the world. Every day I come in to work energized to see patients, to strategize how to bring new findings into the clinic and talk to brilliant scientists and physicians.
Friday, February 20, 2015
"I felt that seeing this dissolution of everything that makes us who and what we are in patients really told me a lot about what makes us human. At the same time I felt very frustrated that there was so little that we could do to help our patients with severe mental illnesses like schizophrenia."
– Karen Berman, M.D.