It’s been a little more than a year since my guest editorial announcing a new stem cell initiative on campus: the Common Fund–supported NIH Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Center (NiPC). And there is a lot of news to share!
More than 700 of NIH’s 3,800 fellows work outside NIH’s main Bethesda campus. As one of those 700, I can say that we are determined to be a vital part of the NIH enterprise. I’m in NCI’s Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG), which is home to more than 100 fellows who work in eight research branches. DCEG has offices on Executive Boulevard in Rockville, Md., and runs a laboratory in Shady Grove, Md.
Patient Activity Monitors Brought Greater Objectivity to Psychiatry
By Brian Casey, NIH Office of History
Until the 1970s, human “calculators”—nurses and research assistants—measured the behavioral manifestations of psychiatric illnesses and disorders by recording their observations of patients in laboratory or clinical settings. But the data were subjective and it was nearly impossible to compare results from different research centers.
NIDDK, NHLBI, ORS, NCI, NIAID: Potential to Curb Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes
An NIH-led team of scientists may have found a new way to burn calories. They have uncovered a pathway in mice that allows white fat—a contributor to obesity and type 2 diabetes—to burn calories in the same way that brown fat and muscle do. Changing white fat into brown fat or muscle is a potential new approach to treating obesity and type 2 diabetes, although the research is a long way from being applicable to people.
Senior Investigator; Head, Breast and Prostate Unit, Laboratory of Human Carcinogenesis
Education: University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany (M.S. in biochemistry); Institute of Toxicology, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany (Ph.D. in pharmacology and toxicology); Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore (M.P.H.)
News from and About the NIH Scientific Interest Groups
SCIG Stem Cell Research Symposium
By Stephanie Cooperstein
More than 400 NIH scientists and others flocked to the Stem Cell Research Symposium held on NIH’s Bethesda campus on July 14, 2011. Co-sponsored by the NIH Center for Regenerative Medicine (NIH-CRM) and the Stem Cell Interest Group (SCIG), the symposium was a forum for scientists to share research findings and explore potential collaborations. Speakers and attendees discussed manipulating cell plasticity for therapeutic purposes; analyzing chromatin and telomere structural changes; and finding ways to better focus clinical studies via genetic sequencing and advanced animal models.
In October, the NIH Office of Intramural Research in conjunction with the NIH Center for Information Technology will launch the initial version of a Web-based Material Transfer Agreemand (MTA) management system. The new system will establish an enterprise-wide MTA management system for use by intramural and extramural researchers as well as by NIH’s and external technology transfer offices; use automation to reduce the processing time of MTAs; and reduce the paperwork burden. Look for more details about NIH Web MTA at the NIH Research Festival (see announcement in next column) and in the next issue of The NIH Catalyst. For questions, contact Lili Portilla (Lilip@nih.gov) or Lisa Finkelstein (LFinkels@mail.nih.gov).
Our “laboratory confession” this issue comes from the NIH Office of History, which confesses that it doesn’t know the identity of this surgeon. He is part of a new heart-valve exhibit in the south entrance of Building 10 on the NIH Bethesda campus.