Our Strength Is in Cultural Diversity
Here at the “United Nations” of the NIH, we have scientists representing approximately 100 countries, from Albania to Zimbabwe. More than 3,000 of our scientists are visiting from, or were born in, a so-called “foreign” country—an odd term given the collegiality we cherish and expect at NIH.
Countries with the highest representation here include China, India, Japan, and South Korea. Such diversity in cultural background and scientific training is crucial to our mission to conduct high-impact laboratory, clinical, and population-based research and to facilitate new approaches to improve health though prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. In short, success in biomedical and behavioral research depends on a culturally diverse workplace. The contributions of diverse backgrounds to generating new and varied ideas is why the NIH is committed to preserving, strengthening, and celebrating cultural and ethnic diversity and why it strives to protect this diversity from any sexual, racial, or ethnic prejudice.
Mind you, featuring scientists from 100 countries in a newsletter that comes out bimonthly could take some time. Nevertheless, in forthcoming issues, The NIH Catalyst plans to highlight some of the stellar international elements of the intramural program.
New Face for NIH Clinical Trials
I get a mix of feelings when I see non-NIHers whom I know in the NIH Clinical Center. Sometimes they are here for a serious reason: Either they or someone they know is sick and participating in a research protocol. I’m happy, of course, that they have an opportunity to come to one of the best places in the world. I’m not happy that they need our care.
Not every visitor to the Clinical Center, however, is deathly ill. Many come as healthy individuals or with a manageable disease or disorder, volunteering their time—and a few bodily fluids along the way—in the name of clinical research. Actually, these volunteers represent the NIH Clinical Center’s bread and butter. We have about 1,500 active clinical trials, and most of these would fall apart without a steady stream of volunteers.
This is why I’m pleased to help announce a new Web site for NIH clinical trials at http://clinicalresearchtrials.nih.gov. This is a bright, friendly site filled with faces of volunteers, meant to help attract more people to the NIH Clinical Center. It is filled with personal volunteer stories and researcher stories, and serves as a gateway to our Bethesda-based trials and the national clinical trials site at http://Clinicaltrials.gov.
Now, most of you have “volunteered” your career to support the Clinical Center in some way, either as a member of the Clinical Center staff or as part of a research team providing scientific insights that someday may lead to cures and treatments. Nevertheless, do remember that you can volunteer more directly in as many trials as you like, from asthma to Zollinger–Ellison syndrome. Many need healthy individuals.
Thanks must go to the NIH Office of Communications and Public Liaison and the trans-NIH team that put this site together.
This page was last updated on Monday, May 2, 2022