Once you fall in love with science, you never really fall out of love with it. But what happens to a researcher who has lost that passion for conducting bench science and no longer wants to hold a test tube, write journal articles, or run a lab? Some NIH postdocs audition for other science-related careers via temporary assignments called details. Several share their stories and advice with NIH Catalyst readers.
What’s Happening in NCI’s Storied Labs to the North?
BY TANIA B. LOMBO, NCI
NIH Catalyst readers might be aware that the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has research labs in Frederick, Md. But how many know that—or why, for that matter—those labs are inside the gates of an army base? Or that what used to be called simply NCI-Frederick is now a composite of a recently designated national lab, several NCI Center for Cancer Research (CCR) intramural labs, and an administrative entity called the NCI Campus at Frederick?
In 2010, a grieving mother whose two young children had died from a rare neurological disorder was determined to see that no other family would suffer as hers had. She turned to NIH, sure that its scientists could decipher the genetic causes of Brown-Vialetto–Van Laere syndrome (BVVL), a disorder characterized by deafness, paralysis, and respiratory failure. Neurogeneticist Andrew Singleton at the National Institute on Aging (NIA) accepted the challenge. After all, he and his colleagues had discovered the genetic mutations responsible for a similar, albeit more common, neurodegenerative disorder—Parkinson disease.
Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski Talk About Sequestration
BY JOSEPH P. TIANO, NIDDK
U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) appeared at an NIH Town Hall Meeting on February 8, to express his support for NIH and its mission, to talk about the state of the federal budget and his hope that sequestration—which took effect on March 1—could be avoided, and to field questions from the audience. And U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) stopped by—for a tour and press conference—on February 20 to express her concerns.