The NIH Intramural Research Program: Our Research Changes Medical Practice
BY MICHAEL GOTTESMAN, DDIR
Most of the readers of this column are aware of the enormous contributions to human health that the NIH has made by supporting basic biomedical research. For the NIH intramural research program (IRP) these contributions are reflected in numerous Nobel prizes to NIH scientists and trainees, other awards, and citations to articles by our highly visible scientists (https://irp.nih.gov/about-us/honors). An equally lasting impact of intramural research has been felt in medicine’s “standard of care” (what is supposed to happen when you enter a doctor’s office for a check-up, diagnosis, or treatment).
Discovery that Revolutionized Epithelial Cell Research
BY MICHELE LYONS, OFFICE OF NIH HISTORY
No, it wasn’t a prototype for a flux capacitor.
The “History Mystery” photo that appeared in the May-June issue of the NIH Catalyst (https://irp.nih.gov/catalyst/v21i3/nih-in-history) elicited 14 responses to our plea for help in identifying the equipment used by the late Roderic E. Steele, a researcher in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute from 1975 to 1988. Three were whimsical guesses—a flux capacitor (part of the time-travel machine featured in the Back to the Future trilogy); an early breast pump; and a device to deliver electroshock therapy. But most respondents provided real clues. They gave us contacts, descriptions, and journal articles. We thank everyone who helped identify this object. Now we know it is a “keeper” for the NIH Stetten Museum collection.
NIH researchers report on such discoveries as how cancer chromosome abnormalities form in living cells; endocannabinoids trigger inflammation that leads to diabetes; chronic alcohol use shifts how the brain controls behavior; flame retardants mimic estrogens; and more. Intramural researchers rank high in numbers of papers published in Nature; NIH brokered an agreement with the Lacks family regarding HeLa cells; and the Director’s Challenge Innovation Awards are announced.
Meet your recently tenured colleagues and find out what they do at NIH: Katherine Warren (NCI-CCR), Donald Cook (NIEHS), Steven Vogel (NIAAA), Kylie Walters (NCI-CCR), and Nicholas Wentzensen (NCI-DCEG).