BY RACHEL SCHEINERT, NIMH, AND LAURA STEPHENSON CARTER
Just as the brain is a complex network of neurons, glia, and circuits, NIH’s recently completed John Edward Porter Neuroscience Research Center (PNRC) comprises a complex network of researchers, representing different institutes and disciplines, who are all focused on neuroscience. One of the largest neuroscience research facilities in the world, this state-of-the-art structure will bring together more than 800 scientists—from 10 institutes and centers—who will be working side by side, sharing both resources and ideas to advance the understanding of the nervous system in health and disease.
Although glial cells have traditionally been thought of as passive support cells in the nervous system, they are getting a starring role in the new Neuron-Glia Interactions (NGI) Scientific Interest Group (SIG). Glia, once considered to be simply the “glue” holding neurons in place, are proving to be diverse in origin, shape, and function. They are even being noted for their effect on functional activity and neural plasticity and their role in pathogenesis.
In an effort to jump-start genomic medicine, NIH is building an infrastructure for clinical genomic sequencing that can be used by researchers in their projects at the NIH Clinical Center. A new, two-year initiative called the Clinical Center Genomics Opportunity (CCGO) will underwrite the DNA sequencing and analysis of a total of 1,000 exomes.
Marian Young was bowled over when a recent college graduate e-mailed saying he wanted to help with her temporomandibular joint (TMJ) osteoarthritis research before he entered dental school. Although she hears from many students who want to intern in her lab, only Andrew Donald expressed a specific interest in her TMJ work.
Get ready, world. NIH intramural researchers are coming your way. Forbes Magazine compiles an annual list of 450 innovators under 30 years old—30 people in each of 15 categories—who are not waiting to make their mark. In 2014, two of the 30 promising young stars in the Science and Health Care category came from NIH’s Intramural Research Program: Anna Lau (Clinical Center) and Gregory Alushin (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute), pictured at left.
BY LYNN S. ADAMS, OFFICE OF RESEARCH ON WOMEN’S HEALTH
The potential negative health effects of artificial sweeteners and the activities of cellular lipid droplets during starvation took center stage at NIH’s Women Scientist Advisors (WSA) Scholars Seminar, which featured the research accomplishments of two female postdoctoral fellows: Wei-na Cong (NIA) and Sarah Cohen (NICHD). They were selected as WSA scholars from the pool of 2014 Fellow Award for Research Excellence (FARE) awardees.
United States Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) addressed the “National Institutes of Hope” with love and pride on her February 24 visit, vowing to “do all we can do in the federal law book and the federal checkbook to let you be you” by ending the sequester and supporting the NIH.