On the road to doing independent scientific research, graduate school is a rite of passage. And so is the NIH—at least for the students who choose to do their dissertation work there. Their Ph.D. still comes from an academic institution, but it’s based on research done in an NIH intramural laboratory. This setup is all part of the Graduate Partnerships Program (GPP).
Many believe that resveratrol—a chemical found in red wine as well as in grapes, peanuts, and other plants—protects against aging-associated diseases such as type 2 diabetes. But no one has fully understood how it works. In February, senior investigator Jay H. Chung and colleagues at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute published a paper explaining how resveratrol affects enzymes that increase the activity of the aging-associated protein Sirtuin 1 (Sirt1). (Cell148:421-433, 2012).
NICHD Neuroscientists Link Neuron Age to Memory Formation
BY HEATHER DOLAN
Deep in the center of the brain is the cashew-size hippocampus, an organ essential to the formation of new memories. Without it we’d only remember the old ones. Scientists thought they understood how certain cells within the hippocampus played a crucial role in episodic memory. But recently, two NICHD neuroscientists—Christopher McBain and Kenneth Pelkey—contributed to a discovery that has turned that thinking on its head. (Cell149:188–201, 2012)
This issue of the Catalyst includes an article by Meghan Mott about the history and current status of the NIH Graduate Partnerships Program. The article summarizes the birth of the program as a natural progression of NIH’s long-term interest in supporting graduate students in our laboratories and clinics and describes the outstanding situation for our graduate students in formal partnerships as well as those in individual agreements with degree-granting universities. The article and my discussions with the author evoked some happy (and not so happy) memories that I thought I would share.
NIEHS: CELLULAR DAMAGE FROM NORMAL METABOLISM MAY CAUSE CANCER
NIEHS researchers and their collaborators have identified DNA regions in yeast and in some cancers that have a disproportionately high number of mutations. The findings represent an exception to the traditional view that mutations accumulate over time, and may explain one of the mechanisms behind cancer development.
NIEHS's Environmental Polymorphisms Registry and BTRIS Help Center
BY ROBIN ARNETTE (NIEHS) and JIM DELEO (CC)
This issue of the Catalyst features two "News You Can Use" items: NIEHS's Environmental Polymorphisms Registry; and an information/help center for the Biomedical Translational Research Information System (BTRIS).
SPECIAL NIH DIRECTOR’S LECTURE (WALS SUMMER LECTURE)
Wednesday, July 25, 2012; 3:00–4:00 p.m.; Masur Auditorium (Building 10)
National Science Foundation Director Subra Suresh will give a lecture on basic research at the convergence of physical and life sciences with a particular focus on human diseases. For more information, contact Jacqueline Roberts (firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-594-6747).