NIH’s Building 3 was once a researcher’s paradise. For more than half a century, it was chock-full of remarkable scientists and bustling with activity. Before it closed in 2001, it had housed some of NIH’s best biomedical investigators—pioneering malaria researchers, the first female board-certified heart surgeon, a fledging leader of the pharmaceutical industry, three future NIH directors, 15 scientists who were inducted into the National Academy of Sciences, and five eventual Nobel laureates.
NCCAM Has a New Scientific Director and a New Focus
BY HEATHER DOLAN
With the arrival of new scientific director Catherine Bushnell, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) is redefining its intramural program. Bushnell, an internationally recognized pain and neuroscience researcher, has launched a program on pain research.
This issue of the Catalyst includes an article about the renovation of Building 3 and reminiscences about the glory that was ours in the early 1950s when giants roamed the halls of NIH, especially Building 3. (Not to be outdone, Building 2 was no slouch either, but that is for another essay.)
Cynthia Dunbar means business. Monkey business, that is. Dunbar, who heads the Laboratory of Molecular Hematopoiesis in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), is investigating human hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), the precursors to all blood cell types. As it turns out, rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta) and human HSCs are very similar.
The IRP Web Site To Offer Central Listing of NIH PIs
BY BEN CHAMBERS, SPECIAL TO THE NIH CATALYST
Finding information on the approximately 1,200 intramural principal investigators (PIs) spread across 23 NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) has often depended on networking with other scientists or browsing multiple Web sites. Until now.
NHGRI: HUMAN MICROBIOME PROJECT DEFINES NORMAL BACTERIAL MAKEUP OF THE BODY
For the first time, a consortium of researchers—the Human Microbiome Project (HMP)—organized by NIH has mapped the normal microbial makeup of healthy humans, producing numerous insights and a few surprises. Researchers found, for example, that nearly everyone routinely carries pathogens. In healthy individuals, however, pathogens cause no disease; they simply coexist with their host and the rest of the human microbiome, the collection of all microorganisms living in the human body. Researchers must now figure out why some pathogens turn deadly and under what conditions, likely revising current concepts of how microorganisms cause disease.
Replacing Energy-Guzzling Freezers Saves Research Dollars
BY CHRISTOPHER WANJEK
Science at NIH is energy-intensive work in more ways than one. There’s around-the-clock labor. And then there’s the friendly neighborhood power plant providing the electricity to run all those instruments and machines…jokes about post-storm reliability aside. Science is also expensive. The typical monthly PEPCO energy bill is in the $5 million range. A not-so-insignificant portion of this amount is due to freezer use. There are at least 2,400 freezers on the Bethesda campus alone. Nearly every lab has one and many have two.
For the past 10 years, the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) has harnessed the talents of engineers, biomedical researchers, and clinicians to tackle challenging medical problems. In June, NIBIB celebrated its 10th anniversary with a daylong scientific symposium that showcased the latest biomedical advances.
National Science Foundation Director Shares an Engineer’s Perspective on Malaria Research
BY CAROLYN GRAYBEAL, NIAAA
Engineer-scientists have long been intrigued by the physics of large organ systems such as the circulatory system and the skeletal system. But now, they are gaining insights into disease-induced changes in the physical properties of cells and molecules those systems.
Award-winning posters have something in common, and it’s not just the science presented. Presenting effective scientific posters can lead to interesting scientific discussions, opportunities for networking and collaborating, and even job offers. When you are planning, preparing, and presenting a poster, it is important to remember that it is a visual tool for science communication.
Summer is baseball season, and on July 24 intramural scientists at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) hosted the all-star team “Jeter’s Leaders” to teach them about the latest research in alcohol abuse and alcoholism. Approximately 100 high school students from Michigan and New York traveled to NIH to catch a glimpse of the big leagues in scientific research.
Justin Halberda, Ph.D. (Johns Hopkins University), will present "Basic Cognition for Numbers: Potential Impacts in the Science Classroom" on Thursday, October 25, 2012; 3:00-4:15 p.m.; Building 50, Room 1328/1334.