Only one event brings together the intramural community year after year, and that’s the NIH Research Festival. The 2012 Research Festival was particularly momentous because it marked NIH’s quasquicentennial, or 125th anniversary.
In the summer of 2011, a strain of Klebsiella pneumoniae that was resistant to the powerful antibiotic carbapenem began working its way through some of the NIH Clinical Center's most gravely ill patients. Even infection-control procedures failed to stop the spread before seven patients died. So the Clinical Center (CC) did what no ordinary hospital could. It marshaled the forces of NIH’s intramural program: Intramural Sequencing Center scientists and technicians, CC microbiologists and epidemiologists, and National Human Genome Research Institute researchers pitched in to help.
The problem of hospital-acquired (nosocomial) infections has been with us for many years. These organisms tend to be resistant to most antibiotics in common use, since hospital patients are exposed routinely to potent, broad-spectrum antibiotics. The recent cluster of carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae (KPC) at the NIH Clinical Center, fatal to seven of 19 infected or colonized patients with compromised immune systems, represents the tip of an iceberg illustrating the increasing intransigence of microbes to treatment with antibiotics. It also demonstrates how the NIH intramural research program is able to apply cutting-edge technology to identify an important public health problem and develop a strategy to deal with it.
Joseph Kinyoun, the Hygienic Laboratory, and the Origins of the NIH
BY EVA ÅHRÉN, OFFICE OF NIH HISTORY
In Building One on the NIH campus, next to the main floor elevators, hangs a portrait of a middle-aged man with rolled-up sleeves, one hand on his hip, the other on a shiny brass microscope. A plaque identifies the subject as “Joseph J. Kinyoun, Director of the Hygienic Laboratory, 1887-1899.” The National Institutes of Health traces its origins back to the Hygienic Laboratory (HL), the first federal laboratory of medical bacteriology.
A Small-Molecule Drug to Kill HIV: An Interview with Dan Appella
Dan Appella leads the Synthetic Bioactive Molecules Section in the Laboratory of Bioorganic Chemistry in the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. He works collaboratively with NIH researchers on a variety of projects including the design of a small molecule that kills human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Dan sat down over lunch one recent afternoon with inquisitive five-year-old NIH Catalyst intern Lin Wanjek-Yasutake, who cut to the chase with a set of hard-hitting questions.
Your heart pounds. Your palms sweat and become clammy. Your mind goes blank. All because someone asked, “So, what about you?” It’s time to describe your work, in two minutes or less, without visual aids, to a fellow scientist in a different discipline.
Update: Material Transfer Agreements Made Even Easier
BY TAD SUPPORT TEAM
Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs) just became even easier to manage and maintain thanks to the new and improved Transfer Agreement Dashboard (TAD). New features include an online catalog of frequently requested NIH materials and the ability to create MTAs for transfers of materials into the NIH.
News From and About the NIH Scientific Interest Groups
New SIG: Bioinformatics
The Bioinformatics Interest Group focuses on fundamental and specific bioinformatics concepts and methodologies and provides novices with an opportunity to learn from and discuss career advice with experts in the field.
The DEMYSTIFYING MEDICINE course starts its 11th year on January 8, 2013, and will be held on Tuesdays, through May 7, 4:00-5:30 p.m., in the Building 50 Conference Room. Learn more about this course, NIH lectures and events, awards, and other announcements.