The SIG Beat


NEW SIG: Natural Products Scientific Interest Group

The Natural Products SIG was created to bring together NIH program officials and intramural investigators who are interested in natural products research. “Natural products” are chemical substances with distinctive pharmacological effects that are produced by living organisms, most notably marine invertebrates, plants, fungi, and bacteria. Single chemical entities as well as their mixtures in natural product extracts have a long history of use as drugs, drug precursors, and/or complementary health adjuvants. Such materials have provided the source or inspiration for a vast number of FDA-approved agents and continue to be one of the major sources of inspiration for drug discovery. The SIG will meet quarterly and is open to all persons within NIH and associated agencies (FDA, USDA, etc.) who share an interest in natural products research. The group currently has 60 members—including intramural researchers and extramural program and review staff—and encourages collaborations among intramural researchers. For more information or to be added to the LISTSERV, contact John Williamson at

RETURNING SIG: Neurodevelopmental Disorders Interest Group

Coming soon: The Neurodevelopmental Disorders (NDD) Interest Group is being reconstituted. The NDD SIG will foster collaboration among NIH intramural investigators who are involved in both basic and clinical research that is related to autism spectrum disorders and other neurodevelopmental disorders. Monthly meetings are planned (stay tuned for meeting dates). The group moderator is Carolyn Beebe Smith, a senior investigator in NIMH’s Section on Neuroadaptation and Protein Metabolism. To join the NDD SIG and received notifications of meetings and other events, contact Geeta Strange at