How Cells Crawl

Illuminating the Dynamics of Cell Motility

No, Masur Auditorium hadn’t become a campground. That orange dome-shaped tent sitting in the middle of the stage was a prop for a Mider Lecture given as part of the Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series. Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz used it to demonstrate what happens to a cell’s “skeleton,” or more precisely its cytoskeleton, when it crawls.

Read more

Why Do Tumors Keep on Growing?

Cancer Therapy Kills Only Part of a Tumor

“I want to get you to change your thinking about how we evaluate cancer,” Antonio “Tito” Fojo told the audience that had gathered in Lipsett Amphitheater (Building 10) on June 12 for the Great Teachers Tenth Annual John Laws Decker Memorial Lecture. Cancer therapy, he said, kills only part of a tumor—the part that’s sensitive to a cancer-fighting drug. The rest is resistant and continues to grow.

Read more

From the Deputy Director for Intramural Research

The NIH Intramural Research Program: Our Research Changes Medical Practice

Most of the readers of this column are aware of the enormous contributions to human health that the NIH has made by supporting basic biomedical research. For the NIH intramural research program (IRP) these contributions are reflected in numerous Nobel prizes to NIH scientists and trainees, other awards, and citations to articles by our highly visible scientists ( An equally lasting impact of intramural research has been felt in medicine’s “standard of care” (what is supposed to happen when you enter a doctor’s office for a check-up, diagnosis, or treatment).

Read more

NHGRI-Smithsonian Collaboration

A New Model for NIH Outreach

In June, the “Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code” exhibition opened at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (Washington, D.C.). The exhibition celebrates the anniversaries of two historic landmarks: the 10th anniversary of the Human Genome Project’s completion and the 60th anniversary of James Watson and Francis Crick’s discovery of DNA’s double-helical structure.

Read more

Research Briefs

NIH researchers report on such discoveries as how cancer chromosome abnormalities form in living cells; endocannabinoids trigger inflammation that leads to diabetes; chronic alcohol use shifts how the brain controls behavior; flame retardants mimic estrogens; and more. Intramural researchers rank high in numbers of papers published in Nature; NIH brokered an agreement with the Lacks family regarding HeLa cells; and the Director’s Challenge Innovation Awards are announced.  

Read more

Colleagues: Recently Tenured

Meet your recently tenured colleagues and find out what they do at NIH: Katherine Warren (NCI-CCR), Donald Cook (NIEHS), Steven Vogel (NIAAA), Kylie Walters (NCI-CCR), and Nicholas Wentzensen (NCI-DCEG).

Read more

NIH in History

History Mystery Solved

Discovery that Revolutionized Epithelial Cell Research

No, it wasn’t a prototype for a flux capacitor.

The “History Mystery” photo that appeared in the May-June issue of the NIH Catalyst ( elicited 14 responses to our plea for help in identifying the equipment used by the late Roderic E. Steele, a researcher in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute from 1975 to 1988. Three were whimsical guesses—a flux capacitor (part of the time-travel machine featured in the Back to the Future trilogy); an early breast pump; and a device to deliver electroshock therapy. But most respondents provided real clues. They gave us contacts, descriptions, and journal articles. We thank everyone who helped identify this object. Now we know it is a “keeper” for the NIH Stetten Museum collection.

Read more

Making Progress against Rare Adrenal Tumors

People suffering from rare diseases often feel isolated and have few opportunities to share their experiences with one another. But at NIH recently, people with two types of rare adrenal tumors—pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma—met at a gathering that included physicians and scientists to learn about the latest in research and treatments.

Read more

NIH Director Visits Camp Fantastic

NIH Director Francis Collins donned a dragon hat recently when he visited Camp Fantastic (Front Royal, Va.) to help campers celebrate the theme Medieval Times. The weeklong camp lets children in all stages of cancer treatment shed their cancer image and feel like normal kids again. Camp medical director Stephen Chanock (newly appointed scientific director for NCI-DCEG) and other NIH volunteers make it possible for children to attend the camp at any stage of their treatment.

Read more

The Training Page

In Training News, the Clinical Center has a new course for Ph.D. students and the Fellows Editorial Board provides free editing services to all fellows at NIH and FDA. 

Read more

News You Can Use

NIH Medical Arts

We’re Much Alive and Changing the Way We Do Business


Read more

The SIG Beat

News From and About the NIH Scientific Interest Groups


Monday, September 23
10:30–11:30 a.m.
Natcher Conference Center (Building 45), Room B

Read more

Town Hall Meeting at NIH

Featuring HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius visited the NIH on August 1 for a tour that included the Children’s Inn and an NCI lab; meetings with NIH leaders; and Town Hall Meeting for NIH staff. At the Town Hall Meeting. Secretary Sebelius recognized the “dazzling” contributions of NIH researchers despite budget cuts and uncertainty. As she answered questions submitted in advance by members of the NIH community, she reaffirmed her commitment to funding medical research and celebrated NIH achievements. 

Read more


Highlights of what’s happening at NIH this fall: lectures, symposia, and other events featuring probiotics, big data, WALS, cancer, regenerative medicine, NIH Research Festival, and more.

Read more