The SIG Beat


NEW SIG: Neuron-Glia Interactions 

Research on brain function at a cellular level focuses on neurons, but non-neuronal cells, called glia, regulate neuronal communication and function in many ways. All types of glial cells can detect and influence functional activity in neurons. This rapidly emerging science cuts across all traditionally separate fields of brain-function research at NIH. The Neuron-Glia Interactions (NGI) SIG will bring together scientists investigating the relationships of neurons and glia, share the latest research on neuron-glia interactions, and serve as a platform for discussion and collaboration.
NGI will also serve those seeking information on and education about these relationships applying to their own research on processes of development, basic biological functions and mechanisms, and plasticity, as well as to diseases models and pathology. To encourage mentoring and career development, postdocs and students will have the opportunity to present their work to the group as part of the seminar series. The NGI SIG will also host speakers from outside NIH. NGI will meet the first Tuesday of every month and is open to members of the NIH community and researchers in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area. For more information, e-mail Amy Shafqat, To join the LISTSERV, send your request to

NEW SIG: Dietary Supplements

The Dietary Supplement SIG was created to bring together NIH program officials and intramural investigators who are interested in dietary supplement research. As defined by Congress in the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, a dietary supplement is a product (other than tobacco) that is intended to supplement the diet; contains one or more dietary ingredients (including vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids, and other substances) or their constituents; and is intended to be taken by mouth as a pill, capsule, tablet, or liquid. The SIG will sponsor a monthly seminar series and quarterly meetings, and it will serve as a forum for the discussion of current and future activities occurring in the field of dietary supplements. It is open to everyone at NIH and associated agencies (FDA, USDA, etc.) who share an interest in dietary supplements research. To join the Dietary Supplements SIG and receive notifications of meetings and other events, contact Cindy Davis at


NIH Scientific Interest Groups (SIGS) are assemblies of scientists with common research interests. These groups sponsor symposia, poster sessions, and lectures; offer mentoring and career guidance for junior scientists; help researchers share the latest techniques and information; act as informal advisors to the Deputy Director of Intramural Research (DDIR); provide advice for the annual NIH Research Festival; and serve as hosts for the Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series. Many of the SIGs are co-sponsored by neighboring academic and government institutions and welcome interested non-NIH scientists. Information about group activities or new groups is published in the NIH Catalyst and on the DDIR Web Board, which is for NIH staff only. Some central coordination for the groups is provided by the Office of Intramural Research. The complete list of SIGs is at