BY RACHEL SCHEINERT, NIMH, AND LAURA STEPHENSON CARTER
Just as the brain is a complex network of neurons, glia, and circuits, NIH’s recently completed John Edward Porter Neuroscience Research Center (PNRC) comprises a complex network of researchers, representing different institutes and disciplines, who are all focused on neuroscience. One of the largest neuroscience research facilities in the world, this state-of-the-art structure will bring together more than 800 scientists—from 10 institutes and centers—who will be working side by side, sharing both resources and ideas to advance the understanding of the nervous system in health and disease.
Although glial cells have traditionally been thought of as passive support cells in the nervous system, they are getting a starring role in the new Neuron-Glia Interactions (NGI) Scientific Interest Group (SIG). Glia, once considered to be simply the “glue” holding neurons in place, are proving to be diverse in origin, shape, and function. They are even being noted for their effect on functional activity and neural plasticity and their role in pathogenesis.
In an effort to jump-start genomic medicine, NIH is building an infrastructure for clinical genomic sequencing that can be used by researchers in their projects at the NIH Clinical Center. A new, two-year initiative called the Clinical Center Genomics Opportunity (CCGO) will underwrite the DNA sequencing and analysis of a total of 1,000 exomes.
Accreditation of NIH’s Human-Subjects Research Protections Program
BY MICHAEL GOTTESMAN, DDIR; AND LYNNETTE NIEMAN, DIRECTOR, OHSRP
From the time its Clinical Center opened in the 1950s, NIH has been a leader in conducting clinical research under a complex oversight system that reflects legal and regulatory requirements and international ethical standards. We are pleased to announce that the high quality of our human-subjects research protections program was recognized recently when the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP) awarded full accreditation to the NIH intramural research program.
Read about the latest findings by NIH intramural scientists including: a new gene associated with ALS and dementia; obesity primes the colon for cancer; why vein grafts fail; prevalence of allergies is the same no matter where people live; and more.
Marian Young was bowled over when a recent college graduate e-mailed saying he wanted to help with her temporomandibular joint (TMJ) osteoarthritis research before he entered dental school. Although she hears from many students who want to intern in her lab, only Andrew Donald expressed a specific interest in her TMJ work.
Get ready, world. NIH intramural researchers are coming your way. Forbes Magazine compiles an annual list of 450 innovators under 30 years old—30 people in each of 15 categories—who are not waiting to make their mark. In 2014, two of the 30 promising young stars in the Science and Health Care category came from NIH’s Intramural Research Program: Anna Lau (Clinical Center) and Gregory Alushin (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute), pictured at left.
BY LYNN S. ADAMS, OFFICE OF RESEARCH ON WOMEN’S HEALTH
The potential negative health effects of artificial sweeteners and the activities of cellular lipid droplets during starvation took center stage at NIH’s Women Scientist Advisors (WSA) Scholars Seminar, which featured the research accomplishments of two female postdoctoral fellows: Wei-na Cong (NIA) and Sarah Cohen (NICHD). They were selected as WSA scholars from the pool of 2014 Fellow Award for Research Excellence (FARE) awardees.
The Lay Audience Includes Potential Collaborators and Funders
BY JOHN DANIELS, NHGRI
When you think of a scientific poster, you may picture minutely detailed text of dense information colored only by a bar graph or a grossly enlarged microscopic image. But at a symposium held at NIH in December 2013, researchers from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) experimented with a new approach: translating their posters into language accessible to the lay public. Of the more than 100 posters presented during the symposium, 11 were of the plain-language variety.
Expanding Your NIH Experience: Flourishing beyond the Bench
BY PATRICIA FORCINITO, NIDCR, AND WENDY KNOSP, NIDCR
NIH’s Fellows Committee (FelCom) offers a variety of activities and useful resources for trainees, including the opportunity to participate in community-service activities through its Service and Outreach Subcommittee (SOS). Recently, the SOS hosted a luncheon for residents of NIH’s Edmond J. Safra Family Lodge, which provides a temporary home for families and loved ones of Clinical Center patients.
United States Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) addressed the “National Institutes of Hope” with love and pride on her February 24 visit, vowing to “do all we can do in the federal law book and the federal checkbook to let you be you” by ending the sequester and supporting the NIH.
The NIH Bethesda campus was buzzing with excitement recently when the Dalai Lama visited the Clinical Center and gave the annual J. Edward Rall Cultural Lecture. He has been interacting with scientists since the 1980s and welcomed the opportunity to interact with NIHers and Clinical Center patients.
National Academy of Sciences: In April 2014, Carolina Barillas-Mury (NIAID), Marius G. Clore (NIDDK), and Shiv I. Grewal (NCI) were elected to the National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors a scientist can receive. The awardees will present their work at a mini symposium on Monday, June 16, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., in Masur Auditorium (Building 10)
American Academy of Arts and Sciences: Donald Lee Court (NCI), Thomas A. Kunkel (NIEHS), and Shiv I. Grewal (NCI) were elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in April 2014. Other notable members of the 2014 class include actor Alfredo “Al” Pacino; New York Philharmonic Orchestra Music Director Alan Gilbert; and award-winning American author Adam Hochschild.
OTHER EVENTS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS: WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON LECTURE SERIES (WALS); LIPID MEDIATORS AND THE REGULATION OF INFLAMMATION AND DISEASE (MAY 30); HISTORY OF MEDICINE LECTURES (JUNE 17, JULY 15); NIH COMMON FUND 10-YEAR COMMEMORATION SYMPOSIUM (JUNE 19); NIH GRADUATE AND PROFESSIONAL SCHOOL FAIR (JULY 16); POSTDOC POSITIONS AT NIEHS; APPLY FOR BENCH-TO-BEDSIDE AWARDS; AND MORE