The Science of Mentoring Women in Science

Judith Walters: Mentor Extraordinaire

Judith “Judie” Walters is a self-described “product of a women’s college”—Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. She was confident she could tackle academic challenges and assume leadership roles in whatever she chose to do. At college she had fallen in love with the emerging field of neuropharmacology—the study of how drugs affect the brain. There was no question in her mind that she would go on to pursue a career in science. But when she applied to graduate school in the late 1960s, one male interviewer asked, “Why do you want to get a Ph.D.? You’re a woman!” Unfazed, Walters went on to earn a Ph.D. in pharmacology from Yale. Today she is chief of the Neurophysiological Pharmacology Section in the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

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B Cells, T Cells, and Natural Killers, Oh My!

Elaine Jaffe Puts Lymphomas in Their Place

Cancers are not created equally. NIH hematopathologist Elaine Jaffe, whose work focuses on cancers of the blood-forming system, knows all too well how subtle variations can have an impact on diagnoses and treatment. Indeed, she has exploited those variations in her search for treatments. In scrutinizing minute differences among malignant lymphomas, Jaffe has conducted pioneering studies related to their classification and has led an international effort for consensus among clinicians and pathologists.

 

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News Briefs

Harold Varmus is stepping down as the director of the National Cancer Institute; NIH is playing a key role in President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative.

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Colleagues: Recently Tenured

Meet your recently tenured colleagues: Daphne Bell (NHGRI, pictured); Michele Evans (NIA); Mark Gilbert (NINDS); Ivan Ovcharenko (NLM-NCBI); Rose Yang (NCI-DCEG).

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NIH Town Hall Meeting with HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell

On January 28, 2015, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell spent a few hours at NIH for whirlwind tours of labs and clinics, for meetings with several NIH scientific leaders to get research updates, and as the guest of honor at a town hall meeting in Masur Auditorium (Building 10).

 

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News You Can Use

NIH Imaging and Probe Development Center

Synthesizing Noncommercial Probes

With its emeralds, nanodiamonds, and gold particles sparkling upon countertops and bench tops, NIH’s Imaging and Probe Development Center (IPDC) might be mistaken for a jewelry factory. But what’s being produced here is arguably more valuable than jewels, at least to the scientists that the IPDC serves. The IPDC synthesizes imaging agents—some with names like precious gems—for biomedical research and clinical applications.

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Research Briefs

NIH investigators have discovered the genomic switches of a blood cell key to regulating the human immune system; developed a blood test for patients with Alzheimer disease who do not respond normally to insulin; purified a protein that is linked to a form of hereditary hearing loss, found that many Americans are at risk for alcohol-medication interactions; and more.

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The Training Page

SPECIAL FROM THE NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE

LEA(R)N: Lead, Encourage, Apply, (Retain), Network

Sallie Rosen Kaplan, who was never able to attend college,  was committed to the education of women and helped support biomedical research at NIH. After she died in 1998, her estate established a fellowship, named in her honor, to recruit postdoctoral women to biomedical research at the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

 

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Commentary

Enhancing Reproducibility of Neuroscience Studies

A Report from the Society for Neuroscience Meeting

Scientific disagreements are essential for progress. Hypotheses are rigorously tested, and results are peer reviewed at every step of discovery. But there is a growing concern that many published preclinical studies, especially ones using animal models, cannot be replicated.

 

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From the Annals of NIH History

Women’s History: 1930s Meningitis Research

“Know your enemy” describes the work of Sara Branham (1888–1962), who is  credited with the discovery and isolation of the virus that causes spinal meningitis.

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Announcements

Linda Watkins from University of Colorado at Boulder will give a lecture on her chronic pain research on May 4; Check Announcements for news on other lectures, special events, and more.

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