News Briefs

SENATORS PLEDGE SUPPORT FOR BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH

When United States Senators Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland) and Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) visited NIH a few weeks ago, they pledged their support for getting more federal funding for biomedical research. Mikulski toured the National Center for Advancing Translational Science facility in Rockville, on March 31. The facility has a high-speed robotic screening system that analyzes chemical compounds that are candidates for drug treatments.

FRANCIS COLLINS (LEFT) AND SENATOR BEN CARDIN ON STAGE

ERNIE BRANSON

U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), shown with NIH Director Francis Collins (left), fielded audience questions and comments after his town hall meeting at NIH on April 2.

Cardin held a town hall (his third) for NIHers in Masur Auditorium (Building 10) on April 2, and fielded questions and comments from the audience. To see a video of the town hall event, for NIH viewers only, go to http://video­cast.nih.gov/launch.asp?18925. You can also read the full account of the senators’ visits in the April 24 issue of the NIH Record at http://nihrecord.nih.gov/news­letters/2015/04_24_2015/story1.htm.

 

 

MARSHALL NIRENBERG

CELEBRATING MARSHALL NIRENBERG

Marshall Nirenberg, the first NIH intramural scientist to win a Nobel prize, was a “scientist’s scientist” and a “mentor’s mentor,” according to NIH Director Francis Collins. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Nirenberg’s cracking of the genetic code, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) held “A Tribute to Marshall Nirenberg” on March 17, 2015. The tribute was the first of a trio of events. The second is scheduled for May 20 with David Page from the Whitehead Institute (Cambridge, Massachusetts), 3:00–4:00 p.m., Masur Auditorium (Building 10). The third event is planned for the fall.

The tribute included remarks by friends, family, and colleagues, including Nirenberg’s widow Myrna Weissman and former colleague Frank Portugal, who wrote the book The Least Likely Man: Marshall Nirenberg and the Discovery of the Genetic Code (MIT Press, 2015). In addition, two experts in preserv­ing the Nirenberg materials spoke: George Thoma, chief of NLM’s Communications Engineering Branch, who launched the new Turning-the-Pages interactive presenta­tion of Nirenberg’s work; and David Serlin [University of California, San Diego (La Jolla)], who curated NLM’s Profiles in Science Web site on Nirenberg’s papers. Nirenberg’s Nobel medal and certificate were also presented (by Weissman) to NLM for permanent display in the NLM HIstory of Medicine Division. Read more at http://irp.nih.gov/catalyst/v23i3/celebrating-marshall-nirenberg.

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