Research, Colleagues, and a Shift from NCI to NIAMS
BY MOHOR SENGUPTA, NEI, AND LAURA STEPHENSON CARTER, OD
In Spring 1975, desperate parents brought their six-year-old daughter to NCI's Dermatology Branch to be treated for a rare, chronic skin disease—coupled with arthritis—that had plagued her for more than four years and was making her miserable. Her other doctors had been stumped, but Stephen Katz figured out what was wrong and treated her successfully. Katz, who who later became chief of the branch and then the director of NIAMS, trained dozens of people who have gone on to play significant roles in dermatology. It’s all part of the Dermatology Branch’s rich history.
“Thirty years ago this May, Dr. [Steven] Rosenberg and colleagues shepherded in the era of gene therapy when they removed, genetically altered, and returned cells to a patient with malignant melanoma,” read an email announcing a symposium where he would be giving a keynote address. Rosenberg was the first to insert foreign genes into a human.
Equity and Diversity in the NIH Intramural Research Program
BY MICHAEL GOTTESMAN, DDIR, AND GISELA STORZ, CHAIR, NIH EQUITY COMMITTEE
How can equity and diversity in the NIH intramural research program continue to be improved? The NIH Equity Committee, established in November 2017, is helping to address this question and has come up with several recommendations.
NIH Medical Research Scholar Nicole Dalal knew she was living in a historic building once occupied by nuns. But what she didn’t know was that her residence—Room 212 in the Cloister (Building 60), built in 1923 and taken over by NIH in 1984—had its own special history: Former National Cancer Institute (NCI) Director—now Acting Commissioner of the FDA—Ned Sharpless had lived there in the early 1990s.
Plans to Expand Mentorship and Training Opportunities
BY EMILY PETRUS, NINDS
The first email from Lorna Role to the scientists and staff of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) read “TALK TO ME.” And, as the new NINDS scientific director (SD), that’s exactly what she wants people to do.
Demystifying How Bacteria Thrive in Extreme Environments
BY MEGAN ROEGNER, NIDDK
What could microorganisms that exist in extreme environments such as hot springs in the crushing depths of our oceans have to do with bacteria that reside in our own bodies? This is the question that the “Demystifying Medicine” lecture series attempted to answer on February 5, 2019.
Read about discoveries made by NIH intramural researchers: how a protein uses filaments to bridge broken DNA; how workplace exposure to chemotherapy drugs is associated with an increased risk of miscarriage and genetic toxicity; the benefits of flavonoids; controlling cervical cancer; new chemogenetics technology for modulating brain function; the important role that rest may play in learning; and making progress toward Epstein-Barr virus vaccine.
Fellows can now get peer-to-peer training on the latest scientific topics and techniques. Since 2017, Ruth Chia (then a research fellow and now a staff scientist) and Adamantios Mamais (visiting fellow) at the National Institute on Aging have been organizing seminars in which fellows teach fellows topics ranging from managing big data to conducting machine learning in genetics.
The world’s most powerful MRI scanner was delivered to NIH in March and installed in the NIH Clinical Center (Building 10). The 11.7-Tesla magnet, weighing 51 tons, was built in Italy, journeyed across the ocean by cargo ship to Baltimore, and then transported by tractor-trailer truck to NIH.