Powerful, Condensed Matter

The One-Day 2019 Research Festival

scientific image (refer to caption)

CREDIT: LARRY OSTBY, NCI

Antiviral drug: Polarized crystals (photographed through a microscope) of the drug 2-3 dideoxyadenosine, also known as ddA, a drug that is closely related to AZT or azidothymidine. The antiviral effect of ddA against HIV was discovered at the National Cancer Institute. CREDIT: LARRY OSTBY, NCI

The 2019 NIH Research Festival will be as packed and energetic as a neutron star. Acting on your polite input from last year—that is, come on, guys, who has time for a three-day event?—we have condensed the Research Festival into one action-packed day on Wednesday, September 11.

You want hot topics? We got hot topics: combating pain, curing metabolic diseases, and highlighting cutting-edge homegrown intramural-research-program technologies.

You want prestigious NIH alumni? We got prestigious NIH alumni: 1998 Nobel Laureate Ferid Murad, who opens the festival with an inspiring talk about nitric oxide and cyclic guanosine monophosphate in cell signaling and drug development.

You want lightning talks? We got lightning talks: 24 three-minute talks covering the breadth of NIH science. Posters? Yes, they’re back but with a twist. There’s only one session this year, which will remain up all day and include a selection of Fellows Award for Research Excellence winners, tenure-track investigators, the lightning-talk participants, and scientific directors.

You want food? We got food: food trucks on campus and plenty of drinks and light fare at receptions.

You want music? We got music: the NIH Director’s band, a.k.a. ARRA, or the Affordable Rock‘n’Roll Act, will play at an award ceremony at the close of the day.

You want dancing? Well, most of you didn’t ask for that, but four of you did. Those four are free to dance to the aforementioned music, particularly on songs in which John Tisdale (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute) plays bass.

You don’t want to lose parking spaces? No, we didn’t pull that one off. That’s because the Technical Sales Association (TSA) Vendor Tent Show is indeed back under the big top on September 12 and 13. This is a good opportunity to meet with hundreds of vendors.

But here’s the most important part: We want you. It doesn’t matter whether your area of science doesn’t match what is being presented. What matters is that you get out of the lab or office and interact with your colleagues, see new people, hear new ideas, and broaden your perspective. Encouraging these activities was the purpose of the first, single-day “Research Day” in 1986 and is the purpose of the 2019 Research Festival.

There will be some other highlights best kept out of print for now…but likely legal, they tell us. (Preliminary schedule at https://researchfestival.nih.gov/2019.)

See you at the festival.


The 2019 Research Festival is Wednesday, September 11, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in Masur Auditorium, the FAES terrace, and other Building 10 locations. The corresponding TSA Vendor Tent Show is September 12–13 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (Thursday) and to 2:30 p.m. (Friday) in Parking Lot 10H. Questions? Contact ResearchFest@mail.nih.gov. The members of the NIH Research Festival Organizing Committee include Scientific Directors John Gallin (Clinical Center) and Amy Newman (National Institute on Drug Abuse) as well as Office of Intramural Research staff Chris Wanjek and Jacqueline Roberts. To see a preliminary schedule, go to https://researchfestival.nih.gov/2019.