A message from Michael Gottesman, Deputy Director for Intramural Research:

This is a call for speaker nominations for the 2020-2021 season of the NIH Director’s Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series (WALS).

WALS is the highest profile lecture series at the NIH, established in the 1990s as the premier event for hosting world-class scientists to speak on the broad array of scientific topics vital to the NIH mission. Lectures occur on most Wednesdays from September through June from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m., in Masur Auditorium (Building 10), on the NIH Bethesda campus (also viewable via videocast).

I often jest that a WALS nomination is like a “baby” Lasker Award and Nobel Prize. Every year, at least one of our speakers goes on to win one of these prestigious awards. Coincidence? No. I think the correlation is a result of your consistent nominations of leading scientists with remarkable research accomplishments.

So, please help keep this series relevant with your careful selection of speakers who reflect the excellence of the NIH’s scientific research and the NIH community’s desire for constant learning and discovery. We prefer nominees from diverse backgrounds with a compelling scientific story to share and who haven’t delivered a WALS talk in the last five years.

We are accepting nominations through Friday, November 29, 2019, until 11:59 p.m. at

Note that the 2020-2021 WALS season will start in September 2020. To see a list of “Past Lecture Seasons and Speakers” as well as the “Current Lecture Season” speakers, visit (and click on the appropriate link on the left side of the web page). If you have specific questions or concerns, please contact the series coordinator, Jacqueline Roberts, at 301-594-6747 or


  • Friday, November 8, 2019, 10:00 a.m.
  • Masur Auditorium (Building 10)
  • To watch the lecture online, visit

The Office of Intramural Research, Office of the Director, NIH, invites you to the 14th annual Philip S. Chen, Jr., Ph.D. Distinguished Lecture on Innovation and Technology Transfer. Dr. John Tisdale will present “The Long and Winding Road toward Molecular Cures of the First Molecular Disease.” He is Senior Investigator and Chief of the Cellular and Molecular Therapeutics Branch, NHLBI.

Individuals with disabilities who need Sign Language Interpreters and/or reasonable accommodation to participate in this event should contact Joe Kleinman at 301-496-0472 and/or the Federal Relay (1-800-877-8339). Requests should be made at least 5 days in advance of the event.


The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) will host a special grand rounds to mark the genesis of the NIDCR Sjögren’s Syndrome Clinic, a bench-to-bedside program bringing basic and preclinical scientific discoveries to the clinical setting. In 1984, a clinical protocol to study salivary gland dysfunction, led by NIDCR investigators Phil Fox and Bruce Baum, launched the Dry Mouth Clinic, which eventually became known as the Sjögren’s Syndrome Clinic. Speakers will trace the past, present, and future of research on this systemic autoimmune condition, which commonly causes dry mouth and dry eyes and affects up to 4 million people in the United States. Dry mouth is caused by decreased functioning of the salivary glands, and interferes with taste, makes chewing and swallowing more difficult, and increases the risk for cavities, tooth loss, and oral infections. Featured speakers include NIDCR Scientist Emeritus Bruce Baum, who developed the first-ever salivary gland gene therapy tried in humans; Steven Taylor, chief executive officer, Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation; Caroline Shiboski, professor and chair, Department of Orofacial Sciences, University of California San Francisco School of Dentistry; and NIDCR Assistant Clinical Investigator Blake Warner. The event will be immediately followed by a reception on the FAES terrace. Individuals who need sign language interpreting and/or other reasonable accommodations to participate in this event should contact Chalante Davis at and 301-827-1093, or the Federal Relay at 1-800-877-8339. Requests should be made at least five days in advance of the event.


Dr. Patricia W. Stone will present: “Informing Health Policy Through Science to Improve Healthcare for Older Adults.” In her presentation, Dr. Stone will discuss her program of research that focuses on enhancing the quality of care for older adults, including preventing healthcare-associated infection and improving infection management and end-of-life care.

Patricia W. Stone is the Centennial Professor in Health Policy at Columbia University School of Nursing. She earned a Ph.D. from the University of Rochester and completed postdoctoral training at Harvard University. Her research aims to enhance the quality of care for older adults including preventing health-care-associated infection and improving infection management and end-of-life care. Her program of research has contributed to policy changes, such as state and federal legislative mandates that hospitals report infections. Dr. Stone’s passion is teaching the next generation of nurse scientists how to lead interdisciplinary research teams that generate knowledge, influence health policy, and improve patient and population health. 

To request reasonable accommodations, including sign language interpretation, please contact the Federal Relay at 1-800-877-8339 or at least five days before the event.

The NINR Director’s Lecture Series is designed to bring the nation’s top nurse scientists to the NIH campus to share their work and interests with a transdisciplinary audience. For more information, visit:  


NIH has launched the NIH Figshare instance, a pilot project with the generalist data repository Figshare. The NIH Figshare instance is one of many options to share research data – for a list of NIH-supported open-access community data repositories, visit NIH Figshare is available for all NIH-funded researchers and NIH intramural researchers to share research data that do not have a domain-specific repository, data underlying publication figures and tables, or useful data not associated with a publication. To see if NIH Figshare is a good choice for your research, visit the FAQs page:

This project supports the NIH’s vision for a modernized, integrated biomedical data ecosystem, which is outlined in the NIH Strategic Plan for Data Science. A goal of the plan is to have NIH-funded data be findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR). To support this FAIR data goal, the Office of Data Science Strategy (ODSS) is working with an NIH-wide team to look at ways to enhance data sharing and access. All NIH-funded researchers are encouraged to share research data to enhance the rigor and reproducibility of research results.

For more information about the pilot project, please email ODSS at To sign up, visit


  • Most Wednesdays (September-June), 3:00-4:00 p.m.
  • Masur Auditorium or Lipsett Amphitheater (Building 10)
  • Videocast:

The NIH Director’s Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series, colloquially known as WALS, is the highest-profile lecture program at the NIH. Each season includes some of the biggest names in biomedical and behavioral research. The goal of the WALS is to keep NIH researchers abreast of the latest and most important research in the United States and beyond. An added treat is the annual J. Edward Rall Cultural Lecture, which features top authors and other cultural icons. All speakers are nominated by the NIH community. For the full list of the speakers for the current lecture season, go to

November 6: Craig M. Crews, Ph.D., Yale University; “PROTAC-mediated protein degradation: a new therapeutic modality”

November 20: Ralph R. Isberg, Ph.D., Tufts University School of Medicine; “Bad Deeds Go Unpunished: The vacuole guard hypothesis and pathogen intracellular growth”

December 4: Sonia Vallabh, J.D., Ph.D. & Eric Minikel, Ph.D., Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard; “A patient-scientist’s road toward primary prevention in genetic prion disease”

December 11: Emily Chew, M.D., National Eye Institute; “We are what we eat: nutrition, genes, cognition & deep learning in age-related macular degeneration”

December 18: Melody Goodman, Ph.D., New York University; “You want to quantify that?! The science and metrics of partner engagement in research”

January 15, 2020: Ileana M. Cristea, Ph.D., Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University; D”ynamic organelle shape and function during herpesvirus infection”

January 29, 2020: Gilda A. Barabino, Ph.D., The City College of New York; “A two-act play: The character of cells and the role of biomechanics”


The NIH- and FAES-sponsored course “Demystifying Medicine” is designed to excite the interest of Ph.D. and M.D. students, fellows, researchers, and others in bridging the gap between amazing advances in basic science and the challenges of clinical disease. There are no formal requirements to attend as many of the weekly sessions as desired. The format involves a translational physician, a basic scientist, and usually a live patient who puts a human face on the disease. 

January 7: Current Status of Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases [Anthony Fauci, MD (NIAID), Roger Glass, MD, PhD (Fogarty International Center Vaccine challenges: Example Rotovirus)]

January 14: Ebola: Then, Now and the NIH [Daniel Chertow, MD, MPH (CC), Vincent Munster, PhD (NIAID), Nancy Sullivan, PhD (NIAID)]

January 21: Biophotonics: From Light Pulses to Heart Pulses: Viewing Life on the Inside [Bruce Tromberg, PhD (NIBIB) and colleague]

January 28: Taxol: Discovery, Mechanism and Cancer Treatment [Susan Band Horwitz, PhD (Albert Einstein College of Medicine), Jung-Min Lee, MD (NCI)]

February 4: HIV: Latest Challenges in Mechanism and Management [John Coffin, PhD (NCI/Tufts), Frank Maldarelli, MD, PhD (NCI)[\]

February 11: Addiction and Pain:Are They Inseparable? [Nora Volkow, MD, PhD (NIDA), Catherine Bushnell, PhD (NCCIH)]

February 18: Autophagy: Mechanisms and Neurodegenerative Disease [Anna Marie Cuervo, MD, PhD (Albert Einstein College of Medicine), Michael Ward, MD, PhD (NINDS)]

February 25: Tracing Memories from Molecular Footprints to Alzheimer's Disease [Lorna Role, PhD (NINDS), Dimitrios Kapogiannis, MD (NIA)]

March 3: Encephalitis and the Immune System [Avindra Nath, MD (NINDS), Bryan Smith, MD (NINDS)]

March 10: Challenges of Childhood Disorders of Mood and Attention [Philip Shaw, PhD (NHGRI), Argyris Stringaris, MD, PhD (NIMH)]

March 17: Diversity and Disease in the Genomic Era [Gary Gibbons, MD (NHLBI), Anne Sumner, MD (NIDDK)]

March 24: Bone Marrow Based Therapies [Cynthia Dunbar, MD (NHLBI), Harry Malech, MD (NIAID)]

March 31: Viruses and Immunodeficiency: Mechanisms and Management [Philip Murphy, MD, PhD (NIAID), Heidi Kong, MD (NIAMS)]

April 7: Multiple Sclerosis: Advances in Pathogenesis and Treatment [Bibiana Bielekova, MD (NIAID), Alison Wichman, MD (NIAID)]

April 14: Sickle Cell Anemia: Treatable and/or Curable? [John Tisdale, MD (NHLBI), Alan Schechter, MD (NIDDK)]

April 21: Role of the Microbiome in Nutrition Inflammation and Cancer [Yasmine Belkaid, PhD (NIAID), Giorgio Trinchieri, MD (NCI)]

April 28: Biomedical Challenges in Space: Human Biology, the International Space Station and Beyond [Mark Shelhamer, DSc, (Johns Hopkins (former Chief Scientist: NASA Human Research Program)), Christopher Wanjek, MS (Science and Health Writer)]

May 5: RNA Viruses: How They Do What They Do [Karla Kirkegaard, PhD (Stanford University), Nihal Altan Bonnet, PhD (NHLB)]

May 12: Finale: Current and Future Opportunities for PhD's in Biomedical Research [Roland Owens, PhD (OD), Jonathan Yewdell, MD (NIAID), Irwin "Win" Arias, MD (CC/OD)]