In support of the Office of Personnel Management guidance to strengthen our efforts to protect the federal workforce and to ensure continuity of operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, most lectures and events are being held virtually or have been cancelled or postponed.  Please check event details to determine status.



The Office of NIH History and Stetten Museum is in a unique position to preserve the amazing developments of the 21st-century NIH, but it can’t do it without your help. So the office is looking to collect 20 representative scientific instruments during 2020. Some of the areas are high-throughput technologies, imaging technology, 3D printing, and the use of animals such as zebrafish. Computers and associated technology are also an important collecting area. The office isn’t worried about the size of an instrument or technology, because really big things can be documented in other ways. What do you think the office should be collecting to represent NIH’s work of the past 20 years? If you have anything that fits what the office is looking for, please let Michele Lyons know at or 301-496-7695. To learn more about the Office of NIH History and Stetten Museum, go to


The NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) is seeking broad public input on important new directions for health-related behavioral and social sciences research. Specifically, OBSSR requests your input on research directions (see RFI) that will support the achievement of the scientific priorities in the OBSSR Strategic Plan 2022-2026 and that will advance or transform the broader health impact of BSSR. OBSSR is interested in focusing on research directions that are trans-disease and cross-cutting in nature and address critical gaps in the field.

The role of OBSSR is to coordinate and promote BSSR research across the NIH and assist NIH Institutes and Centers in developing research and training resources to advance the field.  OBSSR supports a broad range of BSSR disease, condition, population, and setting specific priorities across the NIH covering the spectrum from basic to implementation science research.

OBSSR would like input on the most important or cutting-edge, trans-disease research directions that would accelerate progress in these three strategic priority areas: synergy in basic and applied behavioral and social sciences (BSSR) research; BSSR resources, methods, and measures; sdoption of effective BSSR in practice.

To ensure consideration, responses must be submitted by midnight (EST) March 29, 2020 through OBSSR’s crowdsourcing IdeaScale website. Once your IdeaScale account is created and you are logged in, you can submit an idea, browse and respond to comments that have already been submitted, and vote for your favorite ideas. If you have an inquiry, please contact Farheen Akbar at or 301-496-9165.

ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITY TO PROVIDE YOUR FEEDBACK: In tandem with OBSSR’S RFI and Crowdsource effort, the NIH Office of Disease Prevention (ODP) has also released an RFI on strategies for increasing collaboration and engagement between the ODP and your organization. If you would like to respond to ODP’s RFI, please visit:


“Novel Approaches at the Intersection of Mental Health and Pain” is the theme of the Spring 2020 Integrative Medicine Research Lecture Series. Sponsored by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, the series provides overviews of the current state of research and practice involving complementary health approaches, and explores perspectives on the emerging discipline of integrative medicine.

CANCELLED: March 24, 11 a.m.:  Eric Garland, Ph.D., L.C.S.W., The University of Utah, “Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE): Restructuring Reward Processing in Addiction, Stress, and Pain”  

May 11, 10 a.m.: Alicia Heapy, Ph.D., Yale School of Medicine and VA Connecticut Healthcare System, “Cooperative Pain Education and Self-Management (COPES): A Technology-Assisted Intervention for Pain”

June 30, 11 a.m.:  Helen Burgess, Ph.D., University of Michigan, “Lighting Up Our Lives: How Light Influences Our Mental and Physical Health”

To request sign language interpretation or other reasonable accommodations, please contact or the Federal Relay Service, 1-800-877-8339.


In support of the Office of Personnel Management guidance to strengthen efforts to protect the federal workforce, ensure continuity of operations and prevent the spread of coronavirus, the NIH Director’s Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series (WALS) is postponing all lectures through April during the COVID-19 pandemic. See link here for the NIH travel and meeting guidance: Many of the upcoming WALS lectures have already been rescheduled for the 2020-2021 season. 

Please visit the WALS website at for up-to-date information and lecture announcements. There’s a possibility of postponing additional lectures. Please e-mail the WALS coordinator, Jacqueline Roberts, at with any questions. Thank you for your understanding during this time. 


In support of the Office of Personnel Management guidance to strengthen our efforts to protect the federal workforce, ensure continuity of operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, and prevent the spread of the virus, we will suspend the Demystifying Medicine lecture series through April.  Our hope is to reschedule these courses in May and June, if possible, and consider making lectures viewable by videocast-only. Please see our website,, for updates to the schedule.


  • “The Health of Women Comes of Age—Celebrating 30 Years of Women’s Health Research”
  • May 12, 2020 event CANCELLED. Will be held in 2021.

Scientific Keynote Speaker: Elissa Epel, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Director of the Aging, Metabolism, and Emotions Center at the UCSF Center for Health and Community

Honoring Vivian W. Pinn, M.D., the first full-time Director of the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH), the annual Vivian W. Pinn Symposium is a signature NIH event and part of the observance of National Women’s Health Week. Led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health, National Women’s Health Week aims to encourage all women to be as healthy as possible. The week also is an opportunity to raise awareness of women’s health and of the need for researchers and clinicians to better understand how sex and gender influence the health of women. 

Elissa Epel, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry at UCSF, will give the scientific keynote on the influence of chronic psychological stress on cellular aging. A panel discussion will explore topics relevant to healthy aging in women, including Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive function, and cardiovascular disease. Specific risk and resilience factors associated with healthy aging will be proposed.

For more information, visit


Sharon E. Plon

NHGRI has one named lecture each year—The Jeffrey M. Trent Lectureship in Cancer Research. The 2020 Trent Lecture will be given by Sharon E. Plon, M.D., Ph.D., FACMG, Professor, Departments of Pediatrics/Hematology-Oncology, Molecular and Human Genetics, Human Genome Sequencing Center, Baylor College of Medicine. Plon is a board-certified medical geneticist and a longstanding cancer genetics researcher. Traditionally new cancer susceptibility discoveries derived from research-based sequencing of samples from banked cohorts of patients likely to have cancer predisposition. Since 2012, she has engaged in multiple precision oncology studies where both research and CLIA-based tumor/germline sequencing has been performed in heterogeneous adult and pediatric cancer populations including TCGA, BASIC3, NCI/COG Pediatric MATCH Trial and most recently the Texas KidsCanSeq Study. Plon will report on new insights provided into the proportion of cancer patients with underlying cancer predisposition, unexpected gene/disease associations as well as optimal ways to report these results to patients and parents of childhood cancer patients. Plon will also report on population-based analysis of the association of birth defects with pediatric cancer and early results on whole genome analysis of subjects first engaged through this epidemiology study.


  • Note: As of press time, the following information is current. The schedule could change, however.
  • April 28-30, 2020 (formerly April 28 as an in-person event)
  • Deadline to submit posters: Tuesday, March 31, 2020, at 5:00 p.m.

We have been forced to cancel the face-to-face 2020 Postbac Poster Day (scheduled for April 28) due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, we are scheduling virtual Poster Days from April 28th through April 30th. The virus outbreak has led to the cancellation of many important events for the NIH community. We invite you to help us make sure this event, rather than being cancelled, is the best postbac poster day ever!

We encourage all current NIH postbacs to present at this virtual event. The deadline for postbacs to submit poster titles for Postbac Poster Day 2020 is Tuesday, March 31at 5:00 pm (EDT).

Given the current situation, we understand that many postbacs will be unable to share a full story, because of limited access to a lab, data, colleagues, and in some cases, an NIH computer and email account. Some of them may have just started and may not have any data or even a clear understanding of a project yet. We welcome all kinds of posters! Postbacs are encouraged to present a literature review or a poster focused on ideas they are currently developing if they are not prepared to present a full story yet. 

Posters will be reviewed by teams composed of graduate students, postdocs, and staff scientists. The authors of the top 20% will receive a letter acknowledging their accomplishments. Note: The first author is responsible for presenting the poster and eligible to win an outstanding poster award.

For the program and instructions for how to attend, visit


The History of Medicine Division at the National Library of Medicine (NLM) announces its 2020 NLM History Talks. All talks are free, open to the public, and held in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, building 38A located on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Lectures are also live-streamed globally and archived by NIH VideoCasting, which is made possible through support of the Michael E. DeBakey Medical Foundation.

The centerpiece of the 2020 series will be When People are Data: How Medical History Matters for Our Digital Age, to be delivered on June 9, 2020, by Joanna Radin, PhD, Program in History of Science and Medicine, Yale University, and co-sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of Digital Humanities, as part of the partnership between NLM and NEH to collaborate on research, education, and career initiatives.

  • POSTPONED: Thursday, March 26, 2020: Ashley Bowen, Ph.D., Andrew W. Mellon Foundation/American Council of Learned Societies Public Fellow, Science History Institute, speaking on Rise, Serve, Lead… And Publish: Including Women Physicians’ Writings in Rise, Serve, Lead: America’s Women Physicians.
  • Thursday, May 21, 2020: Sara Farhan, Ph.D., 2019 NLM Michael E. DeBakey Fellow in the History of Medicine, and Assistant Professor of History, Department of International Studies, American University of Sharjah, offering the 4th Annual Michael E. DeBakey Lecture in the History of Medicine on DeBakey in Baghdad and Beirut: The Internationalization of Surgical Education, 1945-1970.
  • Thursday, September 24, 2020: Naa Oyo A. Kwate, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Africana Studies and Associate Professor of Human Ecology, Rutgers University, and recipient of a 2018 NLM G13 Award for Scholarly Works in Biomedicine and Health/Publications for Race and the Transformation of the Food Environment: Fast food, African Americans, and the Color Line, 1955-1995. Kwate will offer the 11th Annual James H. Cassedy Lecture in the History of Medicine, “Savages cry easily and are afraid of the dark”: What It Means to Talk about Race and African American health.
  • Thursday, October 15, 2020: Cynthia Connolly, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., Professor of Nursing, Rosemarie B. Greco Endowed Term Chair in Advocacy, and Associate Director, Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, offering New Drugs, Old Problems: The Sulfonamide Revolution and Children’s Health Care Delivery in the United States, 1933-1949.

The NLM History Talks promote awareness and use of NLM historical collections for research, education, and public service in biomedicine, the social sciences, and the humanities. The series also supports the commitment of the NLM to recognize the diversity of its collections—which span ten centuries, encompass a range of digital and physical formats, and originate from nearly every part of the globe—and to appreciate the individuals of various disciplines who value these collections and use them to advance their research, teaching, and learning. Interviews with the speakers in this series of talks are published in Circulating Now, the blog of the NLM History of Medicine Division. Explore interviews with past speakers on the blog and stay informed about NLM History Talks on Twitter at #NLMHistTalk.


Fantastic advancements are happening in the broad field of bioengineering. Wounded soldiers regain independence with precision prosthetics; paralyzed individuals walk again with the assistance of mechanical exoskeletons; optical imaging methods detect cancer cells in patients; synthetic cells deliver drugs to tissues - and the NIH intramural program is expanding its efforts in bioengineering. 

The NIH Bioengineering Festival will highlight the importance and the opportunities in bioengineering in the NIH intramural research program, seek to strengthen the interactions among bioengineers, basic scientists, and clinicians on NIH campuses, and will promote bioengineering in the biomedical sciences.