Diagnosing Traumatic Brain Injuries

Biomarker Called Neurofilament Light Chain (NfL) May Hold the Most Promise

It’s always been tricky to diagnose mild traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) because there are no reliable blood, neuroimaging, or other tests. In three papers that were recently published in Neurology, NIH researchers reported that a blood biomarker called neurofilament light chain (NfL) may hold the most promise for predicting, diagnosing, and following up on TBIs.

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From the Deputy Director for Intramural Research

Safety First in the Era of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought dramatic changes to the way we operate our laboratories and clinics at NIH. We are continually making adjustments as the pandemic progresses and we learn more about how COVID-19 spreads. Although NIH leaders have to respond to a variety of changing circumstances, I want to assure you that there is one overriding principle: Safety first!

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Using Flatworm Regeneration To Study Stem Cells

Erin Davies Brings Flatworm Animal Model to NIH

The key to unlocking mysteries surrounding regenerative medicine could lie within worms—tiny, flat, cross-eyed worms. Recently hired Stadtman Investigator Erin Davies (National Cancer Institute, NCI) is the first in the NIH intramural research program to use flatworms (Schmidtea mediterranea), or planaria, as an animal model to explore stem cells at different developmental stages.

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The Training Page: Commentary

FROM THE FELLOWS

Learning As We Go Along: Reflections on Returning to Work During a Pandemic

I woke up on Monday morning, June 22, feeling excited and nervous. It felt like the first day of school after a long summer break. I had been on a long break—since March 16 when the COVID-19 pandemic forced most NIH labs and offices to shut down.

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Meet the Newest NIH Members of the National Academy of Sciences

Mini Symposium Held to Honor John Schiller and Robert Tycko

On July 21, 2020, the NIH hosted a virtual mini symposium to honor the two NIH investigators who were elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) this year: NIH Distinguished Investigator John Schiller (National Cancer Institute, NCI) and Senior Investigator Robert Tycko (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, NIDDK).

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News Briefs

New Directors at Five Institutes

FROM NIH NEWS RELEASES

Welcome five new institute directors: Rick Woychik (NIEHS), Shannon Zenk (NINR), Michael Chiang (NEI), Lindsey Criswell (NIAMS), and Rena N. D’Souza (NIDCR).

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The SIG Beat: COVID-19

NEWS FROM AND ABOUT THE SCIENTIFIC INTEREST GROUPS

COVID-19 SIG Lecture: NCI’s David Kleiner and Stefania Pittaluga Discuss What Autopsies Have Taught Us About COVID-19

Autopsies can offer a better understanding of the underlying pathophysiology of COVID-19, the disease caused by the severe acute respiratory-syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). But few autopsies have been performed.

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COVID-19 Timeline at NIH (July–August 2020)

COVID-19 Research and Activities at NIH

Highlights of the COVID-19-related activities that were going on at NIH in July and August.

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Colleagues: Recently Tenured

Meet your recently tenured colleagues: Alexander Chesler (NCCIH), Dima Hammoud (CC), Zayd M. Khaliq (NINDS, pictured), James Kochenderfer (NCI-CCR), Jadranka Loncarek (NCI-CCR), Wei Lu (NINDS), Nehal Mehta (NHLBI), Jordan Meier (NCI-CCR), Anant Parekh (NIEHS), and Armin Raznahan (NIMH)

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Research Briefs

Read about NIH scientific advances and discoveries by intramural scientists: how the lack of a DNA-repair protein is lethal to certain cancer cells; gum disease is linked with dementia; the lure of high-fat diets; turning off “junk” DNA may free up stem cells to become neurons; starving a malaria parasite may help stop malaria; and more.

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The Training Page: OITE Train-the-Trainer

FROM THE OFFICE OF INTRAMURAL TRAINING AND EDUCATION

Train-the-Trainer Workshop

During the COVID-19 pandemic, research universities, scientific institutions, and other high-stress organizations have begun to pay closer attention to the mental-health needs of their workers. Many have come to appreciate that prioritizing good mental health and wellness practices can enhance productivity and success rather than diminish it.

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The Training Page: New Family Leave Policy

FROM THE FELLOWS

New Policy Extends Paid Family Leave Benefits for NIH Trainees

A recent shift in policy extends paid family leave from eight to 12 weeks for NIH trainees. The new policy, which started in March 2020, provides any trainee—appointed under the Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA), the Cancer Research Training Award (CRTA), visiting fellow (VF) award, or Title 42 clinical or research fellow mechanisms—a 12-week paid excused-absence related to the birth, adoption, foster-care placement of a child, or other family medical needs (such as serious illness or an illness of a close family member).

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Herb Tabor (1918–2020)

Longest-serving NIH Employee Dies at 101

We are sad to relay news of the passing of Herbert Tabor, M.D., the world’s foremost authority on the enzymatic pathways of polyamines, as well as an esteemed editor of the Journal of Biological Chemistry for 40 years, and, until his death at age 101, a senior principal investigator in the NIDDK Laboratory of Biochemistry and Genetics, where he had served as lab chief until 1999. He died peacefully in his sleep, on August 20, 2020, at his home on the NIH campus.

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Announcements

News about events, deadlines, lectures including WALS, COVID-19 lecture series, Cyber Safety Aweness campaign, virtual Town Hall meeting, Anita Roberts Lecture with Julie Segre, Women Scientists Advisors Scholars Symposium, and more. 

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