Building a Foundation for Scientific Collaboration
BY MICHAEL TABASKO
One summer nearly 20 years ago, Karl Thompson came to NIH from Howard University (Washington, D.C.) as a student aspiring to a career in science. “I was the most junior trainee, at a time when there weren’t many Ph.D. students at NIH, but they treated me like family,” said Thompson.
Biomarker Called Neurofilament Light Chain (NfL) May Hold the Most Promise
BY FRANCES FERNANDO, NICHD
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.
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!
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.
Learning As We Go Along: Reflections on Returning to Work During a Pandemic
BY THU-LAN LILY NGUYEN, NCI
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.
Mini Symposium Held to Honor John Schiller and Robert Tycko
BY THU-LAN LILY NGUYEN, NCI
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).
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
BY EMMA ROWLEY, NIAID
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.
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.
FROM THE OFFICE OF INTRAMURAL TRAINING AND EDUCATION
BY CHARLESICE HAWKINS, OITE
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.
New Policy Extends Paid Family Leave Benefits for NIH Trainees
BY SOFIYA HUPALO, NIGMS
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).
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.
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.