New NIH Center for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias
BY MICHAEL TABASKO, OD
A formidable new player has arrived in the fight against neurodegenerative diseases: NIH’s Center for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (CARD). The center will draw on the wealth of resources across NIH and around the world to develop treatments and preventions for Alzheimer disease and related dementias.
Being Mindful of Diversity and Inclusion When Selecting Scientific Speakers at NIH
BY MICHAEL GOTTESMAN AND ROLAND OWENS
Those of us who organize seminar series and symposia have a great deal of control over the speed of dissemination of new scientific concepts. It is therefore important for us to be mindful and intentional about hearing from the full breadth of talented researchers.
Vice President Kamala Harris’s Mother and Her NIH Collaborations
BY MICHAEL TABASKO
Vice President Kamala Harris was raised in a family in which science was interwoven with everyday life. After all, her mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, chose to make NIH a vital part of her remarkable career as a breast-cancer researcher. “NIH was such a huge part of my youth,” said Harris. She was visiting NIH on January 26, 2021, to receive her second dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) has named Lisa L. Cunningham scientific director and director of the Division of Intramural Research. In this role, she will oversee the intramural research programs, which have roughly 165 employees working in 13 labs. She assumed her new position on April 11, 2021.
Stories About Marshall Nirenberg Before He Became the Man the World Knew
BY JOSEPH PATRICK
You would never believe how much meaning there can be behind catching a fly. For as long as I can remember I have had memories of my grandfather “Papa,” David Aronson, catching flies with his bare hands, right out of the air, without ever harming the fly. He learned this trick from an unlikely source: Marshall Nirenberg,who later became an NIH scientist and a recipient of the 1968 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
Meet your recently tenured colleagues: Anirban Banerjee (NICHD, pictured), Philip Castle (NCI-DCEG), Hoi Sung Chung (NIDDK), Rebecca F. Gottesman (NINDS), Katie Kindt (NIDCD), and Robin Stanley (NIEHS).
Read about NIH scientific advances and discoveries by intramural scientists: male hormones modulate gastric inflammation in mice; compounds protect induced pluripotent stem cells; tools to identify patients at risk for post-traumatic stress; clues to the efficacy of hepatitis B treatment; and more.
Former NIDDK Director Allen Spiegel Gives History of Medicine Lecture
BY MEGAN KALOMIRIS, NIAID
In 1927, the U.S. Supreme Court endorsed the surgical sterilization of a young “feebleminded” woman to prevent her from passing her perceived feeblemindedness to future generations. The landmark decision set a legal precedent for the roughly 60,000 other forced sterilizations that followed. On April 22, 2021, former NIDDK Director Allen Spiegel gave a lecture at NIH on the unsettling history of the 20th century eugenics movement in America.
An Interview with VFC Co-chairs Vrushali Agashe and Zeni Wu
BY ERICA WYNNE-JONES, NIAID
The Visiting Fellow’s Committee (VFC) serves the interests of visiting fellows (trainees from other countries) in their transition to life at NIH and in preparation for their future careers. The NIH Catalyst interviewed VFC co-chairs Vrushali Agashe and Zeni Wu.