The SIG Beat

News From and About the Scientific Interest Groups

NEW SIG: Consciousness Research Interest Group

What is consciousness? Will we ever be able to quantitatively measure and to understand the nature of consciousness? Research on consciousness has been considered one of the most challenging disciplines in science today. The newly established NIH Consciousness Research Interest Group will provide a platform for NIH scientists and staff and the extramural community to discuss, discover, collaborate, and stimulate the research of the science of consciousness. The scope of topics can include, but is not limited to, neuroscience, psychology, and medicine. Main activities include scientific seminars and meetings to assess the current state of science and to stimulate and inform the future research needs.

SAVE THE DATE: The NIH inaugural Consciousness Research Seminar Series is scheduled for Wednesday, August 10, 2022, 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Eastern Time. It will feature two outstanding scientists and experts in this field: Joseph E. LeDoux (a professor at New York University, New York), a recipient of the Karl Spencer Lashley Award and a member of the National Academy of Sciences; and Christof Koch (president and chief scientist of the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle), who was a professor at the California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, California) for 27 years. He is best known for his work on the neural basis of consciousness. To register for the seminar, go here.

The interest group is co-chaired by Ann Berger (CC) and Dan Xi (NCI); Eric Wassermann (NINDS) is the advisor. For more information and instructions for joining the LISTSERV newsletter, go to or contact Ann Berger ( or Dan Xi (

NEW SIG: Metastasis Scientific Interest Group

The goal of the newly formed Metastasis Scientific Interest Group will be to support metastasis-related research at the NIH. The SIG will accomplish this goal by increased communication among research groups through monthly meetings, seminars, and workshops. Activities will initially be held virtually but may transition to a hybrid virtual and in-person format in the future. The Metastasis SIG, through an invited seminar series, will cover current developments in metastasis-related research, increase opportunities for intramural-extramural networking, foster potential collaborative efforts, develop novel clinical interventions, and enhance the ability to recruit highly qualified trainees for NIH laboratories. In addition, the Metastasis SIG plans to host a biannual symposium to permit trainees to present their research to the NIH community and network with invited extramural speakers. Membership in the Metastasis SIG will be open to all interested individuals within the NIH. The acting steering committee members, all from NCI, include Kent Hunter (chair), Glenn Merlino, Lalage Wakefield, Pat Steeg, Li Yang, Meera Murgai, Rosie Kaplan, and Jonathan Hernandez.

The group will meet on the last Wednesday of each month, 4:00–5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Meetings will be held virtually for the foreseeable future. For more information about the SIG and instructions for joining the LISTSERV newsletter (in order to receive email notices of meetings and how to attend), visit the Metastasis_SIG webpage or contact Kent Hunter (

For a full lists of scientific interest groups, go to