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The National Institutes of Health (NIH) campuses host a variety of events that inform, challenge, and unite the biomedical research community. IRP investigators lead or participate in many of these events, and they regularly present their work at scientific conferences at the NIH and around the world. We invite you to learn about (and possibly join us in) some of our upcoming events. Unless otherwise noted, times listed are Eastern Standard Time (EST).

Tuesday, February 21, 2017, 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Conference Room, Building 50

The next Demystifying Medicine course is “Inflammation and Pancreatic Cancer” by S. Perwez Hussain, Ph.D. (NCI) and Christine Alewine, M.D., Ph.D. (NCI). Course materials are posted at Note: materials may not be available until a week before the lecture. No registration is needed if not for credit.

The 2017 Demystifying Medicine Series, which is jointly sponsored by FAES and NIH, includes the presentation of patients, pathology, diagnosis and therapy in the context of major disease problems and current research. Primarily directed toward Ph.D. students, clinicians and program managers, the course is designed to help bridge the gap between advances in biology and their application to major human diseases. Each session includes clinical and basic science components presented by NIH staff and invitees. All students, fellows and staff are welcome, as well.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 to Thursday, February 23, 2017

Joseph F. Fraumeni, Jr., M.D. Conference Room (Room TE406/408/410), NCI Shady Grove Campus, 9609 Medical Center Drive.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is convening a workshop on February 22–23 to discuss issues related to cancer genetic testing approaches, current practices, and resources for case and family ascertainment in hereditary cancers, using Lynch syndrome as an example. The workshop starts at 8:00 AM on both days.

Lynch syndrome is a genetically inherited disorder that increases the risk of colorectal and endometrial cancers and several other malignancies. It is estimated that in the United States, up to 1 million people live with Lynch syndrome, but many are unaware of it. One approach recommended by the Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel for identifying those with Lynch syndrome is testing of colorectal and endometrial cancers for specific markers. When the tumor test is abnormal, additional genetic testing and counseling is indicated to determine whether an individual has Lynch syndrome. If Lynch syndrome is diagnosed, then other family members could be tested. During the Workshop, the Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel Report recommendations on cancer prevention and early detection in individuals at high risk for cancer will be reviewed, and discussion topics will include health care delivery, gaps in current knowledge, and identification of resources needed to inform implementation.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017, 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm (reception to follow)

Masur Auditorium, NIH Clinical Center (Bldg. 10)

Next in the Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series (WALS), please join us for "The microbiota as instructor and arbiter of immune responses in health and disease" by Dan R. Littman, Ph.D., Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Kimmel Professor of Molecular Immunology at the NYU School of Medicine.

About the speaker: Dr. Littman’s laboratory applies molecular and genetics tools to study how T lymphocytes develop and participate in inflammation and how HIV interacts with the host innate immune system. Dr. Littman isolated the genes for the CD4 and CD8 co-receptors and determined how their expression is regulated and their signaling influences selection of helper and cytotoxic cells. His group discovered that the nuclear receptor RORt regulates differentiation of Th17 cells and lymphoid tissue inducer cells and that it can be targeted for autoimmune disease therapy. He and his colleagues identified a commensal gut bacterium that selectively induces Th17 cells and promotes autoimmunity in mice, which may be relevant for human diseases, e.g. rheumatoid arthritis, thought to be influenced by imbalanced microbiota. Dr. Littman’s group also characterized CD4 and CCR5 as receptors for HIV and showed how HIV evades host innate responses by failing to replicate in dendritic cells. His laboratory’s current focus is on elucidating the mechanisms that promote immune system homeostasis at mucosal surfaces and on characterizing the role of the microbiota in these processes.

Monday, February 27, 2017, 8:30 am to 4:00 pm

Masur Auditorium, NIH Clinical Center (Bldg. 10)

Rare Disease Day takes place worldwide on the last day in February to raise awareness among policymakers and the public about rare diseases and their impact on patients’ lives. Each year, NCATS and the NIH Clinical Center sponsor Rare Disease Day at NIH as part of this global observance. Please join us in Masur Auditorium, stop by anytime. See the agenda and more information at

 The goals of Rare Disease Day at NIH are to: demonstrate and reiterate the NIH commitment to rare diseases research to help patients; highlight NIH-supported rare diseases research and the development of diagnostics and treatments; initiate a mutually beneficial dialogue among public and private researchers, patients, patient advocates, and policymakers; exchange the latest rare diseases information with stakeholders to advance research and therapeutic efforts; and put a face on rare diseases by sharing stories of patients, their families and their communities. 

Monday, February 27, 2017, 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

Conference Room, Building 35

The Neuroscience Interest Group presents a lecture titled “The Shocking Abilities of Electric Eels” by Kenneth Catania, Ph.D., Stevenson Professor of Biological Sciences, Department of Biological Sciences, Vanderbilt University. 

From the speaker: “We study animal sensory systems with a focus on brain organization, evolution, and behavior. We investigate sensory specialists because such species reveal general principles of brain function. Recently studied species  include star-nosed moles, naked mole-rats, water shrews, and grasshopper mice. We also study the senses and brains of non-mammals including snakes, alligators, and crocodiles.  One line of research is aimed at determining how cortical areas in mammals are organized and adapted to represent and process sensory information. Star-nosed moles are the focus of many investigations because they have an elaborate set of touch receptors (the star) that project information to large brain areas containing anatomically visible sensory maps. This allows studies of brain function that are not possible in other species. We also examine brain organization in a range of animals to determine how brains are organized and (in collaboration with other neuroscientists) how brains evolved.  We are also interested in understanding the relationship between different habitats and sensory adaptions.”

Monday, February 27, 2017, 3:00 pm

 Lipsett Amphitheater, NIH Clinical Center (Bldg 10) 

The NCI CCR Eminent Lecture Series returns with a lecture title “Targeting Breast Cancer Stem Cells: Challenges and Opportunities” by Max S. Wicha, M.D., Madeline and Sidney Forbes Professor of Oncology, Founding Director Emeritus, University of Michigan. The Wicha laboratory is a leader in Cancer Stem Cell (CSC) biology, and Wicha is among the most highly-cited investigators in the field of CSCs. His group was part of the team that first identified breast CSCs. His laboratory identified a number of stem cell markers and developed in vitro and in vivo models to isolate and characterize these cells. These research models and resources have been widely adopted by other investigators. His laboratory subsequently elucidated a number of intrinsic and extrinsic pathways which regulate self-renewal and cell fate decisions in CSCs. Recently, the Wicha laboratory has focused on translating his pre-clinical research findings into the development of clinical trials designed to target breast CSCs.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017, 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Conference Room, Building 50

The next Demystifying Medicine course is “HIV: Frontiers and Vaccine Development” by John Coffin, Ph.D. (NCI) and Jeffrey Lifson, M.D. (NCI). Course materials are posted at Note: materials may not be available until a week before the lecture. No registration is needed if not for credit.

The 2017 Demystifying Medicine Series, which is jointly sponsored by FAES and NIH, includes the presentation of patients, pathology, diagnosis and therapy in the context of major disease problems and current research. Primarily directed toward Ph.D. students, clinicians and program managers, the course is designed to help bridge the gap between advances in biology and their application to major human diseases. Each session includes clinical and basic science components presented by NIH staff and invitees. All students, fellows and staff are welcome, as well.

Thursday, March 2, 2017, 11:00 am to 12:00 pm

 Lipsett Amphitheater, NIH Clinical Center (Bldg. 10)

The National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) will hold the first Director’s Lecture of 2017, titled “Nursing’s Impact on Patient Outcomes” by Linda H. Aiken, Ph.D., FAAN, FRCN, R.N., the Claire Fagin Leadership Professor of Nursing, Professor of Sociology, and Director of Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania. In her talk, Aiken will describe her program of research which shows that nurses with higher levels of qualifications, fewer patients to care for, and improved working environments have better patient outcomes.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017, 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm

Lister Hill Center Auditorium (Bldg. 38A)

The National Library of Medicine Informatics Lecture Series presents “High-Throughput Machine Learning from EHR Data” by David Page, Ph.D., Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Lecture summary: The widespread use of electronic health records and the many recent successes of machine learning raise at least two questions.  How well can future health events of patients be predicted from EHR data, at various lengths of time in advance?  And how can such predictions improve human health?  This talk answers the first question via an approach called high-throughput machine learning, and it speculates about answers to the second question.  In particular, this talk argues that many healthcare applications require not just accurate prediction, but accurate prediction by causally-faithful models. Causal discovery from observational data is already a major research direction in machine learning and statistics, and this talk discusses new approaches across the spectrum from when "we know all the relevant variables" to when "we know only one relevant variable" for the task at hand.  If time permits, the talk will also touch on the issue of protecting patient privacy while empowering the construction of accurate predictive models.

Friday, March 10, 2017, 2:00 pm to 5:15 pm (reception to follow)

Mary Woodard Lasker Center (Bldg. 60, "The Cloisters")

Come join your colleagues for the 2017 JSPS–NIH Forum, an afternoon symposium featuring diverse scientific talks by past and current Japanese scientists at the NIH. The following reception will be sponsored by the NIH Fogarty International Center and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Washington Office. The event is free, and all talks are in English. Scientific talks include “Structural basis for subtype-specific inhibition of the P2X7 receptor” by Toshi Kawate, Cornell University; “Schlafen 11, a rising star gene in cancer therapy” by Junko Murai, NCI-CCR; and several presentations by former and current JSPS-NIH Fellows. Please register for this event by March 2 at

Monday, March 13, 2017, 8:30 am to 4:45 pm

Lipsett Amphitheater, NIH Clinical Center (Bldg. 10)

The NIH intramural Microbiome Working Group is hosting an all-day workshop, “Microbiome Research at the NIH/FDA”. The purpose of this meeting is to bring together labs across the NIH and FDA intramural programs that are working on microbiome related projects. It is hoped that this meeting will lead to more communication, interactions and new collaborations between laboratories interested in how the microbiome impacts health and disease. More than two dozen presenters are scheduled.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Natcher Conference Center (Bldg. 45)

Join us for The Metastatic Niche: Models, Mechanisms and Translating Targets, a one-day symposium hosted by the National Cancer Institute. This symposium brings together world-leading researchers in the field of metastasis, stem cells, tumor microenvironment and cancer progression in the vibrant setting of Bethesda, MD steps from the nation’s capital. The meeting is just prior to the AACR Annual Meeting being held in Washington, D.C. Online registration is required for this meeting.  

Metastasis remains the most challenging aspect of cancer biology. Metastatic outcome is dictated by both cell intrinsic and cell extrinsic signals that determine metastatic tumor cell survival and growth. A conducive microenvironment in distant tissue sites is composed of hematopoietic and stromal cells as well as extracellular matrix. This dynamic environment can support disseminated tumor cells, similar to a stem cell niche. Please register at

Thursday, April 13, 2017, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Conference Room 10, Bldg. 31/6C (also available to stream on WebEx)

The NIH Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) and the NIH Center for Information Technology (CIT) are pleased to announce the NIH IC Applications Show & Tell. This is an opportunity for individuals and IT stakeholders from across the NIH to share effective, innovative tools that support NIH’s extramural, intramural and administrative management activities (for example, computational software, workflow applications or new technology solutions). The goal is to share IC experiences, expertise and methodologies to promote collaboration and meet common needs. With your contributions presenters will offer brief demonstrations of a variety of tools from Intramural, Extramural, Administrative, and Technology programs.

If you have a tool that you would like to demo for your peers, e-mail us at by COB Friday, February 24, to sign up and be a presenter at the NIH IC Applications Show & Tell. Please register for both in-person and online attendance.

Monday, April 17, 2017, 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm

Masur Auditorium, NIH Clinical Center (Bldg. 10)

The NIH Library and the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES) are pleased to present “The NIH Big Read,” a series of book discussions held at NIH. The 2017 inaugural NIH Big Read book will be “The Gene: An Intimate History” by Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee, the Pulitzer Prize-winning, best-selling author of “The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer.”

The NIH Big Read program kicks off with an opportunity to discuss the book with your colleagues and NIH Librarians at one of three book discussion events: on March 2, March 16, or April 15. Register and find details on the NIH Library website. In anticipation of high interest in the April 17 program featuring Mukherjee, those who sign up for the NIH Library-led book discussions will have priority access to seating for the event in Masur Auditorium. Each discussion group also will have an opportunity to influence the program by crafting and submitting a question to be incorporated into the final event. Look for more information about The NIH Big Read as the individual events draw closer.  

Monday, April 24, 2017 to Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Natcher Conference Center (Bldg. 45)

Join us for the NCI RNA Biology 2017 Symposium. Organized by the CCR Initiative in RNA Biology, this symposium will bring together internationally renowned experts in the field of RNA Biology, with the focus on RNA processing, RNA structure and mechanism, non-classical RNAs, and RNA therapy.

RNA biology has emerged as one of the most influential areas in modern biology and biomedicine. The discovery of numerous new classes of RNAs and their function in a wide spectrum of biological processes has revolutionized molecular biology and has profound implications for clinical sciences. Key areas of current research include the elucidation of RNA biogenesis and structure, the identification of functions for various classes of RNAs, establishing the role of RNA in disease, and the exploration of RNA-based- and RNA-targeted therapies. Registration for RNA Biology 2017 is free but seating is limited, so please register online. For additional information please contact Julia Lam at