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).

Rare Disease Day at NIH 2024

to (registration required)

Rare Disease Day logo

Natcher Conference Center (NIH Building 45); and NIH videocast

Rare Disease Day® takes place worldwide, typically on or near the last day of February each year, to raise awareness among policymakers and the public about rare diseases and their impact on patients’ lives. Since 2011, NIH's National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences and the NIH Clinical Center have sponsored Rare Disease Day at NIH as part of this global observance. Rare Disease Day at NIH aims to raise awareness about rare diseases, the people they affect, and NIH collaborations that address scientific challenges and advance research for new treatments.

The goals of Rare Disease Day at NIH are to:

  • Demonstrate the NIH commitment to helping people with rare diseases through research.
  • Highlight NIH-supported rare diseases research and the development of diagnostics and treatments.
  • Initiate a mutually beneficial dialogue among the rare diseases community.
  • Exchange the latest rare diseases information with stakeholders to advance research and therapeutic efforts.
  • Shine a spotlight on stories told by patients living with a rare disease, their families, and their communities.

Rare Disease Day at NIH seeks to bring together a broad audience including patients, patient advocates, caregivers, health care providers, researchers, trainees, students, industry representatives, and government staff. Attendees are expected to exercise professionalism, consideration, and respect when speaking, posting, and communicating with others.

The event agenda will feature panel discussions, rare diseases stories, in-person exhibitors and scientific posters, and an art exhibition. The event is free and open to the public.

Dietary Supplements: Interactions with Taste and Smell


Dr. Paule Joseph

Virtual event

NIH's Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) hosts webinars on research relevant to dietary supplements and related topics. The March lecture in this seminar series will be presented by IRP Lasker Clinical Research Scholar Paule V. Joseph, C.R.N.P., Ph.D. Dr. Joseph's research focuses on how taste and smell perception are altered in individuals with obesity and alcohol use disorder, as well as the biochemical mechanisms behind those changes. This work includes examining how our senses of smell and taste influence eating behavior, alcohol use, and reward-related responses in the brain.

More information, including a Zoom link to watch the presentation, will be posted to this web page ahead of the event.

Amplifying Voices and Building Bridges: Toward a More Inclusive Future

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group of people holding hands

Hybrid event: virtual and in person at the National Archives Building, 701 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C.

This symposium, part of the yearlong National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) 75th Anniversary celebration, will focus on NIMH's role in society and feature presentations from health equity, sociology, psychiatry, and public health experts. It will bring together people living with mental illness, clinicians, and communities to reflect on past and present challenges in mental health research and chart a more inclusive path forward. Key themes include inclusion in research, disparities in health and access to care, and diversity in the mental health workforce.

This symposium is free, but registration is required for both virtual and in-person attendance. In-person attendance will be limited. You can join the symposium virtually if you cannot attend in person. A recording of the event will also be posted on the NIMH website.

The Promises and Perils of AI in Biomedical Research and Health Care Delivery


Dr. Vint Cerf

Masur Auditorium, NIH Clinical Center (Building 10); and NIH Videocast

This edition of the J. Edward Rall Cultural Lecture — part of NIH's Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series (WALS) — will be presented by Vinton G. Cerf, Ph.D., who has served as vice president and chief Internet evangelist for Google since October 2005. In this role, he contributes to global policy development and continued standardization and spread of the Internet. He is also an active public face for Google in the Internet world.

Widely known as one of the “Fathers of the Internet,” Cerf is the co-designer of the TCP/IP protocols and the architecture of the Internet. In December, 1994, People magazine identified Cerf as one of that year’s “25 Most Intriguing People.” In December 1997, President Clinton presented the U.S. National Medal of Technology to Cerf and his colleague, Robert E. Kahn, for founding and developing the Internet.

The lecture in Masur Auditorium is open to all NIH staff via tickets distributed by NIH's Institutes and Centers. Members of the general public and NIH staff who do not receive a ticket to the event from their IC can watch the lecture live online via NIH Videocast.

The Future of CRISPR: What’s Ahead for Genome Editing


Dr. Jennifer Doudna

Lipsett Amphitheater, NIH Clinical Center (Building 10); and NIH videocast

This special lecture in NIH's Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series (WALS) will be given by 2020 Nobel Prize winner Jennifer Doudna, Ph.D., 

Jennifer Doudna is a Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, and a Professor of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology. Her research focuses on RNA as it forms a variety of complex globular structures, some of which function like enzymes or form functional complexes with proteins. Her lab's research into RNA biology led to the discovery of CRISPR-Cas9 as a tool for making targeted changes to the genome. In bacteria, CRISPR systems preserve invading genetic material and incorporate it into surveillance complexes to achieve adaptive immunity. Crystal structures of diverse Cas9 proteins reveal RNA-mediated conformational activation.

Current research in the Doudna lab focuses on discovering and determining the mechanisms of novel CRISPR-Cas and associated proteins; developing genome editing tools for use in vitro, in plants, and in mammals; and developing anti-CRISPR agents. New discoveries in this field continue at a rapid pace, revealing a technology that has widespread applications in many areas of biology.

New Frontiers in Liquid Biopsies: Data, Technology and Translational Potential

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cartoon scientists using a magnifying glass to look at a blood sample

Ruth L. Kirschstein Auditorium, NIH Natcher Conference Center (Building 45)

Building on the foundation of cell-free DNA prenatal testing, the field of liquid biopsy research has rapidly evolved, with uses spanning from early detection of cancer and monitoring of organ transplants. Unlike traditional biopsy methods that require invasive procedures to obtain tissue samples, liquid biopsies use simpler methods to detect disease markers, including cells themselves, in different biofluids, including blood, urine, and even cerebral spinal fluid. This less invasive approach allows for repeated monitoring over time.

Attending this conference will be an excellent opportunity to stay up-to-date on the latest developments and advancements in the field of liquid biopsies. Researchers and professionals from all over the world will be sharing their insights and results, and you'll have the chance to network with others in the field, providing valuable opportunities for collaboration, learning, and professional growth. Young investigators and trainees are especially encouraged to attend career roundtable discussions over lunch, and all attendees are invited to submit abstracts for poster sessions on both days of the conference as well as for consideration for short oral presentations.

In keeping with NIH's mission to provide equitable and inclusive conference experiences, attendance is free — there will be no registration fee for any attendees. This conference is open to members of the NIH community, academic researchers outside of the NIH, and members of pharma/industry.

This page was last updated on Friday, October 20, 2023