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).

Important Notice

Due to precautions related to COVID-19 illness, the NIH is currently urging that all large meetings and symposia that are not mission critical and are scheduled to be held at NIH facilities or organized by NIH in the near future either be held virtually using tele/videoconferencing services, postponed, or cancelled. If you plan on attending one of the events listed on this page, we encourage you to contact the event’s organizers for up-to-date status information.

Bridging the Biological and Communication Sciences on Nutrients and Environmental Contaminants in Foods to Support Child Development

to (registration required)

A toddler holds an orange growing on the tree

This two-day, virtual workshop co-hosted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), focuses on research in risk communication, environmental contaminants in food, and the role of nutrition as they relate to child development. The workshop is intended to inform future related policies and facilitate science-based communication around this complex area of public health. The scientific sessions during this workshop will focus on a wide range of nutrition and toxicology topics, including:

  • Challenges in children consuming adequate nutrients and the role of exposure to environmental contaminants from foods.
  • The important role of nutrients from different foods groups in child development and helping to protect children from the health effects associated with exposure to contaminants.
  • Research opportunities in food, nutrients, and the effects of environmental exposure.
  • Federal agencies’ current and future risk communications.

19th Annual NIH Graduate Student Research Symposium


trainees and visitors looking at scientific posters

Hybrid event: NIH Natcher Conference Center (Building 45) and online via FourWaves

The NIH Graduate Student Research Symposium is the premier event for IRP graduate students to showcase their research to the IRP community. All graduate students performing their Ph.D. dissertation research at NIH are highly encouraged to present. This year's symposium will feature poster presentations on the dissertation research of IRP graduate students; oral presentations by current IRP graduate students; an elevator pitch competition; and the presentation of the NIH Graduate Student Research Awards and the Graduate Partnerships Program (GPP) Outstanding Mentor Awards.

This year's symposium will be offered in a hybrid format. Graduate students will have the option to present their posters in person in the Natcher Conference Center (Building 45) or virtually.

The Power and Potential of the Microenvironment in Cancer Metastasis


Dr. Rosandra Kaplan

The next talk in the NIH Director's Seminar Series. will be presented by Dr. Rosandra N. Kaplan, M.D.

Although genetic — including epigenetic — alterations are the driving events in cancer, the tumor microenvironment, referring to the cellular and molecular changes in non-cancer cells and tissues, are altered during cancer progression. The microenvironment is involved in multiple aspect of cancer progression. Tumor metastasis is a critical step in the progression of solid tumors that is associated with patient mortality, and the metastatic microenvironment is a key regulator of this process. The pre-metastatic niche is the microenvironment important for metastatic initiation that is established at distant sites in response to primary tumor factors during cancer progression.

We characterized this microenvironment in the metastatic sites of tumor-bearing mice. We have identified unique changes and in these pre-metastatic sites by flow cytometry and RNA sequencing approaches. We identified a gene signature in pre-metastatic niche formation that demonstrates upregulation of immune suppression genes that is consistent across different metastatic tissue, including lung and liver, as well as across species with commonalities in murine and human early metastatic microenvironments. Performing single cell RNA sequencing of the pre-metastatic niche revealed key immune suppressive genes were found in the myeloid cell clusters. In addition to the increase of myeloid cells and immunosuppressive pathways, we discovered that T cell populations are reduced in pre-metastatic lungs. We hypothesized that reversing this immunosuppressive environment would restore T cell function and antitumor immunity. We designed a novel approach in which we generated Genetically-Engineered Myeloid cells (GEMys) to deliver IL-12, a potent antitumor molecule, into the pre-metastatic microenvironment.

Our studies demonstrate that IL12-GEMys can functionally modulate the core program of immune suppression in the pre-metastatic niche to successfully rebalance the dysregulated metastatic microenvironment in cancer. Therapies harnessing the power of the tumor microenvironment to modulate cancer progression can hold promise to effectively limit metastatic progression.

Rare Disease Day at NIH 2023

to (registration required)

Rare Disease Day logo

NIH Natcher Conference Center (Building 45)

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, the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) 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 people living with a rare disease, their families and their communities.
  • Bring together a broad audience including patients, patient advocates, caregivers, health care providers, researchers, trainees, students, industry representatives and government staff.

The 2023 event will be held in person as well as broadcast via virtual livestream on NIH VideoCast, with the event archived for replay afterward. The event agenda features panel discussions, rare diseases stories, exhibitors and scientific posters. The event is free and open to the public.

NCI Symposium on Cancer Health Disparities

to (register by March 28)

multi-colored human silhouettes

NIH Porter Neuroscience Research Center (Building 35), Rooms 610/620/630/640

Cancer health disparities affect millions of people across the United States and globally. Disparities in cancer burden are evident by geography, race/ethnicity, genetic ancestry, immigrant status, culture, gender, sexual orientation (LGBTQ+), and socioeconomic class, among other factors. Cancer disparities are not only due to barriers in access to health care, but also due to cultural barriers, structural racism and environmental disadvantage, ancestry-related risk factors, persistent co-morbidities, and chronic stress exposure because of discrimination and social isolation. The challenge of reducing and eliminating health disparities and achieving equity has been largely attributed to the complex interactions among these various determinants.

The symposium will highlight a range of topics to address the systemic barriers and racism that lead to health disparities and highlight ongoing research being done in the social, clinical, epidemiologic, and basic science disciplines. We seek to feature challenges and solutions, and the programs that were developed to address cancer health disparities from researchers in the field, including the National Cancer Institute's intramural program.

2023 NCI RNA Biology Symposium

to (register by April 23)

NIH Natcher Auditorium (Building 45)

big RNA letters containing smaller RNA-related terms

RNA biology has emerged as one of the most influential areas in modern biology and biomedicine. The discovery of new classes of RNAs and their functions 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.

Organized by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) 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.

The symposium offers the opportunity to learn more about the current status of RNA biology in development and disease, share research, network with leading figures in the field and discuss the use and implications of these advances for clinical applications.

This page was last updated on Wednesday, May 11, 2022