T H E   N I H    C A T A L Y S T      J U L Y  –  A U G U S T   2006




The deadline for submitting poster abstracts for presentation at the NIH Research Festival has been extended to 5:00 p.m., August 8, 2006. Please submit your posters online. Posters in any area of research conducted within the NIH Intramural Program will be considered for presentation, but the Committee is requesting a limit of one poster submission per first author. A highlight of the poster sessions will be participation by a number of IC directors, scientific directors and clinical directors.

The dates of this year's festival are October 17 through October 20 with poster sessions scheduled for October 17 and October 18. The opening plenary session on Tuesday, October 17, at 9 a.m., will feature two examples of this year's "Bench to Bedside"  theme. Bill Gahl (NHGRI) and Juan Bonifacino (NICHD) will discuss disorders of lysosome-related organelles and Alan Heldman (JHMI) and Steven Sollott (NIA) will describe development of the taxol-coated stent for treatment of coronary artery disease. Other events during this four-day annual showcase of the NIH Intramural Program will include cross-cutting symposia; special exhibits on resources for intramural research; the Job Fair for NIH Postdoctoral, Research, and Clinical Fellows, with an opening address by NIH Director Elias Zerhouni; the Festival Food & Music Fair; and the Technical Sales Association scientific equipment tent show.

For a preliminary schedule of events, meeting venues, and online poster registration, go to the Research Festival website. Applicants will receive e-mail confirmation of receipt of their poster abstracts and will be notified of acceptance by e-mail in early September.

For more information about poster registration, contact Paula Cohen, Research Festival logistics coordinator, at 301-402-4507 or by e-mail.


Introduction to the Principles and Practices of Clinical Research

Registration for the 2006–2007 "Introduction to the Principles and Practice of Clinical Research" begins August 1.The deadline for registering is October 6, 2006.  The course will run from October 16, 2006, through February 20, 2007.  Classes will be held on the NIH campus on Monday and Tuesday evenings from 5:00 p.m. to approximately 6:30 p.m. There is no charge for the course; however, the textbook Principles and Practice of Clinical Research is suggested as supplemental reading. A certificate will be awarded upon successful completion of the course, including a final exam. 

Nearly 800 students registered for the 2005–2006 program, which was also broadcast to several domestic and international locations. For additional information or to register, visit the course website or call the NIH Clinical Center, Office of Clinical Research Training and Medical Education at (301) 496-9425.  An e-mail confirmation will be sent to those accepted into the program. 

If you require reasonable accommodations to participate in this activity, call (301) 496-9425 during the business hours of 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. at least seven business days before the event. 

Course Objectives:

To become familiar with the basic epidemiologic methods involved in clinical research

To be able to discuss the principles involved in the ethics of clinical research, the legal issues in clinical research, and the regulations involved in human subjects research, including the role of IRBs in clinical research

To become familiar with the principles and issues involved in monitoring patient-oriented research

To be able to discuss the infrastructure required in performing clinical research and to have an understanding of the steps involved in developing and funding research studies

The course is designed for physicians and other health professionals training for a career in clinical research. Interested persons are strongly encouraged to take a course in biostatistics such as STAT 200 or STAT 500 currently offered at the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES).

The National Institutes of Health/Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (NIH/FAES) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Frontier Science: September 19 Symposium
Showcases Pioneer Award Progress

by Sarah Goforth

A Stanford University (Stanford, Calif.) bioengineer is looking at the brain on millisecond-long time scales to understand how rapid changes in neural circuits relate to psychiatric symptoms such as anxiety and hopelessness. 

Nearby at the University of California, Santa Barbara, an evolutionary psychologist is applying the tools of evolutionary biology, cognitive science, anthropology, neuroscience, and psychology to study human motivation.

Meanwhile at the University of Arizona in Tucson, a biochemist is using her understanding of how gene expression is controlled in plants as a foundation for the study of similar pathways—some of which are associated with disease—in people.

On the East Coast, a neurobiologist at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., is blending molecular, behavioral, and computational approaches to study how songbirds learn to make music. His work could provide a foundation for new vocalization disorder treatments in humans.

At Rockefeller University in New York, a biochemist and expert in the study of telomeres is developing a new system for studying the biological response to DNA damage.

And across the Atlantic at the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England, a computational biologist uses powerful mathematical models to understand how flu viruses and other pathogens evolve.

What do these varied and accomplished people have in common?

They are among last year's recipients of the NIH Director's Pioneer Awards, which recognize exceptionally creative scientists who bring their talents and expertise to bear on some of the biggest challenges in biomedical research.

Traditional NIH grants support research projects, but Pioneer Awards support individual researchers and allow an unusual degree of freedom to innovate and take risks.  NIH made nine awards in 2004, the first year of the program, and 13 more in 2005.

The 2005 awardees will present their progress at the second annual NIH Director's Pioneer Award Symposium on Tuesday, September 19, in Masur Auditorium, Building 10. The symposium will also feature the announcement of the third class of Pioneer Award recipients.

The day will kick off at 8:15 a.m. with opening remarks by NIH Director Elias Zerhouni and Jeremy Berg, director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, who shares responsibility for overseeing the Pioneer Award program. Next come talks by the class of 2005:

Vicki L. Chandler, University of Arizona

Hollis T. Cline, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.

Leda Cosmides, University of California, Santa Barbara

Titia de Lange, The Rockefeller University

Karl Deisseroth, Stanford University

Pehr A.B. Harbury, Stanford University School of Medicine

Erich D. Jarvis, Duke University Medical Center

Thomas A. Rando, Stanford University School of Medicine

Derek J. Smith, University of Cambridge and Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Giulio Tononi, University of Wisconsin Madison Medical School

Clare M. Waterman-Storer, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, Calif.

Nathan D. Wolfe, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore

Junying Yuan, Harvard Medical School, Boston

Their research is described here.

Capping the event, from 3:40 to 5:30 p.m., will be a poster session by 2004 and 2005 Pioneers and members of their labs, along with a concurrent reception. Attendance is free, and no registration is required. Click here for the agenda.

For an overview of the Pioneer Award and its history as part of the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research.


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