The Interest Group Gazette

Something Old...

The mass spectrometry community at NIH is fortunate to have a couple of avenues, including one that's been around for two decades, for informally exchanging ideas with area researchers who share similar interests. The first is a bimonthly mass spectrometry journal club that meets at 10:30 a.m. on alternate Thursdays in Building 10, Room 7N101. For more information on the journal club, contact Lewis Pannell (phone: 402-2196; e-mail: The second option is the Mass Spectrometry Discussion Group of the Greater Washington/Baltimore Area, an interest group with a 20-year history. The meetings are usually jointly led by scientists, many with protein-biomolecule research interests, from NIH, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Naval Research Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Maryland - Baltimore County. For more information, contact John Callahan (Analytical Chemistry/Code 6113, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC 20375; e-mail:; phone: 202 767-0719; fax: 202 404-8119).

Although it, too, has been meeting for many years, the NIH Epidemiology Interest Group has only recently gotten around to making its presence official by registering with the Office of the Deputy Director for Intramural Research. The group's goals are to provide NIH's broad and diverse community of scientists in epidemiology, biostatistics, and related fields with a means for

The monthly sessions are open to anyone interested in epidemiology or in the particular topic of discussion. Meeting dates and locations are posted in the NIH Calendar of Events. Sessions are usually scheduled for the third Wednesday of each month, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m., in Building 31 or in the Executive Plaza North conference rooms. To discuss ideas for future activities, contact the chair of the interest group, Richard Havlik, associate director of NIA's Epidemiology, Demography, and Biometry Program (phone: 496-1178; fax: 496-4006). To join the group, send your name, ICD, address, phone, and fax to Martina Vogel (mail: Federal Building, Room 6C-10; phone: 496-6614; fax: 402-0420; e-mail:

... and Something New

The recently formed Inter-Institute Interest Group on Bioinstrumentation has decided to hold its meetings on the first Tuesday of each month at 2 p.m. in Building 13, Room 3W54. The purpose of the group is mutual education of NIH scientists interested in the science and technology of bioinstrumentation. Anyone is welcome, but the group particularly seeks members who want to improve the state of the art by designing or modifying their own instruments. Organizers expect to have tutorials and brainstorming sessions on particular topics, as well as occasional outside speakers. For more information, contact Steve Leighton (phone: 496-4426; e-mail:

Another relative newcomer to the interest group scene is dedicated to promoting the exchange of information on the intracellular trafficking of macromolecules. The Protein Trafficking Interest Group held its first meeting March 14. After the organizational meeting, Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz of NICHD spoke on "The Mechanism of Golgi Dispersal during Microtubule Disruption." The group decided to hold its workshops on the second Tuesday of each month from 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. in Building 10, Room 9S-235 (Bunim Room). Members of participating labs will speak about their research on a rotating basis. Topics to be discussed include the mechanisms of macromolecular sorting, membrane fusion, the regulation of vesicular traffic, antigen presentation, organelle biogenesis, and membrane-cytoskeleton interactions. All members of the intramural community, as well as scientists from area universities, are welcome to participate. For more information, contact Harris Bernstein (phone: 402-4770; e-mail: or Sam Cushman (phone: 496-5953; email:

Meanwhile, the NIH-wide Motility Interest Group, formed to bring together intramural researchers studying how cells and the molecules and organelles within cells move, is off to an impressive start. About 80 people gathered in Building 10's Bunim Room in January to hear Edward Korn of NHLBI discuss "Amoeba Myosins: Structure, Regulation and Cell Function." This interest group wants to foster fruitful interactions among the many intramural scientists who use a variety of techniques and approaches to study cell motility in different systems and at different levels of organization. For more information contact Robert Horowits (phone: 402-1917; e-mail:

Researchers who are interested in nerve-muscle interactions are also getting an interest group of their very own. The Nerve-Muscle Interest Group at NIH plans to meet every second Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. for informal presentations of ongoing work and discussions of topics or techniques of general interest to the group. For more information, contact Matt Daniels (phone: 496-2898; e-mail: or Evelyn Ralston (phone: 496-1296; e-mail:

And last but not least, a Gene Therapy Interest Group is starting to take shape. The group, which is open to all NIH staffers with an interest in gene-transfer technology and potential clinical applications of gene therapy, will hold its meetings in Lipsett Auditorium from noon to 1 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month. Organizers expect to alternate presentations by intramural investigators, with talks by outside speakers on particularly hot topics. For more information, contact Michael Blaese (phone: 496-5396; e-mail:

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