The Interest Group Gazette

Research Festival

Intramural interest groups are uniting on a new project: coordinating many of the scientific presentations at the 1995 NIH Research Festival. Scheduled for Sept. 18-22, this year's event will include workshops and poster sessions organized according to the broad research interests of NIH's interinstitute interest groups. For example, the Structural Biology Interest Group is sponsoring two workshops -- one devoted to signal transduction and the other to DNA-protein interactions from the structural-biology perspective -- and the Hard Tissue Disorders Interest Group and the Clinical Research Interest Group are co-sponsoring a workshop focusing on clinical and basic research on skeletal disorders. The festival will be held in the Natcher Building with displays and information booths located in Parking Lot 10-D between the Clinical Center and Building 37.

First NIH-Wide Meeting

NIH Director Harold Varmus enthusiastically welcomed representatives of the 40 interinstitute interest groups to the first meeting bringing them all together on May 5. Among the items discussed at the gathering were the general organization of the groups, scheduling of speakers for the Wednesday Afternoon Lectures series, and ways of improving communications among the various interest groups, such as establishing electronic poster pages, creating "home" pages on the World Wide Web, and setting up e-mail list servers for exchanging ideas and updates between and among the various groups. In particular, a demonstration of the NIH Campus Yeast Interest Group's home page ( dazzled everyone.

Always on Tuesday

Meanwhile, interest groups across campus continue to lay out their sumptuous smorgasbord of monthly meetings and research symposia. Consider just one weekday's offerings -- Tuesday, for example. NIH's Drosophila Group meets on the third Tuesday of every month from 1:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. in Building 6B, Room 4B429, to discuss recent research on Drosophila melanogaster. Researchers interested in being placed on the Drosophila mailing list should send their name and e-mail address or fax number to Susan Haynes (phone: 496-7879; fax: 496-0243; e-mail:

The recently formed Bioinstrumentation Interest Group emphasizes mutual education for scientists interested in modifying, designing, and building their own instruments for biomedical research. Members convene in Building 13, Room 3W54 at 2 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month from September through June. The group's meetings offer informal technology tutorials, talks on specific projects, and surveys of various areas of bioinstrumentation, as well as brainstorming sessions on key problems with the technology and possible solutions for improvement. For more information, contact Stephen Leighton (phone: 496-4426; fax: 496-6608; e-mail:

Another meeting always held on the first Tuesday of the month attracts researchers from NIH, the University of Maryland, George Washington University, and Johns Hopkins University to the RNA Club. The focus of this special interest group is posttranscriptional regulation and RNA-protein interactions. Members specialize in research on RNA processing, stability, transport, and translation; RNA binding proteins; ribozymes; and small RNAs. The meetings, which start at 4 p.m. in Building 41, Room C509, usually feature two 30-minute lectures from group members on their evolving research. To join the RNA Club, forward your mailing address, affiliation, and voice or fax numbers to either Carl Baker (phone: 496-2078; fax: 402-0055; e-mail: or Susan Haynes (phone: 496-7879; fax: 496-0243; e-mail:

If that's not enough to whet your scientific appetite, The NIH Catalyst plans to publish in a future issue a summary sheet listing the meeting times and contacts for all 40 NIH interinstitute interest groups.

--Katie O'Brien

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