The Interest Group Gazette

NIH's family of interinstitute interest groups has grown considerably over the past year, and more new members continue to be added to the fold. Here are some details about four of the most recent arrivals, three of which are in the early, planning stages that rely heavily on the involvement of rank-and-file scientists.

Since it was established at the beginning of this year, the Pigment Cell Research Interest Group has attracted about 50 active members. The group, which serves as a forum for scientists from a wide variety of disciplines interested in the study of pigment cells, holds informal and interactive seminars on the third Monday of each month from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. in Bldg. 37, Rm. 6B23. Interests include the development, growth, differentiation, and function of melanocytes, as well as what causes some melanocytes to be transformed and grow into primary malignant melanoma tumors and, eventually, to metastasize. Typically, group members make the presentations, but occasionally, outside speakers are invited to participate. The goal of the group is to foster synergistic interactions among researchers who have complementary interests and/or expertise. Members are informed by fax and/or e-mail of all official group activities and other useful news. For more information, contact Vincent Hearing (phone: 496-1564; fax: 402-8787; e-mail:

The Lymphoma and Leukemia Interest Group, organized by Ivan Horak of NCI's Metabolism Branch, held its first meeting in September and plans to meet from 2 to 3 p.m. on the second Monday of each month in the Bunim Conference Room, 9S-235, Bldg. 10. This group is devoted to the biology and therapy of lymphoma and leukemia. The Nov. 13 meeting will feature a presentation by NCI's Jonathan Ashwell on the regulation of normal and pathological apoptosis of T cells. Organizers plan to notify members of group activities via the NIH Calendar of Events and e-mail. For more information, contact Horak (phone: 594-1127; fax: 402-3647; e-mail: Also in the formative stage, the Carcinogenesis Interest Group intends to hold its first informal meeting in November. The group's purpose is to discuss and understand the process of carcinogenesis, as well as its causes and mechanisms, its clinical and epidemiological manifestations, and its prevention. Umberto Saffiotti, the group's organizer from NCI's Laboratory of Experimental Pathology, plans to have three to four meetings per year at NIH's Bethesda campus and, possibly, some at NIEHS at Research Triangle Park, N.C. For more information, contact Saffiotti (phone: 496-2818; fax: 402-1829; e-mail:

The first organizational meeting of the Virology Research Interest Group will be held on Nov. 9 from 2 to 3 p.m. in Bldg. 4, Rm. 433/437. All NIH scientists in the field of virology are invited to attend. The planning of future meetings and seminars will take place during the first meeting, and there will also be a discussion of additional activities aimed at enhancing the scientific and social interactions among virologists within and around NIH. Researchers who are unable to attend but would like to convey their interests and ideas should contact Bernie Moss of NIAID's Laboratory of Viral Diseases (fax: 480-1147; e-mail:

-Lorna Heartley

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