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On Student Training

As a former Office of Education staff member who was around for the launching of the Pre-IRTA program, I can't tell you how pleased I was to read in the January-February issue about the impact the Pre-IRTA program is having on its participants and NIH. During my three years at NIH (19911994), I became convinced that NIH had an immense capacity to mentor future scientists, and I was impressed by the number of scientists who willingly gave their time to mentor high school and college students.

Now, as director of admissions for 11 Ph.D. programs, I can tell you how important good mentoring is to development of a successful Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. applicant. It's obvious in reading letters of recommendation from NIH scientists that the program is achieving its goals--many participants are obtaining the type of experience that the program was meant to provide. That's saying quite a bit for a government program"

During my visits to 40 campuses each year, I strongly recommend the Pre-IRTA program in conversations with students. Those of us in the extramural community appreciate the experience NIH is providing to our future students.

Jeffrey J. Sich, Ph.D.
Director of Admissions
Division of Biology & Biomedical Sciences
Washington University
Saint Louis, Missouri

On Clinical Research Protocols

I recently learned that NEI has launched a new comprehensive clinical trials database for NEI-funded studies. It is located at


--Dennis Rodrigues
Office of Communications

We would like to give the correct CRISP Web address as


instead of the one given in the January-February 1998 NIH Catalyst. CRISP is the transinstitute database of funded extramural and intramural NIH projects and includes both clinical and nonclinical studies.

--Miriam Gershfeld
Office of Extramural Research

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