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NIH Record  
Vol. LIX, No. 18
  September 7, 2007
 Features
Pioneer Award Winners To Report Progress, Sept. 19
Organ Transplant Brings Hope, Gratitude To CC Physician
Fogarty Scholars Urged to Establish Relationships to Advance Global Health
NIH Hosts Cancer Health Disparities Summit
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Documenting Social Change
NIH Seminar Details History of ACT UP
  ACT UP demonstrators march at NIH in 1990.
  ACT UP demonstrators march at NIH in 1990.

In 2001, Sarah Schulman was driving a rental car in Los Angeles when she heard a radio story recognizing the 20th anniversary of AIDS. "They said, 'At first, America had trouble with people with AIDS, but then they came around,'" Schulman explained in an NIH History of Medicine seminar. "And I just knew I could not continue my life without making sure that no one would ever say something like that again."

The words hit her because, as a writer and activist long involved with the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, or ACT UP, she had memories of "all of my good friends, and all of the thousands of people who spent their lives-some of them to their deaths-forcing this country to change its policies toward AIDS and people with AIDS," she said. "And to have that naturalized, as though the dominant ulture was so enlightened they just happened to 'get it' one day, we just couldn't let that happen."
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EUREKA Grant Program Kicks Off
  Dr. Laurie Tompkins, a scientist and an artist (that's her fused glass at left), helped design EUREKA.
  Dr. Laurie Tompkins, a scientist and an artist (that's her fused glass at left), helped design EUREKA.

Got a trail-blazing idea? A controversial hypothesis? NIH wants you! In concert with four other ICs, NIGMS has launched EUREKA, a new funding initiative to help researchers with original ideas. Program director Dr. Laurie Tompkins, who helped create EUREKA (Exceptional, Unconventional Research Enabling Knowledge Acceleration), says it will carve out space for the "paradigm-shifters" that might otherwise get triaged.

Such a novel program requires a new set of instructions: "We make it explicit to ask candidates not how likely it is to succeed," Tompkins says, "but is there any likelihood at all to succeed. Don't worry if it's risky."
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