NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

Pokémon Go

Postdoc Trains His PI in New Game

Pokemon screen shot

NIH has not been exempt from the tech fad Pokémon Go, which has swept the country in recent weeks.

“Like many others, our lab has started participating in this addictive game of catching rodents, among other digital animals, not unlike the daily routine of scientists around campus,” said Dr. Ernesto Perez-Chanona, a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Giorgio Trinchieri, cancer immunobiology section, NCI. “It also makes the sunny journey between Bldg. 37 and the Belkaid lab—our collaborators at NIAID [in Bldg. 4]—far more exciting than it has ever been before.”

One driving force behind NIH’s involvement is that the Silvio Conte Bldg. and Bldg. 10 have been designated as Pokémon “gyms” where throughout the day, postdocs, postbacs, staff and summer students release pent up frustration from finicky experiments by battling one another so that their team gains possession of the building.

The teams include Mystic (blue), Instinct (yellow) and Valor (red), a favorite among NCI researchers and staff in Bldg. 37.

“For a brief period of time, my most well-trained Pokémon—named after my PI—was in charge (see image),” said Perez-Chanona. “However, other members of the lab are also represented in my Pokémon collection.

“One great part of the game,” he says, “is the Pokémon Stops, which provide trainers with in-game goodies, but also highlight some of the hidden gems on campus, such as the Pyramid Between Heaven and Earth by Keith Allen Haring, the Asclepiades Mural, the Frog of the Anita B. Roberts Garden and countless plaques dedicated to past contributors to the NIH community.

“As always, be alert when walking around,” says Perez-Chanona, “and happy hunting!”

The NIH Record

The NIH Record, founded in 1949, is the biweekly newsletter for employees of the National Institutes of Health.

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