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Wednesday Afternoon Lectures

The Wednesday Afternoon Lecture series -- held on its namesake day at 3 p.m. in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10 -- features two Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers at the latter end of the month.

Dr. Helen M. Piwnica-Worms visits on Jan. 22 to discuss "Reversible Phosphorylation and Cell Cycle Control." She is an HHMI associate investigator and associate professor at Washington University School of Medicine.

On Jan. 29, Dr. Huda Y. Zoghbi, HHMI investigator and professor at Baylor College of Medicine, presents, "Toward Understanding the Pathogenesis of Type 2 Spinocerebellar Ataxia."

For more information or for reasonable accommodation, call Hilda Madine, 4-5595.

In the Dark Dec. 2?

A power outage that began late Sunday, Dec. 1, 1996, and ended around 4 p.m. the next day disrupted DCRT computing services as well as telephone service to Bldgs. 12, 12A, and 12B. The power failure was caused by an electrical explosion in the 13,800-volt switchgear located in an NIH substation. DES was able to restore enough power by early Monday morning to run NIHnet. Once full power was restored, all DCRT services resumed with no loss of data or software.

A long-planned "uninterruptible power supply" scheduled for completion in the next few months will prevent future power outages from disrupting DCRT computing and networking services by supplying Bldg. 12 with emergency power from a combination of batteries and diesel generators. DCRT is also taking steps to ensure emergency telephone access to essential staff in Bldgs. 12A and 12B.

Camera Club Meets Jan. 14

The NIH R&W Camera Club meets on Tuesday, Jan. 14 at 7 p.m. in Bldg. 31, Conf. Rm. 8. Guest speaker is Erwin Siegal, former president of the Virginia camera club and a professional photographer specializing in portrait and medical photography. He will speak on "From 35mm Slide to Color Print."

The subject of the evening's competition is architecture. Formats include black and white prints and color prints and slides.

All are welcome to join. For more information contact Dr. Yuan Liu, 4-6382.

Kaiser Plan Service Day

Kaiser Permanente Health Plan will be on the NIH campus Thursday, Jan. 23 to assist plan enrollees who have claims or enrollment problems or questions. A plan representative will be available from 9 a.m. to noon in Bldg. 31, Conf. Rm. 2A52. No appointment is necessary. Assistance will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

Survival Skills Workshops Resume

The new year brings with it the second part of the NIH fellows committee's year-long workshop series entitled "What They Never Taught You in Graduate School: A Series of Survival Skills Workshops."

The schedule is as follows:

Date & Time Event Place

Jan. 27,
3 p.m.
"Being a Professional Scientist" A special address to fellows on campus by Dr. Harold Varmus, NIH director. Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10
Feb. 24,
8-11:30 a.m.
"Grantspersonship" Lipsett Amphitheater, Bldg. 10
Mar. 24,
8-11:30 a.m.
"Writing and Publishing Research Articles" Lipsett Amphitheater, Bldg. 10
May 19,
8-11:30 a.m.
"Teaching: A Brief Introduction" Lipsett Amphitheater, Bldg. 10

For more information call 2-1914; a description of the entire series can be found at

Additional sponsors include the Office of Research on Women's Health, the Office of Education and the intramural scientific directors.

Fire Damages NIAID Rental Lab

An NIAID laboratory at the Twinbrook II rental facility near the Parklawn Bldg. in Rockville was destroyed by fire early Saturday, Dec. 21, presumably due to an electrical problem. A few research animals perished as fire fighters from Montgomery County and NIH responded. No one was injured, but damage to the facility and to laboratory equipment may reach $800,000.

The facility, which houses thousands of research animals -- mainly mice -- was left a mess by the blaze, which was upsetting to workers in the Laboratory of Immunogenetics, headed by NIAID scientific director Dr. Thomas Kindt. The fire was largely confined to the lab's human immunogenetics research section, whose chief is Dr. Mary Ann Robinson.

There had initially been concern about possible radiation leakage during the fire, but no such hazard emerged. Radiation physicists reported to the scene promptly and confirmed that the lab's radioactive materials were safely contained.

The animal facilities were quickly made secure and operable. Robinson's lab is scheduled for extensive repairs prior to reoccupancy.

Argentine Health Care Execs Visit

A group of 75 health care executives from Argentina visited NIH recently as part of a course given by George Washington University's department of medicine. The group got overviews of NIH, the Human Genome Project, the Fogarty International Center, and toured the Clinical Center and National Library of Medicine. The group informed their NIH hosts that the visit was the highlight of their stay in Washington, D.C.

Women's Health Seminar Series

Women's Health Seminar Participants

The Women's Health Seminar Series kicked off the 1996-97 season with a look at "Women's Health in the Middle and Later Years." Speakers covered a range of issues, from social and psychological health to urinary incontinence to bone diseases to cardiovascular disease. Participants included (from l) seminar committee co-chair Dr. Judith Cooper, NIDCD; seminar coordinator Dr. Sooja Kim, DRG; guest speakers Drs. Jane Cauley, University of Pittsburgh; Eleanor Simonsick, NIA; Kristene Whitmore, Graduate Hospital in Philadelphia; Sharon Jackson, Bowman Gray School of Medicine; seminar committee cochair Joyce Rudick, NIH Office of Research on Women's Health; and ORWH director Dr. Vivian Pinn. Sponsored by ORWH, this year's four-part seminar series will focus on women and aging. The next program, which will cover osteoporosis and arthritis, will be held Thursday, Mar. 6, 2-4 p.m. in Lipsett Amphitheater, Bldg. 10. For more information, call ORWH at 2-1770.

FAES Presents Sunday Concerts

The FAES Chamber Music Series will present Radu Lupu, piano, at 4 p.m. on Jan. 19, and Marina Piccinini, flute, and Andreas Haefliger, piano, at 4 p.m. on Jan. 26. The concerts are held in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10. Tickets are $20 at the door; $10 for students and fellows. For more information call 6-7975.

Korach Publication Considered 'Hot'

A 1994 report by NIEHS' Dr. Kenneth Korach is featured by The Scientist, a newspaper for science professionals, as a "hot paper," meaning it has been cited in more than 50 other research reports in less than 2 years. And no wonder: It tells of a man who is 28, and 6-feet-8 but still growing -- when conventional wisdom would have had him dead before birth.

Co-author Dr. Eric Smith of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center conducted tests that showed the man, his patient, to be severely estrogen resistant, a condition normally considered deadly to the developing male embryo.

Knowing of Korach's development of an estrogen receptor knock-out mouse, Smith sent samples of the man's DNA to Korach's lab at NIEHS, where evaluation revealed a mutation in the gene encoding the estrogen receptor. The case was the first reported mutation of this gene resulting in a living person who is hormonally insensitive to estrogen.

The finding, published in the New England Journal of Medicine (331:1056-61, 1994) may provide clues to some childhood growth disorders.

Korach attributed interest in the paper to "the uniqueness and novelty of the findings. We hope it will allow us to make people aware that this mutation can exist in the human population."

Community Outreach

Furthering community outreach efforts, Dennis Rodrigues of the Office of Communications, OD, and Kathy Kranzfelder of NIDDK provide an overview of NIH's World Wide Web information resources to a group of local retirees. This group is part of a pilot project, funded by NIH, aimed at helping older Americans make better use of home computers to find health information.

Axelrod Named Scientist Emeritus

Pioneering NIMH researcher Dr. Julius Axelrod, whose work described how the actions of neurotransmitters are ended and the effect of psychoactive drugs, has been awarded the title scientist emeritus. This honorary status is given by the scientific directors to distinguished investigators who wish to continue their research after formal retirement from the intramural programs.

In 1970, Axelrod received the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for more than 10 years of research that culminated in a clearer understanding of how brain cells signal each other chemically.

Axelrod formally retired from NIMH in 1984. He has continued as an unpaid guest researcher in the NIMH Laboratory of Cell Biology, headed by one of his former students, Dr. Michael Brownstein. Since his retirement, Axelrod's research has been mainly concerned with the transduction of neurotransmitter signals in cells. More recently, he has been involved in studies on the natural ligand of the cannabinoid receptor, anandamide, which he will continue as scientist emeritus.

Manchester String Quartet Rescheduled

The Manchester String Quartet concert scheduled for Jan. 13 has been rescheduled for Monday, Jan. 27. Call Sharon Greenwell, 6-1776, for more information.

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