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NIH Observes African American History Month, Feb. 25

NIH's annual African American History Program will be held on Monday, Feb. 25 at 1:30 p.m. in Lipsett Amphitheater, Bldg. 10. The theme of the observance is "Celebrating Pioneers — Standing on the Shoulders from the Past."

Roger Wilkins

Historian and civil rights activist Roger Wilkins will deliver the keynote address. He is a professor in the Clarence J. Robinson history and American culture department at George Mason University. During the Johnson administration, Wilkins served as assistant attorney general. Also a distinguished journalist, he has written for the New York Times and the Washington Post, where as a member of the editorial page staff he shared a Pulitzer Prize in 1972 for Watergate coverage. Wilkins's acclaimed autobiography, A Man's Life (1982), was reprinted in 1991. His latest book is Jefferson's Pillow: The Founding Fathers and the Dilemma of Black Patriotism.

Also scheduled to participate is classical actor and griot Bill Grimmette, who will portray Benjamin Banneker, astronomer and surveyor of the nation's capital.

Wednesday Afternoon Lectures

The Wednesday Afternoon Lecture series — held on its namesake day at 3 p.m. in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10 — features Dr. Aravinda Chakravarti on Feb. 27, who will give a talk on the subject "Genetic Architecture of Complex Disease: Simple or Complex?" Chakravarti is Henry J. Knott professor and director, McKusick-Nathans Institute for Genetic Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

On Mar. 6, Dr. Ann M. Graybiel, Walter A. Rosenblith professor of neuroscience, department of brain and cognitive science, MIT, will discuss "Neural Mechanisms of Habit Formation: Plasticity in Cortico-Basal Ganglia Loops."

For more information or for reasonable accommodation, call Hilda Madine, 594-5595.

Sailing Club Open House, Feb. 28

The NIH Sailing Association will hold an open house on Thursday, Feb. 28 from 5 to 8 p.m. at FAES House on the corner of Old Georgetown Rd. and Cedar Ln. Have you longed to cruise on the Chesapeake Bay? Would you like to learn to sail? Does the idea of racing sailboats appeal to you? Can you imagine being part of a group of fun, skilled sailing instructors, enthusiasts and boat owners? Check it out at the NIHSA open house. Admission is $5 at the door and includes pizza and sodas; $2 for beer or wine. Drop by if you are interested in instruction and sailboats for charter, racing, cruises or parties.

Software Vendor Day, Feb. 28

If you're worried about your next software acquisition, worry no more — let CIT's software distribution project (SDP) help you uncover the mysteries of software acquisition. CIT is sponsoring a Vendor Day on Thursday, Feb. 28 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The atrium space at the Natcher Conference Center will be filled with exhibitors.

Vendors include Absolute, Adobe, Apple, BindView, CDW-G, Dataviz, FileMaker, GTSI, Microsoft, Network Associates, Novell and WebTrends. Vendor Day is open to all NIH and DHHS employees.

CIT's SDP saves nearly $10 million annually. It provides major software titles to more than 40,000 customers from NIH and DHHS.

Vendor Day will provide an open forum where you can meet with vendor representatives. In addition to exhibits, selected vendors will formally present their products. Visit for updated vendor and event information.

STEP Module on 'Big Science'

The staff training in extramural programs (STEP) will present an Administrative Strategies Module titled "Big Science, Big Challenges," on Friday, Mar. 1 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10.

The explosion of scientific advances in many areas of research has created more opportunities than ever for funding "big science" — large, often expensive, multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional projects that frequently involve international collaborations and resource networks. The expected eventual decrease in the growth of the NIH budget is likely to exacerbate many of the difficulties in funding and managing "big science" projects. The module will use case studies to discuss examples of creative strategies for identifying and overcoming barriers to establishing and managing big projects. Issues to be addressed include: Under what circumstances should NIH support Big Science? What innovative approaches have been used to promote and support large, multi-disciplinary research collaborations? How do you determine the most appropriate organizational and funding models for these projects? What are the barriers in reviewing, funding and managing Big Science projects? What creative approaches have been used to overcome these barriers? How do you decide when and how to phase out these projects? Attendance earns ESA credit.

Duke, Pitt Training Programs Offered

The deadline for applying to the 2002-2003 NIH-Duke Training Program in Clinical Research is Mar. 15. Designed primarily for clinical fellows training for careers in clinical research, the program offers formal courses in research design, statistical and decision analysis, research ethics and research management.

Courses for the program are offered at the Clinical Center by means of videoconferencing from Duke University or on-site by adjunct faculty. Academic credit earned by participating in this program may be applied toward satisfying the degree requirement for a master of health sciences in clinical research from Duke School of Medicine.

For more information about course work and tuition costs, visit Those accepted into the program will be notified by July 1.

Applications for the University of Pittsburgh Training in Clinical Research Program are due by Mar. 1. Developed from a collaboration between Pitt and the Clinical Center, the program leads to a certificate in clinical research or a master of science in clinical research awarded by the University of Pittsburgh.

Unlike the NIH-Duke program initiated in 1998, the Pitt program is open to a wider audience, including Ph.D.'s and doctorally prepared pharmacists and nurses. Physicians and dentists are also eligible.

The training requires that students spend 8 weeks in residence at the University of Pittsburgh starting in July. Additional coursework for the program is offered at the Clinical Center via videoconferencing.

For more information, visit or send email to Successful applicants will be notified by May 29.

NIH-FDA Analgesic Development Workshop

Finding ways to enhance the development of new drugs for treating pain is the focus of a workshop to be convened by NIH and the Food and Drug Administration on Mar. 13-14 in the Natcher Conference Center.

While pain is a universal experience that is usually episodic and short-lived and requires only temporary treatment with over-the-counter and non-prescription analgesics, pain associated with some diseases can become chronic. Often such pain is inadequately treated because of the limitations of currently available prescription drugs. The impact on quality of life can be substantial. Surveys show that approximately 34 million adults suffer from some form of chronic pain and that 75 percent of patients with advanced cancer experience moderate to very severe pain. An estimated 30-80 percent of HIV-infected patients experience pain that is not adequately relieved by current drugs, while severe, unrelieved pain is reported by 40 percent of the population at end-of-life.

The main limitation on the development of new drugs for pain relief may not be scientific, but practical. The process of safety and efficacy testing in clinical trials is becoming the bottleneck in clinical innovation and improved pain treatment.

The workshop will identify ways to address clinical needs in pain management by enhancing the analgesic drug development process from the identification of novel molecular targets to the introduction of new pain medicines. To register, visit

Schools Recognized by Fire Safety Programs

Randy Schools (c), president of the NIH Recreation and Welfare Association, receives a plaque in recognition of the outstanding and continuous support that he and the R&W staff have provided to the fire safety programs at NIH. Making the presentation are Bill Magers (l) and Richard Shaff of the Emergency Management Branch, Division of Public Safety, Office of Research Services.

NIH/MC Summer Classes

The NIH/Montgomery College Partnership has announced this year's summer classes. Courses will be offered in the evening after working hours at Executive Plaza South. HRDD is currently accepting nominations for the summer session, which will include the following classes:

Medical Terminology I; Math Refresher; General Psychology; Introduction to Business; English Pronunciation for Non-Native Speakers; English Refresher.

For more information about the classes, visit or call 496-6211.

'JobNet' Eases Career Contacts

In order to make job searching easier for young scientists holding fellowships at NIH, two fellows have created JobNet The original idea was to establish an alumni database so former NIH fellows who have established careers could provide advice exclusively to current fellows. Drs. Christine Brennan and Yvonne Szymko created the initial JobNet database, which has been expanded to include career contacts from all backgrounds; however, it still can only be viewed from within NIH.

Currently there are volunteers willing to give advice on careers in such fields as science writing, regulatory affairs, teaching, signal transduction, immunology and bioinformatics. Volunteer contacts often have positions available at their facilities and are eager to hear from NIH fellows.

The JobNet site is at NIH fellows and employees can view the current career contact listings, and scientists in permanent positions can complete a form to volunteer as a career contact. Members of the NIH fellows' committee maintain the site by advertising, recruiting volunteers and periodically updating the site. Fellows wishing to help maintain or add to the resource should contact Dr. Diane Lawrence ( or Dr. Joanna Kirman ( for more information.

Alumni Weigh In on Fence

The NIH Alumni Association's board of directors recently passed a resolution opposing erection of a fence around campus. But it allowed that, if security needs call for such a barrier, it should be "not only attractive and unobtrusive, but (also) behind the buffer zone called for in the NIH Master Plan rather than on the edges of the campus." The NIHAA claims a fence would reduce the "academic ambiance" of the campus, turning it into "Fortress NIH." A fence could also offend NIH neighbors and harm recruitment of fellows and staff, according to the board's resolution, which passed unanimously.

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