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NTP To Study Chromium 6

The National Toxicology Program has announced its intention to study chromium 6, the chemical that polluted drinking water in the film Erin Brockovich starring Julia Roberts. The Roberts character becomes an environmental activist when she discovers a series of health crises resulting from chromium 6 contamination of groundwater.

The NTP will begin designating 2-year rodent studies and shorter-term toxicity studies to assist in long-term study design and interpretation. Results of the studies are expected in 2005.

NIEHS deputy director Dr. Sam Wilson and NTP associate director Dr. Christopher Portier made the study announcement at a recent press conference in Glendale, Calif.

ORWH Offers Information During National Women's Health Week

Hundreds of people picked up informational materials on women's health during National Women's Health Week in mid-May. The NIH Office of Research on Women's Health set up two exhibits in the Clinical Center and distributed a wide variety of information on women's health from the NIH institutes and centers.

Chamber Music Concert, June 24

The Rock Creek Chamber Players will perform at 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 24 in the Clinical Center's 14th floor assembly hall. The free public concert, sponsored by the recreation therapy section, will include a work for woodwinds by Ibert, Dohnanyi's Serenade for string trio, and Ernest Bloch's quintet for piano and strings. For more information call (202) 337-8710.

NIEHS Funds Mouse Breeding Centers

NIEHS will establish and fund five research centers to develop and breed mice with key genetic variations like those in humans. The mutant mice will be available for scientists throughout NIH and other research programs.

The following centers will receive $5 million in each of the next 5 years: Albert Einstein College of Medicine; University of Washington; University of Cincinnati; University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio; University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Smithville.

"We can use these mouse models to understand human variabilities to environmental factors that may have a role in human diseases," said NIEHS director Dr. Ken Olden.

Prayer Day Held May 3

Guest speaker Rev. Kevin Williams addresses employees gathered for the National Day of Prayer, which was observed May 3 on the lawn of Bldg. 1, sponsored by the Noontime Christian Fellowship. The annual event offers prayers for the nation and its leaders. More than 150 NIH'ers participated in the occasion, according to organizers. The Noontime Christian Fellowship welcomes all to its meetings every Tuesday at 11:45 a.m. in the Natcher Bldg. Conf. Rm. 3AS10.

Wednesday Afternoon Lectures

The Wednesday Afternoon Lecture series — normally held on its namesake day at 3 p.m. in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10 — switches to Tuesday on June 19 when Dr. Roy M. Anderson visits to speak on "The Population Biology of HIV Pathogenesis and the Evolution of Drug Resistance in Treated Patients." This is the Fogarty International Lecture. Anderson is professor and head, department of infectious disease epidemiology, Imperial College Medical School, University of London.

On June 20, Dr. Nigel Unwin will give a talk entitled, "Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor and the Structural Basis of Fast Synaptic Transmission." He is head, neurobiology division, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, U.K.

Former NIH scientist Dr. Philip Leder returns on June 27 to address "Cancer: An Unfortunate Genetic Collaboration." He is Andrus professor and chairman, department of genetics, director, Harvard Institute of Human Genetics, and senior investigator, HHMI, Harvard Medical School. Leder's is the final talk in the series before summer vacation; WALS resumes Sept. 12.

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

Botanical Notecards Available at R&W

Elizabeth Blackwell (c. 1700-1758), an 18th century English gentlewoman, had a problem. Her husband had fallen into debt and been thrown in jail. It was up to her to redeem the family's fortune and secure her husband's release. So she became a botanical artist out of necessity.

She learned that an illustrated book on medicinal plants was needed and, with the encouragement of London's leading physicians and apothecaries, set out to produce it. She drew the illustrations, engraved the copper plates and painted the prints herself.

Her two-volume work entitled A Curious Herbal was published in 1737 and 1739 and was widely praised; it received the official approval of the Royal College of Physicians.

She was also able to secure the release of her husband, who later traveled to Sweden where he was beheaded for treason; he had tried to alter succession to the Swedish throne. Elizabeth Blackwell's success in the botanical/artistic world seems not to have been matched by marital success. There are believed to be only 60 copies of these elegant volumes in existence and the National Library of Medicine is fortunate to have one set.

Six botanical notecards, printed on heavy card stock with matching envelopes, have been reproduced from the original book and are available for sale at NIH's R&W stores or for purchase online at

Pharmacology Program Available to M.D.s

The Clinical Center, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences and the Office of Intramural Research, OD, offer a 3-year postdoctoral research fellowship training program emphasizing the application of laboratory pharmacology, biostatistics, pharmacokinetics and chemistry to the study of drug action in humans. Postdoctoral training will be available starting July 1, 2002 and subsequent years. Candidates must have an M.D. degree and, in general, have completed 3 years of residency training, and be board-eligible in a primary medical specialty. They must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States. Their qualifications are evaluated by the clinical pharmacology steering committee. Selection is highly competitive and preference will be given to applicants with outstanding potential. The stipend is determined by the candidate's educational and professional experience. For more information visit or call Donna Shields at 435-6618.

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