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Ruffin Addresses Millennium Forum

Dr. John Ruffin, NIH associate director for research on minority health, and panelists from private industry recently provided a glimpse of life in the 21st century at the Millennium Forum sponsored by the American Association for Gifted Children. The event was held in Washington, D.C., during National Recognition Week for 141 high school seniors honored as 1998 presidential scholars.

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars has honored the nation's most distinguished high school seniors for 34 years. Initiated by President Lyndon B. Johnson, the commission annually selects one young man and young woman from each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Americans living abroad, and 15 at-large students. Scholars are selected on the basis of outstanding scholarship, service, leadership and creativity.

Forum panelists described a world of rapid technological change and scientific discovery during the Third Millennium. Ruffin captured the students' attention as he showed how macromolecules such as DNA, RNA and protein will routinely be applied to the prevention and treatment of disease. Hoping to inspire many of the students to pursue careers in medical research, Ruffin also introduced the students to NIH, its mission and the many training opportunities available to support students at each step of their academic development.

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