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STEP Announces 1998-1999 Syllabus

The staff training in extramural programs (STEP) committee recently announced its continuing education activities for 1998-1999.

STEP will offer three training modules during the coming year, each exploring a topic for a full day. The first module, "Intellectual Property: Yours, Mine or Ours?" will be held Nov. 18. It will examine the challenges faced by industry, academia and NIH as they struggle to balance the rights to exploit data with the need to maintain open scientific dialogue. The second module, "Cosponsoring Research: Sharing Knowledge, Cost and Credit," to be offered Feb. 18, will explore the obstacles and incentives to funding research through collaborations between institutes, government agencies and foundations. The third module, "Making a Difference at NIH: Leading from Where You Are," scheduled for Apr. 28-29, will take place off-campus. This module will help individuals understand how they can contribute to the decisions made within their organizations with a goal of increasing job satisfaction and self-worth.

Advance registration is required for participation in all STEP modules. Register by submitting a training nomination using the NIH Integrated Training System. The nomination deadlines are: module 1, Oct. 19; module 2, Jan. 18, 1999; and module 3, Feb. 19.

In addition to the modules, STEP will offer the Forum series, which is designed to provide an opportunity for lively exchange of information on current issues of interest to the extramural community. The programs are generally 2-3 hours long, and don't require advance registration. Dates, times and locations will be announced in advance of the presentations.

Five forums are planned for the coming year. The first features Bruce Johnson, who returns with a new presentation (see sidebar). The next forum, "Rage: Steering Clear of Trouble," will address the apparent epidemic of aggressive behavior in our lives and give us some tools to deal with this behavior if it appears in the work environment. This will be followed by "Argument Culture: What's Your Point?" which will look at how we communicate with each other in the workplace. "Biodiversity and Human Health: Life in the Balance" will take the opportunity on Earth Day to look at the accelerating extinction of species both in the United States and around the world, and the potential effects on all of us. Finally, "Complex Traits: Genes, Environment, and Disease," will explore the interactions between multiple genes and environmental factors that increase our susceptibility to disease.

STEP will also continue the popular Science for All Series. These programs provide extramural staff with an excellent opportunity to learn about recent scientific advances as they relate to contemporary health issues. Like the forums, these 2-3 hour presentations don't require advance registration. Dates, times and locations will be advertised at a later time.

Four presentations are planned for this year. The first in the series, "Gland Central Station: Is Your Thyroid Off Track?" will examine the consequences when your thyroid gland malfunctions and what can be done to treat patients with thyroid disease. The second presentation, "Life in the Extremes: Some Like it Hot" will explore the fantastic array of organisms living in extremely harsh habitats and how these organisms can contribute to medical progress and human health. The third presentation in the series, "Bioterrorism: Ready or Not?" will examine the potential threat posed by the use of biological agents by terrorists. The reasons behind the Presidential Bioterrorism Initiative and its possible effects on NIH will be discussed. The final Science for All presentation of the year will be "Holistic Medicine: Moving into the Mainstream." It will look at the motivation behind the increasing popularity of nontraditional approaches to health and their role in health care delivery in the United States.

More information on these activities can be found in the STEP catalog, which is distributed this month, and on the STEP home page.

Dr. Philip Smith

The STEP training activities are developed by a committee of 25-30 experienced NIH extramural staff. Dr. Philip Smith, senior advisor in the Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolic Diseases, NIDDK, has been named chair of the STEP committee. Dr. Della Hann, chief, Interpersonal and Family Processes Program, NIMH, is serving as vice chair. The Office of Extramural Research sponsors the program. For a copy of the STEP catalog, call 435-2769.

Johnson Leads Off Forum Series

For the third year in a row, Bruce Johnson, president of Making It Clear Communications, will present a STEP Forum. This year's is titled "Increasing Your Confidence," and will be held Thursday, Oct. 8 from 9 a.m. to noon in Bldg. 1, Wilson Hall. The talk is designed to inspire the audience to lead more successful work and personal lives. The forum is free and open to all. Inform STEP of any need for sign language interpretation or reasonable accommodation.


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