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NIH Record

A Real October-fest
Research Festival Ready to Debut In New Month, Site

By Gregory Roa

On the Front Page...
Like a lot of other things around campus these days, the NIH Research Festival has undergone quite a few changes. The annual event has migrated to a new month, running the week of Oct. 6 to 10 instead of in mid-September. The festival's circus-size tents have moved as well, to a new site near the front of the Natcher Bldg. And for the first time, the program includes not one but two evening picnics, plus a new and improved job fair for NIH postdocs. As always, however, Research Festival retains the same great schedule of symposia, workshops and posters, all of which will be held inside the Natcher Conference Center.

The week kicks off on Monday, Oct. 6, from 8:30-11 a.m. with the Immunology Interest Group symposium "Activation of T Lymphocytes During Host Defense and Disease: The Cell Biology and Biochemistry of Antigen Presentation." Afterwards, a poster session runs in the Natcher lobby from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the first in a series of four sessions totaling more than 300 presentations. The posters are followed that afternoon by 10 workshops running concurrently from 1:30-4:30 p.m., followed by a second poster session from 4:30-6:30.

As the opening day of the festival winds down, NIH'ers are invited to attend an evening picnic, also held in the Natcher Bldg., courtesy of the Technical Sales Association (TSA). This year's menu features barbecue-style fare that is sure to be an improvement over the old lunch-box meal. So that enough food may be ordered, picnic-goers are asked to purchase tickets in advance at R&W stores at a cost of $1 per person. Another picnic will be held on Tuesday evening; separate tickets must be bought for each event. Proceeds benefit the Children's Inn and other NIH charities.

The festival circuit begins anew on Tuesday, Oct. 7 with a morning symposium sponsored by the Structural Biology Interest Group, "Structural Biology and Viral Disease," leading to a second day of posters, workshops and an evening picnic. Throughout the schedule on both days, refreshments will be served courtesy of TSA.

Wednesday, Oct. 8 opens with a final workshop as well as a second edition of the job fair for NIH postdoctoral fellows, cosponsored by the National Foundation for Biomedical Research and the Office of Education. The fair takes place in the Natcher Bldg. lobby from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. and includes information booths staffed by representatives from nearly 20 outside organizations seeking to hire postdocs. Some representatives may choose to arrange afternoon interviews on the spot. All NIH postdocs are welcome; no preregistration is necessary. Interested candidates should bring copies of a curriculum vitae and resumes. For more information about the job fair, contact Shirley Forehand,

The lecture portion of the festival concludes on Wednesday afternoon with a special feature, the DeWitt Stetten Jr., Museum of Medical Research 10th Anniversary Symposium -- "The NIH Intramural Research Program: Sixty Years in Bethesda." Distinguished present and former NIH intramural scientists will take part in a celebration of the on-campus research effort, said Dr. Allen Spiegel, NIDDK scientific director and chairman of this year's Research Festival. Scheduled to speak are Drs. Robert Berliner, Philip Leder, Martin Rodbell, John Daly, David Davies, Alan Rabson, Stephen Epstein, Elizabeth Neufeld, Anthony Fauci, Michael Gottesman, Harold Varmus and Victoria Harden, director of the Stetten Museum and cochair of the symposium. This symposium runs from 1:30-5:30 p.m. in the Natcher main auditorium.

On Thursday and Friday, the festival moves outside to new tents erected near the Natcher entrance on Center Drive. There the relocated TSA Exhibit Show will once again hold hundreds of booths with equipment demonstrations, product samples, and plenty of free refreshments, adding a proper grand finale to another NIH Research Festival week.

Program booklets with all the details are being distributed desk-to-desk throughout NIH. An online, interactive version on the World Wide Web can be accessed from the "News and Events" section of the NIH home page. For more information, contact Gregory Roa, 496-1776, email

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