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Group Invites New Members

The NIH Chamber Singers invite NIH'ers to join them at lunchtime for wonderful vocal music. A concert will take place on Thursday, Oct. 9, at 12:30 p.m. in the Clinical Center's Masur Auditorium. Admission is free. All are welcome.

Abstracts Sought for Lupus Conference

On Nov. 6-8, a conference titled "Novel Perspectives on Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: From Basic Research to Clinical Applications," will be held at the Natcher Conference Center. The event is jointly sponsored by NIAMS, NIAID, ORWH, NIDDK, the SLE Foundation, and the Lupus Foundation of America.

It will provide a series of workshops to review basic research and how it clinically applies to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Immunologists, cell biologists, geneticists, and molecular biologists will gather to try to understand the events within lymphoid tissues that lead to a breakdown in self-tolerance and the events in target organs that lead to antibody- and/or cytokine-mediated tissue injury. These new insights into immune cell activation and death, into pathways of tissue destruction, and into modulators of lymphocyte or target cell function have suggested new therapies in SLE.

Abstracts and registration information should be submitted by fax or by mail to: The SLE Foundation, Inc., 149 Madison Ave., Suite 205, New York, NY 10016, phone (212) 685-4118, fax (212) 545-1843. The registration fee for NIH employees is waived. Deadline for registration is Oct. 10. If you wish to have dinner at the Natcher Center on Thursday and Friday nights, send $70 with your registration information. For reasonable accommodation, contact Felecia Taylor, NIAMS, at For program details, abstract requirements, and other information about the conference, visit NIAMS's Website at:

Wednesday Afternoon Lectures

The Wednesday Afternoon Lecture series -- held on its namesake day at 3 p.m. in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10 -- will take a short vacation Oct. 8 in honor of Research Festival, but resume Oct. 15 with a presentation by Dr. Don C. Wiley, professor, department of molecular and cellular biology, and HHMI investigator at Harvard University. His topic is "Structure/Function Studies in MHC/Antigen Recognition and in Viral Entry Mechanisms."

For more information or for reasonable accommodation, call Hilda Madine, 4-5595.

Seminar on GWACs, Oct. 15

The Bethesda/Medical chapter of the National Contract Management Association is hosting a brown bag lunch seminar entitled "Government-Wide Agency Contracts (GWACs)," on Wednesday, Oct. 15 from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. in EPN, Conf. Rm. H. Speaking will be Marie Monsees, an NIH project officer. All are welcome. For more information call Sharon Miller, 435-3783.

Create a Compelling Life, Oct. 16

The STEP committee will present a forum entitled, "Creating a Compelling Life" on Thursday, Oct. 16, from 9 a.m. to noon in Natcher Bldg. Conf. Rms. E1-2. The featured speaker will be Bruce Johnson, president, Making It Clear Communications Group. Successful people tend to be those who have defined realistic goals for themselves and work to achieve them. The key may be recognizing important facets of our lives and learning to successfully balance them. Reconnect with yourself, regain control, rediscover your dreams and redirect or reaffirm your lifestyle.

Johnson will help listeners determine what is important for them, how to achieve a balance in life, define realistic goals, and set a game plan in motion to achieve those goals. The forum will offer tools for making a positive change in life and challenge the audience to strive for excellence.

The forum is free and open to all NIH'ers on a first-come, first-served basis. No advance registration is necessary. Inform STEP of any need for sign language interpretation or reasonable accommodation by Oct 7. For more information, call 435-2769.

Director's Seminar Set, Oct. 17

The NIH Director's Seminar Series of Friday noontime lectures in Bldg. 1's Wilson Hall continues on Oct. 17 with Dr. Yoshihiro "Pat" Nakatani of NICHD's Laboratory of Growth Regulation speaking on "Eukaryotic Transcriptional Regulation: Communication Between Activators, TFIID, and Histone Acetylases." Continuing medical education credit is available.

Nominations Open for 'Susceptibility Genes'

In journal advertisements and a new web page, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences has invited scientists to nominate "susceptibility" genes for a large-scale study of how these genes vary from person to person, making some people much more -- or less -- susceptible to a chemical or poison.

The large study, known as the "Environmental Genome Project," will determine the variance of about 200 selected genes in some 1,000 people representative of the population -- men and women from major population groups.

Humans have about 100,000 genes. Some are clear-cut disease genes, meaning that variations in those genes carry a strong predilection toward a particular disease.

The Environmental Genome Project will study genes that make people more or less susceptible to natural and man-made chemicals, metals, dietary constituents and other environmental and workplace factors that can cause human diseases. Among these, the project seeks to identify 200 genes whose variations are most likely to have a major role in whether a person gets a disease or disorder following an exposure.

The study is part of the answer to why everyone has a story about an "Uncle James" who smoked, drank, ate too much, and worked in a dangerous industry -- and lived to be 102 -- whereas most other people with this history died prematurely.

Scientists are invited to make their nominations electronically via a Webpage: They should include a rationale for including the nominated gene, and/or to participate in a Symposium on the Environmental Genome to be held Oct. 17-18 at Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10. The nominated genes will be peer-reviewed to determine which should be included. They may include such classes of genes as detoxification genes, DNA repair genes, cell cycle and cell death control genes, and genes mediating immune or nutritional factors.

Piano Concert Set, Oct. 19

The FAES Chamber Music Series will present Eldar Nebolsin, piano, at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 19 in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10. Tickets are $20 at the door; $10 for students and fellows. For more information call 496-7975.

Fundraiser for NIH'er Set, Oct. 25

In our last issue (Sept. 23), we reported on the plight of Dr. Henry Lancaster, a third-year fellow in oral medicine at NIDR who had the unusual distinction of becoming both an employee and a patient in the Clinical Center at the same time. He has cystic fibrosis, which has deteriorated his lungs to the point that he qualifies for a double-lung transplant. He awaits the call for this operation while continuing his work at NIH. He and his wife, NICHD immunologist Dr. Joanne Lancaster, will need more funds than his insurance will provide, so they have, with the help of R&W and others, put together a gala fundraising event: Irish Dancing and Music Festival in Honor of Henry Lancaster Transplant Fund.

It will be held Saturday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10. Featured are Tir na nOg (Land of the Forever Young), a theatrical presentation with Irish dancers including step, set and ceili; Elke Baker, U.S. national Scottish fiddle champion; Sean Culkin School of Irish Step Dancing, including child and adult dancers and traditional Irish musicians and singers; an intermission featuring refreshments from Sutton Place Gourmet, Fresh Fields, Bruegger's Bagels, and homemade baked goods; and a raffle with more than 20 door prizes.

Tickets are $10, and are available at all R&W gift shops or by calling 496-4600.

Hispanic Heritage Month Symposium

At the recent Hispanic Heritage Month symposium, NHLBI director Dr. Claude Lenfant (l) meets with John Medina (c), OEO Diversity Program manager, and Dr. Elmer Huerta, cancer prevention specialist at the Washington Hospital Center. Lenfant presented awards to members of the Community Alliance Working for Heart Health, part of NHLBI's Salud para su Corazon, a cardiovascular disease prevention initiative undertaken in metropolitan Washington, D.C. Huerta helped give results of the project, which included an increased awareness of major cardiovascular risk factors. Respondents to a survey reported being noticeably more aware of overweight, physical inactivity, high blood pressure, and diets high in fat, cholesterol and salt.

Hispanic Health Fair and Culinary Festival

Nancy Sebring (r), a dietitian at the Clinical Center and chair of the OD worksite health promotion committee's nutrition subcommittee, hands out samples as GSI Executive Chefs Andy Wooley (l) and Mark Whalen (c) demonstrate how to prepare tasty and healthful Arroz con pollo (chicken and rice) during a lunchtime break in the Hispanic Health Fair and Culinary Festival, held recently in Bldg. 10. The lunch also featured a Hispanic band and heart-healthy cooking handouts. The heart-healthy meals will continue throughout Hispanic Heritage Month, as NIH cafeterias serve dishes and distribute recipes and other health materials, all from the NHLBI Stay Young At Heart Program. Many of the recipes are in the low-cost healthy Hispanic cookbook, Platillos Latinos, now on sale at the R&W stores.

Imperial Highness Prince Masahito Hitachi

His Imperial Highness Prince Masahito Hitachi (c) visited NIH Sept. 18 to meet with leading NCI scientists who have had a history of collaboration with colleagues in Japan. Prince Hitachi, the younger brother of the Japanese Emperor, works regularly in the Cancer Institute of the Japanese Cancer Foundation as a guest researcher. He studies the comparative pathology of tumors of lower animals, which provide useful models for human carcinogenesis. Among those who greeted him were Dr. Ruth Kirschstein (r), NIH deputy director, Dr. Philip Schambra (second from l), FIC director, Dr. Michael Gottesman (l), NIH deputy director for intramural research and chief of the NCI Laboratories of Cellular Oncology and Cell Biology, and Dr. Tsuyoshi Kakefuda (rear), Laboratory of Molecular Carcinogenesis, NCI. The prince was briefed on the status of current research by Gottesman, Drs. Ira Pastan, Snorri Thorgeirsson, Harry Gelboin and Peter Shields during visits to each of their labs.

Assisted Parking Begins at Bldg. 31

The next phase of parking mitigation measures went into effect Oct. 1 with attendant-assisted parking for employees at all of the Bldg. 31 parking lots, that is lots 31B through 31H. This measure helps offset the loss of parking spaces in lots 20A/B/C due to the Center Drive realignment for the Clinical Research Center project.

With attendant-assisted parking, first arriving employees will self-park and lock their cars in the striped spaces as they do currently. Once the facility is full, attendants will direct employees to aisles where parkers will leave their car and ignition key, and receive a claim ticket. Vehicle keys will be secured by attendants using key security locks. As self-park spaces open, stacked cars will be moved into available spaces. Departing employees whose cars are stack-parked will present their ticket, and attendants will unlock the key and move any blocking vehicles. Projected attendant operating hours for the employee lots are 7 a.m. - 7 p.m., Monday-Friday. One attendant booth will remain open (and hold any remaining keys) until 1 a.m. Employees can self-park and lock their car at any time there are available spaces in the lots (before, during and after operation hours). Red, reserved and handicapped spaces will not be affected. The carpool spaces in lot 31D will remain reserved for carpoolers until 9:30 a.m., and then will be managed in the same way as all the other 31 lots.

This is one more step in an ORS plan to better manage NIH's limited parking resources. ORS appreciates employees' cooperation and welcomes input. Check the Web site at: The Employee Transportation Services Office can be reached at 402-RIDE.

Award for Research in Thyroid Cancer

The National Cancer Institute is establishing the Charles Harkin Award for Research in Thyroid Cancer, to be made to NCI clinical and laboratory investigators for the study of the genetics, etiology and treatment of thyroid cancer.

The award's namesake was a patient treated at the Clinical Center by physicians from several institutes. NCI director Dr. Richard Klausner said that Harkin's "courage and humor warmed the hearts of those around him."

The award, established in consultation with Harkin's brother, Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, will be awarded competitively. NCI's Division of Clinical Sciences will oversee review of applications for the award from tenured and tenure-track investigators. The investigator selected will receive $60,000 a year for 3 years.

Background Survey Form Debuts

A new online background survey form has been developed for use by equal opportunity employment and human resource professionals to collect and analyze, electronically, applicant data involving race, sex, age, disability and national origin. The form will be used in conjunction with the online application technology currently available to applicants for NIH vacancy openings via the Internet. Developed by Demond Bennett of the Clinical Center and Ron Sleyo of NIDDK, the form facilitates tracking and recording of race, gender, ethnic and disability data. The survey information will be encrypted for security and confidentiality and separated from other application materials upon receipt. Completion of the survey form is voluntary. The URL for the survey is:

NIEHS Graduates 1st Spanish Class

NIEHS graduated its first class in beginning Spanish in September as part of an institute effort to reach out and welcome Spanish-speaking scientists and other employees. The class had 15 participants and was sponsored by the NIEHS Equal Employment Office.

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