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Bigger Tent Philosophy?
Intramural NIH Shows Off October-Fest Atmosphere

Under clear skies and amid 80-degree temperatures, NIH's intramural scientists gathered for the 1997 Research Festival on Oct. 6-10. Chaired by Dr. Allen M. Spiegel, scientific director for NIDDK, this year's program was highlighted by two retrospectives: "The NIH Intramural Research Program: Sixty Years in Bethesda," a special history symposium to mark the 10th anniversary of the Dewitt Stetten, Jr., Museum of Medical Research; and the 10th anniversary celebration of the In Vivo NMR Research Center. In addition, there were: a bigger and better postdoc job fair, two evening barbecues, 2 days of symposia, workshops and posters, and the culminating Technical Sales Association exhibit show, which was barely contained in a huge aluminum-sided tent that looked bigger than ever -- even if it wasn't.

"They told me that it's not really bigger than the others we've had," said Gregory Roa of NIH's Visitor Information Center, who helped organize festival events, "but instead of the soft, canvas walls we're used to seeing, this one has sides made of metal. They also asked for an extra day and a half to set it up." This year, all festival events were centrally located in or around the Natcher Bldg.

Bird's Eye View: Natcher's lobby and atria were lined for 2 days with more than 300 intriguing, colorful displays but few were as elaborate -- or as attention-getting -- as the one shown here complete with computer, monitors and laser technology.

Dr. Lei Bi (r) of NHGRI's Laboratory of Genetic Disease Research shares her work during the third poster session.

Left, Dr. LaMonica Stewart (l), an NIGMS pharmacology research associate fellow working in NCI's Laboratory of Chemoprevention, explains her work to possible collaborators. At NIH nearly a year, Stewart said her first Research Festival was fruitful. "We met several people who seemed interested in the project, people we wouldn't come in contact with on an everyday basis," she commented.

Right, researchers discuss a poster whose title alone suggested its festival-like surroundings, "Conformational Intermediates in Phage HK97 Capsid Maturation: Popcorn and Balloons."

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