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NIH History Day 2004
What's Your NIH 'Firsts' HQ (Heritage Quotient)?

People make history. That's the point of the second annual NIH History Day to be held on Tuesday, Sept. 21, by the Office of NIH History. The highlight of the day will be a lecture by Dr. Thomas Söderqvist, professor of the history of medicine and director of the Medical Museion at the University of Copenhagen. The lecture, "The Seven Virtues of Biography, or What's the Use of Biographies of Life Scientists?" will be held at 3 p.m. in Lipsett Amphitheater, Bldg. 10. All are welcome.

This year's theme is "Scientific Biography," and the goal is to point out how advances in biomedical research depend on individual curiosity, perseverance and creativity, augmented occasionally by serendipity. The Office of NIH History encourages senior NIH scientists to send digital or paper copies of their CVs along with photos, both candid and posed, to be added to the office's biographical reference files. On History Day, collection stations will be staffed in the lobbies of Bldgs. 10, 50 and 37 for those who want to donate in person. For more information about the event or special accommodation, contact Dr. Sarah Leavitt, or (301) 496-8856 or consult

Now test yourself. The people above achieved important "firsts" in NIH history. How many names can you link to particular achievements?

Take the HQ Quiz

1. Ida Bengtson   a. first federal scientist to win a Nobel prize
2. Philip Chen   b. first to demonstrate that pellagra was a dietary-deficiency disease
3. Alice Evans   c. first Asian American on the senior NIH staff
4. Joseph Goldberger   d. first director of "Laboratory of Hygiene"
5. David Johnson   e. first NIH winner of a Lasker award
6. Joseph Kinyoun   f. first female NIH member of the National Academy of Sciences
7. Ruth Kirschstein   g. first African American senior scientist and laboratory chief
8. Elizabeth Neufeld   h. first to demonstrate relation of brucellosis to unpasteurized milk
9. Marshall Nirenberg i. first female professional on staff of Hygienic Laboratory
10. Joseph E. Smadel   j. first female director of an institute
ANSWERS:   1. i   2. c   3. h   4. b   5. g   6. d   7. j   8. f   9. a   10. e

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