A 16-year-old high school student who spent the summer of 2004 at
NIEHS was named a 2005 Davidson Fellow. The award carries a $25,000
scholarship. John Zhou of Northville, Mich., won the science award
for his project, "A Study of Possible Interactions Among Rev1,
Rev3 and Rev7 Proteins from Saccharomyces Cerevisiae."
His project used yeast cells to study the role of proteins in
DNA with results that suggest a new molecular model for proliferating
cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) of translesion DNA replication, according
to the Davidson Fellow web page. His research indicates the same
molecules that have the ability to let the DNA replication process
occur may also be a source of mutations. The results of his study
not only impressed the contest judges, but also will help scientists
learn to enhance or suppress the function of these molecules, which
is important in a wide variety of cancer treatments.
Zhou was a special volunteer in Tom Kunkel's lab, the Laboratory
of Structural Biology, under the supervision of Sean Zhong. During
the 5 weeks he worked at NIEHS during the summer between his sophomore
and junior years in high school, he conducted hands-on lab research
related to DNA replication fidelity, learning technical procedures
such as PCR, electrophoresis and restriction enzyme digestion.
Zhou said Kunkel, Zhong and the other lab members taught him the
ropes of their research, showed him lab techniques and taught him
how to use equipment, all the while making him feel at home. "As
a result of the exposure to molecular biology and the expert guidance
from NIEHS, I have developed a keen interest towards the biomedical
sciences and plan to pursue that area at Harvard, where I will
most likely be attending next year. The laboratory skills and research
fundamentals at NIEHS have been a tremendous factor in the other
research that I have pursued in the past year and will continue
to be important in college and beyond," Zhou said by email.
The whiz kid hopes to work at NIH again to continue building his
knowledge and skills in biology. That interest, he said, has "already
been fostered so thoroughly by the NIEHS experience."
The NIH Intramural Animal Program was notified recently that
it was awarded "continued full accreditation" based on a July 2005
review by site visitors from the Association for Assessment and
Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International. AAALAC is
a private nonprofit organization that promotes the humane treatment
of animals used for scientific research purposes through a voluntary
NIH was first site-visited in 1991 and has continuously maintained
AAALAC accreditation for nearly 15 years. For a program to be accredited,
it must conform to the principles outlined in the Guide
for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (National Research Council,
1996). This site visit is similar to the Joint Commission on Accreditation
of Healthcare Organizations review of the patient care program
provided in the Clinical Center.
|Dr. Michael Gottesman (l), NIH deputy director for intramural
research, and Dr. Richard Wyatt, executive director, Office of Intramural Research, exult with attendees at the AAALAC recognition reception.
||Jennifer Concannon, Mathew Tenace (c) and William Givens of Priority One work for ORS in Bldg. 10A and enjoy the reception.
The Bethesda and Poolesville animal facilities comprise the largest
single site for laboratory-related animal facilities in the world
(545 animal rooms totaling nearly 700,000 square feet). Due to
the scope and magnitude of the intramural animal program, a team
of 12 experts from academia, government and the biomedical industry,
representing domestic and international biomedical institutions
on behalf of AAALAC, reviewed the NIH animal facilities and animal
care and use committees for 5 days during July. They thoroughly
assessed all 15 animal programs, reviewing not only the veterinary
care and husbandry provided in the animal facilities but also the
1,500 animal study proposals used to prescribe how animals are
used in research at NIH. They also studied support programs including
occupational health, training, security and disaster planning.