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Vol. LIX, No. 9
May 4, 2007

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Asian/Pacific Islander American Heritage Month Celebration Set

NIH will host its 35th annual Asian/Pacific Islander American Heritage Month observance, "Pursuing Excellence Through Leadership, Diversity and Unity," on Wednesday, May 23 from 11 a.m. to noon in Natcher Conference Center, Balcony B.

The keynote speaker will be Dr. Juliann G. Kiang, professor of medicine and pharmacology, Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. She will discuss alternative medicine, Chinese traditional herbs, healthy diet and healthy living. For more information about the program, call Tyrone Banks at (301) 451-0748. For reasonable accommodation, call Carlton Coleman at (301) 496-2906.

STEP Forum on Robotic Medicine, May 10

The staff training in extramural programs (STEP) committee will present a Science in the Public Health forum on the topic, "Robotic Medicine: Dr. R2D2 Will See You Now," on Thursday, May 10 from 8:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Natcher Conference Center, Rms. E1/E2.

Robotic technologies are revolutionizing medical science, education and treatments. Just as pilots use simulators to learn how to fly, medical students use lifelike mannequin simulators to learn how to treat life-threatening conditions. Robots are used to augment surgical methods thereby minimizing invasive effects. Telesurgery provides patients with access to expert surgeons who may be halfway around the world. Robotic methods hold promise for treating patients in dangerous environments. Join us as we discuss how robotic technologies are changing the face of medicine.

NIH Parenting Festival, May 9

All are welcome to attend the fifth annual NIH Parenting Festival on Wednesday, May 9 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. It will be held at Bldg. 50 in the first-floor conference area. As in past years, there will be representatives from many institutes to share information that benefits children and families. NIH support services for health, finance, benefits and work life will also participate. There will be activities, prizes and free resources, including "Ask the Parenting Specialist" for all NIH employees. The event is sponsored by the NIH child care board, the NIH Work/Life Center and the ORS Division of Employee Services. For more information call (301) 402-8180 or email

Check Out Foundation Bookstore in Bldg. 10

The FAES Bookstore in Bldg. 10, Rm. B1L101 is the place to come for all books: scientific, fiction, nonfiction, cooking, children's and more. It is a great location to pick up a gift for family and friends. The store can order any book currently in print and is conveniently located near the B1 cafeteria. For more information call (301) 496-5272.

Gates Foundation's Yamada To Speak

Dr. Tadataka Yamada

Dr. Tadataka Yamada, president of the Global Health Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will speak on Tuesday, May 22 in observance of Asian/ Pacific Islander American Heritage Month. The talk will begin at 1 p.m. in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10. Yamada leads efforts to help develop and deliver low-cost, life-saving health tools for the developing world while overseeing the Gates Foundation's global health grant portfolio. His talk is titled "Perspectives on Global Health." He will also speak on his experience as an Asian-American physician-scientist.

Before joining the Gates Foundation, Yamada served as chairman of research and development and was a member of the board of directors at GlaxoSmithKline. He also was chairman of the department of internal medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School and physician-in-chief at UM Medical Center. He is a past president of the American Gastroenterological Association and the Association of American Physicians, a master of the American College of Physicians and a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies in the United States and the Academy of Medical Sciences in the United Kingdom.

Yamada's visit is hosted by the NIH-FDA Chinese American Association. Its president, Dr. Pu Paul Liu, senior investigator, Genetics and Molecular Biology Branch, NHGRI, said his organization has an almost 50-year history at NIH. The association is open to all interested individuals at NIH and FDA with membership composed largely, but not exclusively, of Chinese-American scientists.

NIEHS in Top Ten for Postdocs' 'Best Places to Work'

Amy Inselman

The Scientist announced recently that NIEHS has again ranked high in the publication's annual "Best Places to Work for Postdocs" survey. The survey asks postdoctoral fellows to rate their institutions in 11 categories, including mentoring, communication and opportunities for networking and career development.

The institute ranked seventh this year after ranking number five in 2006 and number three in 2004 and 2005. NIEHS was the only NIH institute ranked in the top 10.

The Scientist article featured the comments of NIEHS fellow Amy Inselman on her experiences. "The people, from the principal investigators to the support staff, are knowledgeable and willing to lend a hand any way they can," she wrote in her survey response. "Collaborations are easy to build and we have a wide array of resources available (from equipment to career guidance) that will help us transition to the next level."

During their typical 2- to 5-year stay at NIEHS, postdoctoral fellows are offered opportunities to participate in professional development activities and explore career options. NIEHS sponsors regular workshops to help fellows improve their presentation, writing and language skills. Their mentors encourage research that leads to publication, often with the fellows as lead authors. -

NCRR-Funded Exhibit Has Interactive Activities

NCRR-Funded Exhibit Has Interactive ActivitiesWhether you are planning family activities or entertaining visitors, the new interactive exhibit on infectious disease at the Marian Koshland Science Museum in Washington, D.C., will provide an afternoon of education and entertainment. The exhibit, Infectious Disease: Evolving Challenges to Human Health, offers an in-depth view of microbes that cause some of the world's most deadly diseases and explores scientific research that has resulted in understanding, treating and preventing infectious diseases.

With nine areas of interactive displays, the museum offers visitors a chance to explore the distribution of microbes both in our bodies and in the environment, see how vaccines are used to control or eradicate disease and learn how bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics. "Everyone has bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites," said Dr. Ericka Shugart, principal investigator for the exhibit. "The exhibit hopes to show how microbial evolution and global factors create infectious disease challenges and how simple public health measures-such as providing chlorinated water and vaccines-can really improve life expectancy."

The exhibit is funded through a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) provided by the National Center for Research Resources. Now in its 16th year, the SEPA program funds science education projects in more than 30 states and Puerto Rico and reaches tens of thousands of people every year. The program's goals are to stimulate the interest of K-12 students in medical careers and to improve understanding of health and biomedical research by supporting projects that increase the scientific literacy of children, young adults and the public.

"SEPA projects at museums and science centers cover a wide range of topics reflecting both the basic and clinical research programs that NIH funds," says Dr. Tony Beck, who oversees NCRR's SEPA program. "These exhibits provide a hands-on interactive experience that engages and educates as well as offer a community forum for discussing topics of high public interest, such as stem cell research, infectious diseases and the biology of aging."

The Marian Koshland Science Museum is located at the corner of 6th and E Sts., NW and is open daily (except for Tuesdays) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. All museum tours are self-guided and usually require an hour to complete. More information can be found at or by calling (202) 334-1201. —

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