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Vol. LIX, No. 23
November 16, 2007

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Three NIH Scientists Named AAAS Fellows

Three NIH scientists have been awarded the distinction of AAAS fellow; election is an honor bestowed upon members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science by their peers. They join a class of 471 new members announced Oct. 26 in Science.

Honored because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications are: NIGMS director Dr. Jeremy Berg, from the section on chemistry, who was cited for distinguished contributions to the structure and functions of metal ions in proteins and for leadership in advancing research in service to humanity; and two scientists from the section on the medical sciences—NCI director Dr. John Niederhuber and NCI’s Dr. Mark Udey.

Niederhuber was elected for pioneering research on MHC (major histocompatibility complex) immunology and cancer stem cells and outstanding leadership of the University of Wisconsin Cancer Center and NCI. Udey was recognized for seminal research on the biology of Langerhans cells (epidermal dendritic cells) and the role of E-cadherin and TGF-beta in their development and localization.

The tradition of AAAS fellows began in 1874. AAAS, founded in 1848, is the world’s largest general scientific society.

BIG Helps Recruit Marrow Donors

The NIH chapter of Blacks in Government and the NIH Marrow Donor Program recently sponsored an effort to recruit volunteers for the National Bone Marrow Registry (NBMR). The program “Do Something Good” informed the NIH community about life-threatening blood diseases and genetic disorders. The session also invited NIH’ers to become life-saving volunteers.

Diseases that afflict minorities include leukemia, aplastic anemia and sickle cell anemia. Because African Americans and other minorities have unique genetic backgrounds, it is often difficult to find a donor with bone marrow that matches the genetic makeup of these patients. An estimated 70 percent of minorities will not find a match within their families.

A highlight of the program was testimony given by an NIH family that benefitted from NBMR. An NIDDK employee’s son was saved by transplants from donors on file at the registry (see NIH Record, Sept. 8, 2006). For details on the NIH Marrow Donor Program, contact Earl Simmons, (301) 435-4365, or Gina Boyd, (301) 496-0572.

ORS Updates Emergency Procedures

The Office of Research Services recently updated its emergency procedures for NIH personnel. Advice is offered on conditions including: reporting suspicious persons or activities, lockdown situations, suspicious packages or objects, bomb threats, evacuations, fire emergencies and threatening/violent behavior. To review the guidance, visit EmerProcPersonnel.doc.

PRAT Program Accepts Applications

The NIGMS Pharmacology Research Associate (PRAT) program is now accepting applications for positions to begin October 2008. This competitive research fellowship program supports training at NIH or FDA laboratories for postdoctoral candidates. It focuses on the pharmacological sciences and related research areas such as molecular pharmacology, signal-transduction mechanisms, drug metabolism, immunopharmacology, chemistry and drug design, structural biology, endocrinology, bioinformatics and neuroscience.

PRAT fellowships are 3-year appointments at competitive salaries; some supply and travel funds are provided to help support research in preceptors’ laboratories. Applicants must identify a preceptor in their application. Preceptors may be any tenured or tenure-track scientist at NIH or FDA who has agreed to host the applicant. Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. and have been at NIH or FDA for no more than 1 year at the time they submit their application. Applications for the 2008 PRAT Fellowships will be accepted up to Jan. 30, 2008. For more information or application materials, contact the PRAT program assistant at (301) 594-3583 or email

NHLBI Group Finishes Marine Corps Marathon

NHLBI employees (from l) Chris Olaes, Darci Phillips, Angel Aponte, Stefanie Marques and Joni Taylor ran and finished the Marine Corps Marathon on Oct. 28. For Phillips, who recently ran the Boston Marathon, this was her second Marine Corps Marathon. It was the first marathon experience for the others.
NHLBI employees (from l) Chris Olaes, Darci Phillips, Angel Aponte, Stefanie Marques and Joni Taylor ran and finished the Marine Corps Marathon on Oct. 28. For Phillips, who recently ran the Boston Marathon, this was her second Marine Corps Marathon. It was the first marathon experience for the others.

Back by Popular Demand
Management Seminar Series Begins Second Year

Last year’s DDM (Deputy Director for Management) Seminar Series provided audiences with dynamic presentations on topics ranging from change management to leadership strategy. The series was a success—more than 900 NIH employees attended.

This year, audiences can look forward to more presentations with the launch of the second annual series, “Management & Science: Partnering for Excellence.” With four seminars in all, this year’s events focus on topics such as: managing across generations, undergoing change, personal accountability and workforce diversity. These issues are especially pertinent as NIH becomes a more diverse workplace.

The opening seminar features Lynne Lancaster and David Stillman on Thursday, Nov. 29 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10. Drawing on audience participation and reaction, the speakers will make their presentation, titled “What a Difference a Generation Makes,” educational for all who attend.

Lancaster is a writer and communications consultant born in the Baby Boomer generation. Stillman is an entrepreneurial “Generation X’er,” internationally known for his former career as a radio and TV reporter and for receiving a CLIO Award. Together they’ve written When Generations Collide: Who They Are. Why They Clash. How to Solve the Generational Puzzle at Work, a look at the interplay between the four generations that currently share the conference table.

Future speakers include Dr. Al Siebert (Feb. 14), Jim Sorenson (Apr. 17) and Dr. Samuel Betances (June 12). The 2008 seminars are scheduled for 11 a.m. to noon in Masur Auditorium.

Sign language will be provided and each seminar will be videocast. For more information visit or call (301) 496-3271.

Alert Response Minimizes Water Damage to NLM Collections

NHLBI employees (from l) Chris Olaes, Darci Phillips, Angel Aponte, Stefanie Marques and Joni Taylor ran and finished the Marine Corps Marathon on Oct. 28. For Phillips, who recently ran the Boston Marathon, this was her second Marine Corps Marathon. It was the first marathon experience for the others.
On Oct. 3, a burst hose in a water filtration unit in NLM’s Book Repair Lab (filtered water is required for use in rare book conservation work) soaked the lab floor and some materials. NLM employees Jim Labosier and Sandy Taylor promptly reported the problem and draped plastic over collection materials. Water found its way through the floor, but fortunately landed on audiovisual cassettes in closed plastic cases that could be wiped clean, air dried and returned to the shelves. Katy Chou (l) and Sasha Grinman, inventory project contractors, are shown drying wet videotape in the NLM stacks. A small number of printed video guides were too wet for air drying and had to be frozen. NLM keeps freezers on hand for just such emergencies. The guides will be freeze-dried at a later date.

Del. Christensen Visits NCMHD Council Session

Delegate to Congress Donna M. Christensen (D-VI), who is chair of the health brain trust of the Congressional Black Caucus, told the 16th meeting of the National Advisory Council on Minority Health and Health Disparities that “the caucus and Congress were impressed with the strides NCMHD has made in trying to eliminate health disparities in the U.S. and addressing the disproportionate health burdens suffered by underserved Americans.” Christensen said those accomplishments have occurred under difficult circumstances: “Political and budgetary impediments have made the fight to eliminate health disparities more difficult.”

Council members were heartened by her support and inspired by reports from NCMHD grantees on the front lines in the struggle to eliminate health disparities. As has become common during meetings of the council, center director Dr. John Ruffin asked several researchers to give members new insight into strategies to improve the health of underserved populations.

For instance, Dr. Sonja Harris-Haywood, assistant professor of family medicine at Case Western Reserve University, is taking a hard look at cultural competency. “While this concept is widely accepted as a mechanism for improving outcomes for culturally diverse populations,” she said, “how we define it, measure its presence and test its association with health outcomes in primary care settings is still uncertain.”

Haywood, who is a Loan Repayment Program participant, said she was driven to study medicine and health disparities by the experience of one of her aunts. Growing up in rural South Carolina, Haywood’s Aunt Lula died at home of a ruptured appendix because she was denied care at a segregated hospital. From that point on, Haywood said, her family never trusted doctors. And because of that mistrust, they eschewed treatment for their diabetes and died prematurely because of it. Haywood has dedicated her practice to understanding and alleviating that mistrust in other families.—

Computer Training Fall Term Now in Session

The CIT Training Program’s fall term of classes is open for enrollment. Classes are offered free for NIH staff. You can obtain full course information, register for classes, join the CIT training mailing list and check out your transcript or current application status at

CIT’s main campus classroom has added 15 new MacBook Pros, which will run Windows, OS X and Linux; both PC and Mac users can participate in a wide variety of courses and seminars. The facility is also changing from a wireless environment to a wired one, which will increase network speed for scientific classes that require higher bandwidth.

Scientific seminars make up most of CIT’s courses. It offers sessions dealing with Microarray Data, AFNI, MIPAV, the Biowulf Cluster, NCBI Bioinformatics Quick Start, and more. After a long hiatus, this term marks the return of BRB-ArrayTools Data Analysis Workshop.

Statisticians around NIH collect, analyze, interpret or explain and present data. Courses in SPSS (Basics, ANOVA, and Regression), Introduction to Statistical Issues and Procedures Using SUDAAN, and SAS - Statistics I: Introduction to ANOVA, Regression, and Logistic Regression are available.

NIH has a diverse user community, so offerings range from Basic PC Skills for NIH and Intermediate Web-Searching Techniques to Microsoft Visio Professional 2003 Introduction and iSDP Overview. Returning favorites are also available including Excel, Windows XP Tips and Tricks, BlackBerry Tips and Tricks, and Identity Theft: What You Need to Know.

If you have questions about the program, call (301) 594-6248 (voice), (301) 496-8296 (TTY), or email

NLM Touring Exhibit Celebrates Women Physicians

NHLBI employees (from l) Chris Olaes, Darci Phillips, Angel Aponte, Stefanie Marques and Joni Taylor ran and finished the Marine Corps Marathon on Oct. 28. For Phillips, who recently ran the Boston Marathon, this was her second Marine Corps Marathon. It was the first marathon experience for the others.
The Frieda O. Weise Gallery at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County was recently the site of the opening reception of the national interactive exhibit, “Changing the Face of Medicine: Celebrating America’s Women Physicians,” the traveling version of the 2003-2005 exhibition of the same name that had its beginnings at the National Library of Medicine. UMBC was one of 60 sites across the nation chosen to host it during its 2005-2010 tour. Four of the physicians featured in the exhibition attended the reception. They are (from l) Dr. Marie Amos Dobyns, an Eastern Cherokee American Indian who fully integrates her Indian heritage in her medical practice; Dr. Esther Sternberg of NIMH, who is internationally recognized for her groundbreaking work on the interaction between the central nervous system and the immune system; Dr. Vivian Pinn, the only woman and the only African-American graduate in her class at the University of Virginia School of Medicine and the first (and current) full-time director of NIH’s Office of Research on Women’s Health; and Dr. Pamela Peeke, assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, known nationally for her work in nutrition science. Rounding out the group is NLM Deputy Director Betsy Humphreys (far r). The traveling version of “Changing the Face” has been made possible by the American Library Association, the American Medical Women’s Association, NLM and ORWH.

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