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NIH Record  
Vol. LIX, No. 23
  November 16, 2007
 Features
Graduate Student Research Festival Gives Early Look At NIH Training
NIBIB, India Partner to Develop Low-Cost Medical Technologies
NCI Division Marks 10th Anniversary
NIH Gains Access to Drug Discovery Resource
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From Natural Products, New Drug Discoveries
  Shake hands with a star: This deep water starfish is only one of 60,000 samples in NCI’s Natural Products Branch. The NPB brings in raw materials from terrestrial and marine environments worldwide to be held in its Frederick repository.
  Shake hands with a star: This deep water starfish is only one of 60,000 samples in NCI’s Natural Products Branch. The NPB brings in raw materials from terrestrial and marine environments worldwide to be held in its Frederick repository.

This is a true-adventure story spanning the globe, over land and sea. This is a modern quest with many heroes—and heroines—fanning out like spokes on a wheel, with its hub at NCI in Frederick. That’s where you’ll find a program unique in government, representing a trend that’s not confined to one IC or a single study.

“Our mission is not basic research: It is to find, develop and get out the drugs,” says Dr. David Newman, chief of NCI’s Natural Products Branch (NPB). “We’re part of what we can call Uncle Sam’s non-profit pharmaceutical house, and our job is to find leads to compounds that ameliorate cancer.”
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Church Volunteers From 1954-1975 Reunite at Clinical Center

Eating only lima beans. Sleeping with weights on your eyes. Drinking a mixture of corn oil and skim milk. It might seem strange now, but these were some of the diets that a group of Mennonites and Church of the Brethren members who served as healthy volunteers consumed while participating in clinical research studies at the Clinical Center from 1954 to 1975. About 25 volunteers, together with their family members, reunited recently at the CC and traced how their contributions decades ago changed the course of clinical research for the better.

The reunion, spearheaded by Dr. Jim Conrad, a member of the Mennonite Church from Perkasie, Pa., offered a chance for the group to reflect on their experiences as “creatures made in the image of God [who] need to express God’s love by how we live our lives.” For these faith communities, service to those who are ill exemplifies “another way of living.” Both groups are recognized peace churches affiliated with the National Service Board for Religious Objectors, now the Center on Conscience & War.
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