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Vol. LXI, No. 9
May 1, 2009

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STEP Forum on Mind-Body Medicine

The staff training in extramural programs (STEP) committee will present a Science for All forum on the topic “Mind-Body Medicine: Science or Fiction?” on Thursday, May 7, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Natcher Bldg., Rms. E1-E2.

Have you ever wondered “Is it in my mind or is it in my body?” If so, you are not alone. In the past 20 years, mind-body medicine approaches have provided mounting evidence that mind and body affect each other in both health and disease. This STEP forum will attempt to separate fact from fiction by exploring how various underlying psycho-physiological pathways are affected by mind-body medical and integrative biology approaches. Take part in a session where you will listen to experts discuss the science and practice of mind-body medicine, get some of your questions answered and learn a few techniques to keep you healthy and happy.

National Day of Prayer, May 7

The National Day of Prayer will be celebrated on Thursday, May 7 at 11:30 a.m. on the lawn in front of Bldg. 1. All are invited to the nondenominational service to pray for our country and its leaders. This year’s observance will feature musical entertainment. Friends and family are welcome—you can even bring your lunch.

NIH Holds Career Symposium, May 19

The NIH Office of Intramural Training & Education invites all NIH graduate students and postdoctoral trainees, both basic scientists and clinicians, to participate in the NIH Career Symposium on Tuesday, May 19 at the Natcher Conference Center from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The symposium provides an opportunity for fellows and graduate students to learn about scientific career options available to them and to explore factors that lead to career success. Panel sessions will focus on science writing, teaching in a variety of settings, grants administration, public policy and both research-intensive careers and careers away from the bench in all sectors. Experts in each area will provide insights into their diverse career paths. Workshops will address professional skills including negotiation, interviewing, work/life balance, managing and the uses of optimism. Dr. Toni Hoover, vice president of Pfizer Global Research and Research & Development, will keynote this all-day event. A list of sessions and speakers and a registration link are posted at

Register for National President’s Challenge

For the second annual NIH HealthierFeds Physical Activity Challenge, the Division of Amenities and Transportation Services, ORS, is asking all NIH employees and contractors “Are You Up for the Challenge?” Which institute or center will claim the title of healthiest this year? The Challenge lasts from May 1 to July 24, with registration open May 1-29.

The Challenge is designed to include all federal employees and contractors—from those who already practice an active lifestyle to those currently less active. Participants can choose from nearly 100 activities to earn points, offering enough variety and flexibility to sustain their interest and enthusiasm. There is a wealth of scientific evidence showing that as little as 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity (equal to brisk walking) done on most, if not all, days of the week has substantial health benefits for adults.

If you are currently registered with the President’s Challenge, then continue to log your physical activity; your group name and ID has not changed. For those new to the challenge, get started at For more information, contact Chris Gaines at or (301) 451-3631.

R&W Holds Finance Fair

The R&W Association will host a Financial Fair on the patio of Bldg. 31 on Thursday, May 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Attendees can meet with representatives from financial institutions, advisor groups, insurance companies and more. The event is free to all NIH/NOAA employees and contractors. This is a great chance to gain some knowledge about today’s economy and housing market. Also, don’t forget to enter the raffle to win a pair of tickets to a Nationals game along with other great prizes.

Conference on Community Engagement in Research, May 14-15 at Natcher

The first step in addressing health disparities that plague minority and underserved populations is to build trust by reaching out in familiar environments. This is one discussion topic planned for the second annual conference “Improving Health WITH Communities: The Role of Community Engagement in Clinical and Translational Research.” If your work involves community outreach, you don’t want to miss this event to discuss ways to: work with communities to improve health; build partnerships with neighborhood organizations; partner with community physician practices; address community concerns about working with researchers.

The conference takes place May 14-15 at the Natcher Conference Center. Registration is now closed but you can view the event at For more information, contact Dr. Donna Jo McCloskey at The conference is cosponsored by NCRR and grew out of its CTSA program.

New HHMI President To Speak at Asian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month Observance, May 14

NIH’s 2009 Asian /Pacific Islander Heritage Month Observance will be held on Thursday, May 14 in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10, from 11 a.m. to noon. Immediately following the program, there will be ethnic food sampling. The observance is sponsored by the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Management and the Asian/Pacific Islander employee committee.

The theme of this year’s observance is “Leadership in Science—Meeting the Challenges of a Changing World.” The keynote speaker is Dr. Robert Tjian, professor of molecular and cell biology, director of Li Ka-Sing Center for Biomedical and Health Science at the University of California, Berkeley, and new president of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Sign language interpretation will be provided. Individuals who need reasonable accommodation to participate should contact Carlton Coleman at (301) 402-4157 or the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-443-3701. For more information about the program, contact Lucie Chen, (301) 496-7478.

The U.S.S. Warren Grant Magnuson?

The Clinical Center looks like a battleship crossing the horizon. The Clinical Center looks like a battleship crossing the horizon in this photo taken one morning in March by Holly Giesen, a research psychologist at NIMH. She snapped the photo from her 17th floor balcony. “It was just amazing to watch the light change that morning,” she said. “The top level of the clouds would shift up and down in a perfect line across the horizon, so sometimes you could not see any building, and then a few minutes later, just the top floors, then none again.” The NIH Record welcomes images of NIH from interesting perspectives.

Celebrate Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month

Everyone is invited to attend a special luncheon program on Wednesday, May 20 to celebrate Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month. The theme for this year’s luncheon program is “Cultural Heritage and Diversity in a New Era.” The program will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the patio of Bldg. 31A and will feature the sale of ethnic food from local restaurants (Delhi Dhaba, Korean Korner, Shanghai Café and Ba-Le Restaurants). A portion of proceeds from sales will benefit the Children’s Inn at NIH. The event will also feature an origami and calligraphy demonstration, an R&W line-dance performance and representatives from the NIH Paddling Club’s Dragon Boat Team, NIH Federal Credit Union, USPHS scientist professional advisory committee, APA Commissioned Corps, NIH Bone Marrow Registry, NIDDK Diabetes information office, the NIH Asian and Pacific Islander American Organization (APAO) and more. The event is sponsored by APAO. For more information, call Donna Wells, (301) 496-5248.

Upcoming Wednesday (and Thursday) Afternoon Lectures

Dr. Eric Nestler, director of the Mt. Sinai Brain Institute, will present a Wednesday Afternoon Lecture on May 6 at 3 p.m. in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10. A pioneer in the field of neuroscience and psychiatry, he will discuss “Transcriptional Mechanisms of Drug Addiction.”

“Addiction can be viewed as a form of drug-induced neural plasticity,” he says. “Given the stability of the behavioral abnormalities that characterize an addicted state, it makes sense that stable changes in gene expression are involved.” He will explore this complex state of addiction, focusing on two main pathways implicated in drug addiction that his lab studies.

On May 13, also at 3 p.m. in Masur, Dr. James Collins, co-founder and co-director, Center for BioDynamics, Boston University, will speak on “Engineering Gene Networks: Integrating Synthetic Biology and Systems Biology.”

A special Thursday lecture takes place at 2 p.m. on May 14, when Dr. Thomas Sudhof, chair of the department of neuroscience at UT Southwestern Medical Center, speaks on “Molecular Physiology of Neurotransmitter Release” in Masur Auditorium. Sudhof will present recent data describing the properties of the calcium sensors mediating the triggering release and its regulation during presynaptic plasticity. His lab studies how calcium triggers neurotransmitter release and how it regulates release during synaptic plasticity.

Eye Exams Urged for Vision Month

Each May, the National Eye Institute sponsors Healthy Vision Month (HVM), a national eye health observance that supports the vision objectives in Healthy People 2010. This year’s observance is dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of comprehensive dilated eye exams in detecting common vision problems and keeping vision at its best.

More than 11 million Americans have common vision problems due to refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia and could benefit from the use of corrective eyewear.

Regular comprehensive dilated eye exams are important for maintaining good eye health. It is a painless procedure in which an eye care professional dilates the pupils and examines your eyes to look for common vision problems and eye diseases, many of which have no early warning signs. If nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism or presbyopia are detected, they can often be corrected with prescription eyewear such as eyeglasses and contact lenses.

Join NEI in celebrating HVM by making sure you are seeing your best. Encourage your family and friends to do the same. Send someone special an e-card to let them know you care about their eye health. For more information about common vision problems and keeping your eyes healthy, visit Learn more about what NEI is doing for HVM at
Chepelinsky Says.

Bike To Work Day, May 15

Celebrate National Bike Month and Bike to Work Day with the NIH Bicycle Commuter Club on Friday, May 15, from 7 to 10 a.m. on the patio in front of Bldg. 1. Satellite events will also take place at Rockledge Blvd. and Executive Blvd.

In recent years, nearly 7,000 area residents have participated in this event; NIH has won the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ award for being the area’s biggest employer of Bike to Work Day participants for the past 3 years. Help defend our title this year by registering (it’s free!) at (and choose NIH as your pit stop). All pre-registrants get a Bike to Work Day 2009 T-shirt. At Bldg. 1, all employees and contractors who show up riding a bicycle and wearing a helmet may enjoy breakfast snacks and cycling fellowship. For more information visit

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