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Vol. LXI, No. 22
October 30, 2009

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Symposium Marks Historic Chemical Landmark

A symposium “Genes to Proteins: Decoding Genetic Information,” will be held on Thursday, Nov. 12 to mark the designation of the deciphering of the genetic code in the 1960s as a National Historic Chemical Landmark. This work by Dr. Marshall Nirenberg and his colleagues in NIDDK and NHLBI earned Nirenberg many honors, including the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine in 1968.

The all-day symposium in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10 features summaries of the classical work together with talks on cutting-edge research. Speakers include Drs. Philip Leder, Philip Sharp, Keji Zhao, Sidney Pestka, Dolph Hatfield, Raymond Gesteland, John Atkins, C. Thomas Caskey, Nirenberg and J. Craig Venter.

A bronze plaque commemorating the historic landmark will be presented to NIH by Dr. Thomas Lane, president of the American Chemical Society.

The symposium and presentation ceremony are open to NIH. No registration is required. A reception following the program is planned to permit attendees to meet the speakers. Further details are available at

Area Supermarkets Benefit NIH School

The NIH Children’s School Program, which teaches pediatric patients at the Clinical Center, has had a long association with the Giant and Safeway school drives. Throughout the years, the NIH school has been able to purchase equipment and materials as a result of having shoppers select the school at these stores.

Giant shoppers can choose the NIH school and earn Bonus Bucks with each purchase they make. Registering can be done at using the NIH school’s ID (02983) or at the stores. Those interested can also call the school at (301) 496-2077 for registration and more information. All that is needed is a Giant card, free of charge, from any Giant store. Registrants can choose more than one school.

Safeway’s system requires enrolling with the eScrip program, The NIH school’s Group ID number is 149030534. By registering with eScrip, purchases made at some other establishments will earn points for the school.

The drive ends in March, which gives NIH’ers plenty of time to earn “bucks” for the school.

FAES Holds Insurance Open Season

The FAES Health Insurance Program is holding an open enrollment from Nov. 2-30. The program is open to those who work for or at NIH in full-time positions but are not eligible for government plans. This includes NIH fellows, exchange scientists, special volunteers and guest researchers. The minimum enrollment period is 3 months. Benefits take effect Jan. 1, 2010.

Open enrollment is for those who did not enroll when first eligible for benefits coverage, current subscribers who want to make changes to their coverage and to renew dental coverage for 2010. FAES offers CareFirst BC/BS Blue Preferred PPO for medical coverage and Cigna HMO and PPO for voluntary dental coverage. For more information visit, email, and/or call (301) 496-8063. FAES is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

NEI 40th Anniversary Neuroscience, Vision Symposium

Several symposia are being organized to commemorate NEI’s 40th anniversary and to showcase the interface between vision and diverse aspects of biology and medicine. The goal is to foster collaborative interactions with colleagues within and outside the NIH research community and to promote new initiatives for understanding the biology of vision and blindness.

The “Neuroscience and Vision” symposium will focus on the development of neural circuits, neuronal cell imaging and physiology, detection of sensory stimuli, neural mechanisms underlying visual perception and neurological disorders. Speakers will discuss recent accomplishments and challenges in the field of neuroscience, with a focus on the visual system.

It will be held on Thursday, Nov. 19, 4 to 5:30 p.m. in Natcher Bldg., balconies A-B and on Friday, Nov. 20, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Lipsett Amphitheater, Bldg. 10.

Upcoming symposia include “Focus on Glaucoma,” Feb. 19, 2010, and “Translational Research and Vision,” June 24-25, 2010. For a complete program listing, visit

Use or Lose Reminder

Don’t forget to officially schedule your “use or lose” annual leave no later than Saturday, Nov. 21. Questions about “use or lose” leave should be directed to your administrative officer.

GDC Supply Warehouse, NIH Stores—Your First Sources Of Supply

The Supply Management Branch is made up of the Gaither Distribution Center (GDC or “supply warehouse” as it is commonly called) located in Gaithersburg and the NIH Self Service Stores (SSS) located in Bldgs. 10 and 31. Over the past year, the branch has improved operations and enhanced customer service. It has opened a new store in Bldg. 10 (with extended hours on Wednesdays and Fridays) and introduced new items to the NIH Supply catalog.

Using the Supply Management Branch as your first source of supply guarantees compliance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation and the HHS Logistics Manual. Additionally, purchasing through the branch gives NIH the benefit of competitive pricing due to the volume-based negotiations and strategic sourcing efforts that take place behind the scenes. The savings are passed to the NIH community. It also takes less time to complete the reconciliation process when items are bought from the GDC or one of the Self Service Stores.

In addition to compliance and cost-savings, buying through the GDC and SSS also results in consolidated deliveries to campus as opposed to multiple individual deliveries from suppliers. This benefits the environment.

The branch understands the need to keep items in stock. It has begun a marketing campaign that analyzes sales data both at the GDC and the SSS. The information helps adjust inventory. The branch strives to have the right product available when you need it.

NIDDK Publishes New Fact Sheets
NIDDK recently published three new fact sheets:

Diet for Kidney Stone Prevention explains the five types of kidney stones, prevention diets for each type and the role of water and other fluids in preventing formation of new stones. For an online version, go to

Chronic Kidney Disease-Mineral and Bone Disorder explains why hormones and minerals are important and how CKD-MBD is diagnosed and treated. CKD-MBD occurs when the kidneys fail to maintain the proper levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood, leading to abnormal bone hormone levels. It is a common problem in people with kidney disease and affects almost all patients receiving dialysis. For an online version of the fact sheet, visit

Testing for Celiac Disease—the second in the Celiac Disease Awareness Campaign’s new series for health care professionals—is now available for download at This fact sheet summarizes available serologic and genetic tests used to evaluate patients who may be candidates for biopsy, the gold standard for celiac disease diagnosis.

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