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NIH Record  
Vol. LXII, No. 3
  February 5, 2010
Nobelist Nirenberg, Discoverer of the Genetic Code, Mourned
2009 Nobel Laureate Greider Delivers Trent Lecture
Research Fellow Ryan Attains ‘Star’-ship
Harvard’s Frenk Speaks on Globalization And Health
NIAID Employee Donates Kidney, Gives Stepfather New Life
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The Revolution Continues
Green Offers Tour of Genomic Landscape, Circa 2010
  NHGRI director Dr. Eric Green
  NHGRI director Dr. Eric Green

There is a good reason that Lipsett Amphitheater was jammed with attendees as NHGRI began its modestly titled Current Topics in Genome Analysis course—an institute staple since 1995—on Jan. 12. The 11-lecture series that ends Mar. 23 was launched by NHGRI director Dr. Eric Green, who in 90 minutes surveyed highlights of what mankind has learned of its genetic heritage starting before Mendel (1865) to the present.

A postdoctoral fellow at the outset of the Human Genome Project in 1990, Green offered a robust primer of a field that literally exploded during the “genomic revolution” of the 1990s. Having a front-row seat at what is arguably the most significant scientific endeavor of the past century gives Green both authority and a rich fund of metaphor: the 3 billion base pairs that constitute the human genome are an encyclopedia set that can be rationally broken down into volume, chapter and page. Each passing year offers scholars engaged in deciphering the Book of Life (Green cheerily counts himself among the ranks of “genome geeks”) new insights into its meaning and role in health and disease.

Anything Is Possible
MIT’s Herr Works to Make Physical Disabilities a Thing of the Past
  Dr. Hugh Herr
  Dr. Hugh Herr of MIT

NIMH’s Innovation Speaker Series is intended to bring astounding people to NIH to offer lectures, but few speakers leave audiences with the feeling of awe that the institute’s guest, Dr. Hugh Herr of MIT, did recently.

“Some time ago, I attended a workshop and we talked about the traits of innovative, creative people,” said Dr. David Armstrong of NIMH in his introduction of Herr. “The characteristic that stuck with me most was this ability and willingness to persist and persevere even when obstacles appear to be insurmountable. That’s Hugh Herr.”