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Vol. LXII, No. 20
October 1, 2010

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Annual CFC Kickoff Set for Oct. 7

Fall is approaching, which means it’s time for the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). The annual fundraising drive conducted by federal employees benefits thousands of not-for-profit charities. “The compassion of individuals, the power of community” is the 2010 NIH CFC theme. The goal this year is $2.3 million. The NIH CFC, with the National Institute of Mental Health as the lead IC, is working hard to repeat the 2009 success.

The kickoff event will take place on Thursday, Oct. 7 from 10 a.m. to noon on the quad between Bldgs. 31 and 33.

Many more events are planned as well: Margaritaville on Wednesday, Oct. 13 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Institute/Center Directors Jeopardy Challenge on Thursday, Oct. 28 from 10 to 11 a.m., an R&W Halloween party on Friday, Oct. 29 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Farmer’s Market on Tuesday, Nov. 9 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The traditional conclusion of the campaign—the R&W raffle drawing—will occur on Friday, Dec. 17.

All are encouraged to experience the pleasure of donating to the charity of your choice. Join your fellow NIH workers in celebrating the compassion of caring. Let the giving begin!

Nirenberg To Be Honored at Festival

This year’s NIH Research Festival will include a “Symposium in Neurobiology: A Tribute to Marshall W. Nirenberg.” It will be held on Friday, Oct. 8 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Masur Auditorium, Bldg.10. Later that day, from 2 to 4 p.m., there will be a memorial service in Lipsett Amphitheater.

Nirenberg died of cancer on Jan. 15, 2010, at age 82. His work on cracking and deciphering the genetic code and demonstrating its universality was honored with the 1968 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine. Of the more than 50 years Nirenberg spent working as an NIH scientist, more than 40 years were devoted to research in neuroscience.

The symposium will feature talks by prominent neuroscientists who trained in his laboratory as well as colleagues who share his passion and efforts to understand the biological basis underlying the development and function of the nervous system. After the symposium, the memorial will commemorate a “titan” of science. An informal reception will follow at the Cloister and is open to all.

Zeisel To Give Falk Memorial Lecture
Dr. Steven Zeisel

Dr. Steven Zeisel will present the annual Hans L. Falk Memorial Lecture on Monday, Oct. 4 at NIEHS’s Rodbell Auditorium in Research Triangle Park, N.C. His topic is “Nutrigenomics, Estrogen, and Environmental Chemicals Influence the Dietary Requirement for Choline.”

Zeisel is Kenan distinguished university professor in the department of nutrition and pediatrics at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health and UNC School of Medicine as well as director of the UNC Nutrition Research Institute in Kannapolis, N.C. He serves as principal investigator on multiple federally funded research projects that focus on human nutrition research and specifically on human requirements for choline.

Using new approaches in nutrigenomics and metabolomics in studies of humans, mice and cells, Zeisel’s group is working to identify the mechanisms underlying individual nutritional variations and needs. Zeisel is credited with discovering the role of choline as a dietary methyl donor and essential nutrient and he has studied its need by women during pregnancy. His team showed that choline influences epigenetic modulation during fetal development. As an essential nutrient, it is also needed for healthy muscle and liver function.

NIH Camera Club Holds Contest

The annual open competition of the NIH Camera Club will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. at the Classic Residence by Hyatt, 8100 Connecticut Ave., Chevy Chase.

Categories include monochrome prints, color prints, color slides and digital images. Entry fee is $2 per image and individuals may enter up to 3 images in each category. There will be cash prizes for the winning images. Instructions for submission can be found at For more information, contact Susanne Strickland at

Physician Assistants Mark 45th Anniversary

National Physician Assistant (PA) Week is coming Oct. 6-12. Trained in the medical school model by physicians since 1965, PAs are licensed to practice medicine. They work with physician supervision to deliver a range of medical and surgical services to diverse patient populations. PAs have been providing patient care at NIH since 1990 in a wide range of medical disciplines including HIV, infectious and autoimmune diseases, cancer, transplant medicine and more.

In the U.S. today, there are more than 78,000 PAs employed in general internal medicine and its subspecialties. Within the physician-PA relationship, PAs exercise autonomy in medical decisionmaking and provide a range of diagnostic and therapeutic services including performing history and physical exams, diagnosing and treating illnesses, ordering and interpreting tests, prescribing medication, assisting in surgery, counseling and empowering patients on preventative health care. PA practice also includes education, research and administrative roles. To learn more about the profession, visit

Science and Engineering Festival Needs Volunteers

On Oct. 23-24, NIH will join more than 400 of the nation’s leading science and engineering organizations in a 2-day celebration of science for families on the National Mall and on Freedom Plaza in downtown Washington, D.C. The event is designed to provide fun and interactive science activities for kids of all ages and their families. Many ICs and NIH staff will host hands-on activities to stimulate interest in a range of topics that include science careers, the brain, clinical research, nanotechnology and imaging.

Bring your family to exhibit booths, see NIH director Dr. Francis Collins on the main stage on Sunday or consider volunteering. NIH’ers are needed to help set up, provide logistical support and take down exhibits. The festival is free, open to the public and includes contests, exhibits and other events. For more information about the USA Science and Engineering Festival, visit For more information about serving as a volunteer, visit

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