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NIH Record  
Vol. LXIII, No. 3
  February 4, 2011
Peer Review Undergoes ‘Evergreening’ Process
NICHD Convenes Experts to Launch Institute Vision Process
Congressional Aides See NIAMS Scientists in Action
Fogarty Hosts U.K. Global Health Advocate
Panelists Pay Tribute to Pioneer in Anxiety Disorders Research
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A Day On, Not a Day Off
King Observance Is a Call to Service
  Dr. Cato Laurencin  
  Dr. Cato Laurencin  

On Jan. 11, the NIH community took time to reflect on the life and legacy of the man known as the “drum major” of the civil rights movement. If Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., were alive today, he would be celebrating his 82nd birthday.

The observance featured performances by young musicians from the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz and a keynote address by NIH grantee Dr. Cato Laurencin, dean of the School of Medicine and vice president for health affairs at the University of Connecticut.

NIH director Dr. Francis Collins welcomed attendees and encouraged them to see the observance as a call to service throughout the year. “What are you doing for others?” he said, echoing King’s challenge. To do the work of biomedical and clinical research, Collins said one must have what King described as “a tough mind and a tender heart.”

Laurencin addressed both the progress that the United States has achieved since the dawn of the civil rights movement and the work still needed to strengthen our communities and our nation.

Earth Day 2011 May Bring ‘Them’ to NIH

The holidays have passed, some snow has fallen and much of the natural world seems asleep. But the Office of Research Facilities’ Division of Environmental Protection and the IC Green Teams are already busy planning for a big event—not a blizzard, but Earth Day. This year, NIH will celebrate it concurrently with Take Your Child to Work Day on Thursday, Apr. 28.

It is also time to reveal some clues about the mystery creature or plant featured in ORF’s annual Earth Day “Name It Contest.” Each year “It” has been an organism, sometimes threatened or endangered, that has something to do with medicine and emphasizes the importance to NIH’s mission of protecting biodiversity.

In the first years of the contest, the mystery organisms were from far-off lands—Hoodia and Sceletium plants from the Great Karoo in southern Africa, Moringa trees from the foothills of the Himalayas in northwestern India and Gila monsters from Arizona. Last year brought the first “It” native to our own neighborhood—the pawpaw tree—and many correct answers to the contest web site. (Some pawpaw seedlings may be back at ORF’s event this year as gifts that you can plant in your yard).