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NIH Record  
Vol. LXIII, No. 8
  April 15, 2011
MSKCC’s Massagué ‘Deconstructs’ Metastasis for Lipsett Crowd
Don’t Just Emulate West, Says Global Health Advocate
Fox To Keynote Plain Language/Clear Communication Awards Ceremony
‘Take a Hike Day’ Set, May 11
‘Telepresence’ Review Meetings Impress CSR Reviewers, Staff
NICHD Conference Explores Down Syndrome Registries
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Rockey’s Love of Mission Transmits to Women's History Month Audience
Dr. Sally Rockey

Dr. Sally Rockey

It seems entirely possible that NIH deputy director for extramural research Dr. Sally Rockey is able to summon nearly the same amount of enthusiasm about coming to work each day as she does about going to see Bruce Springsteen in concert, which she has done some 53 times so far.

NIH’s extramural boss, it turns out, loves The Boss and is also proud to be a bureaucrat, as long as she gets to define the term.

The featured speaker at NIH’s 2011 Women’s History Month Observance on Mar. 16, Rockey offered a lively account of the “love story” that has taken her from graduate studies in entomology to one of the highest posts in federal science. Or as she puts it, “From studying bugs to developing drugs.”

As a child, Rockey loved animals, and collected toy horses, not dolls.

“I was curious about animals,” she said, “and that led to an interest in biology. I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be a scientist.”

Author Offers Story of Immortal Cells in Lecture, Book
Rebecca Skloot

Rebecca Skloot

For nearly 60 years, very little was known about the origin of the human cells that have helped scientists study polio, cancer and various viruses, craft vaccines and therapies, investigate the effects of the atom bomb, develop in vitro fertilization and make headway in cloning and gene mapping.

But courtesy of the extensive efforts of determined author Rebecca Skloot, it turns out these remarkable cells all trace back to one woman, a poor black mother of five children who died in 1951 at age 30 from invasive cervical cancer. Her name was Henrietta Lacks, and her cells—still alive today—are called HeLa.