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Vol. LXIII, No. 19
September 16, 2011

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NICHD Holds 2nd Annual 5K to Draw Attention to Infant Deaths

NICHD invites all HHS staffers to run, walk or roll their wheelchairs to raise awareness for infant mortality. The second annual 5K event is being held Wednesday, Sept. 28 in conjunction with Infant Mortality Awareness Month. The race kicks off at 11 a.m. from the starting line at Bldg. 1.

The three leading causes of infant death are birth defects, low birthweight and sudden infant death syndrome. Research and public health advances by NIH and sister HHS agencies have contributed to a general decline in infant mortality in recent years. Yet poor outcomes still affect certain segments of the population. At the 5K, staffers can learn more about current research efforts. For details, visit

Community College Day, Oct. 11

The NIH Office of Intramural Training & Education will hold Community College Day on Tuesday, Oct. 11 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Natcher Conference Center. The event will provide community college students and faculty an opportunity to visit the NIH campus and to learn about careers and training opportunities in biomedical and health care fields. For registration and details, visit

NIDA Honors Intel Award Winner

NIDA director Dr. Nora Volkow (l) invited NIDA staff to meet this year’s Intel International Science and Engineering Fair/Addiction Science Award winners.
NIDA director Dr. Nora Volkow (l) invited NIDA staff to meet this year’s Intel International Science and Engineering Fair/Addiction Science Award winners. Due to Hurricane Irene, however, only the 2nd place winner, Darby Schumacher (r), was able to attend. The young scientist presented her project to Volkow and NIDA staff on Aug. 29. The winner from Tennessee received a crystal trophy and cash award from Friends of NIDA. A date for the other winners to come to NIDA is being scheduled. A list of all of the 2011 award winners and their projects can be found at
NIDA director Dr. Nora Volkow (l) invited NIDA staff to meet this year’s Intel International Science and Engineering Fair/Addiction Science Award winners.

Gaithersburg residents Louisa Quittman (l) and her daughter, Eva Quittman, 9, enjoy Toy Story 3 on the big screen during last month’s 15th annual Outdoor Film Festival. The festival went on for four out of the five scheduled nights, as Up was cancelled due to weather. The best turnout was for Tangled on Aug. 5, with approximately 2,000 attendees. The other two big draws were True Grit and Top Gun. “We truly appreciate the Universities of Maryland at Shady Grove’s hospitality for hosting us for a second year,” said R&W President Randy Schools. “We would also like to send out a huge thank you to over 80 volunteers who helped us out this year. Without their help we would not be able to pull this event off.” Schools also extended thanks to Deutsch, Inc., Ben & Jerry’s Rockville, Potomac Pizza and Chick-fil-a, which helped raise money for the NIH Charities.

Photo: Kim Grimes/Rockville Patch

Bluebirds Rebound on Campus, Bats Not So Much

So far, 2011 is “looking like a rebound year from the last 3 years that saw our fledging number of bluebirds plummet,” said NIH landscape architect Lynn Mueller of the Office of Research Facilities in a recent email to campus bird enthusiasts. “With a current count of 36, and possibly a few more last nesters, we are coming back up to near our 2006 counts before the West Nile virus hit the songbird populations. Thanks so much for your effort in caring for and protecting this magnificent little bird on our campus.”

NIH’s project to install bird houses in strategic areas on campus began in 2001 as an inexpensive, non-pesticide solution to insect management. The project was later expanded to other NIH properties. Poolesville Animal Center bird counts are due later, Mueller said. “That site, with acres of pastures and forest edges, is very popular with bluebirds,” he noted.  

The news is not as upbeat for the local bat population, however. [Bats are known to eat their weight in mosquitoes during the course of a night.]

“I think just about all our bats in the mid-Atlantic region have been devastated by the recently discovered ‘white nose syndrome’ that is killing bats by the thousands,” he explained. “It’s a pandemic that is affecting all bat species. I have not seen a bat here on campus or [nearby] this summer. The loss of these night-time insect eaters may have a huge impact on our environment that is yet to be recognized.”

ORWH Presents Lecture on Sex Differences, Pain Research

The Office of Research on Women’s Health will present “Sex Differences and Pain Research,” on Tuesday, Sept. 27 from 1 to 3 p.m. in Bldg. 10, Lipsett Amphitheater. Speakers will be Dr. Carmen Green, professor of anesthesiology, health management and policy, and obstetrics and gynecology in the department of anesthesiology at the University of Michigan; Dr. Roger Fillingim, professor at the University of Florida College of Dentistry and research health scientist for the Rehabilitation Outcomes Research Center at the North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System; and Dr. Emeran Mayer, director of the Gail and Gerald Oppenheimer Family Center for Neurobiology of Stress at the University of California, Los Angeles. Individuals who need sign language interpreters to participate should contact Jenny Haliski at or (301) 496-7246.

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