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Vol. LXVI, No. 9
April 25, 2014

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STEP Forum on Successful Aging, Apr. 29

The staff training in extramural programs (STEP) committee will present “Live Long and Prosper: Successful Aging in Our Time,” on Tuesday, Apr. 29 from 9 to 11 a.m. in Rockledge II, Rm. 9100. An information fair will be held from 11 a.m. to noon in Rm. 9112.

Aging is inevitable. What are the biological mechanisms governing aging? How do psychological, environmental and social factors affect successful aging? Translational research shows that we can influence how we grow old and improve the quality of our senior years. Join us as we explore the science and practical aspects of living longer and prospering.

Bike to Work Day, May 16

Join the NIH Bicycle Commuter Club in celebrating National Bike Month and Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 16 from 7-9:30 a.m. in front of Bldg. 1; 6:30-8:30 a.m. at Rock Spring business park and 6:30-9 a.m. at Rockville-Fallsgrove (near NCI Shady Grove).

These sites will be featured among many local pit stops supported by the Washington Area Bicyclists Association in a salute to bicycle commuting. NIH usually wins the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ award for being the area’s biggest employer of Bike to Work Day participants. Complete your free registration at and help NIH defend its title this year.

You must pre-register for the pit stop you plan to visit to receive a BTWD 2014 T-shirt, which will be available while supplies last. At the Bldg. 1 pit stop, all employees and contractors who show up riding a bicycle and wearing a helmet may enjoy breakfast snacks and participate in a raffle drawing.

If you have never tried commuting by bike to NIH and aren’t sure how to begin, visit and click on the “Commuting” link. BTWD happens rain or shine. Volunteers are appreciated to help with preparations or on the day of the event. If you would like to help, email Vernon Anderson ( Participation in BTWD enhances awareness of the myriad benefits bicycle commuting brings to personal health, the community and the environment.

Open Enrollment for Voluntary Leave Bank

The Office of Human Resources has announced a second open enrollment for the NIH Voluntary Leave Bank. The Leave Bank is a pooled bank of donated annual and restored leave available to eligible members. It offers income protection and amounts to paid leave for members who have exhausted all of their leave and are affected by a personal or family medical emergency/condition.

The Leave Bank differs from the Voluntary Leave Transfer Program (VLTP) in that the bank is a depository of leave and leave is distributed to members who are approved to be leave recipients. The VLTP, on the other hand, requires a direct donation from a donor to a recipient. An advantage of the Leave Bank is that eligible members may receive leave from the bank to cover time out of the office without awaiting donations.

If you missed the first open enrollment, this is the final opportunity to become a 2014 member. Enrollment is open to all NIH federal employees. The open enrollment will run May 1-30. The membership period will begin June 29.

To elect to become a Leave Bank member, access the Integrated Time and Attendance System (ITAS) during the open enrollment and enroll under “Leave Bank Membership.” The membership contribution is one pay period’s worth of annual leave accrual. ITAS is available at

Additional information about this benefit can be found at Questions may be directed to the NIH Leave Bank Office at (301) 443-8393 or

BIG Chapter Hosts Competition, May 3

The 2014 student oratorical and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) competition is being conducted by the NIH chapter of Blacks in Government (BIG) on May 3 at Howard University’s Blackburn Center, 2397 6th St. NW, D.C.

The theme is “Exploring the Capability of Robotic Engineering.” The program is designed to introduce and encourage students to embrace STEM concepts and professions.

The oratorical theme is “Entertainment or Behavior Modification: Do Violent Video Games Promote Violent Actions?” The program is intended to help students develop and enhance their oral and written communication skills in order to be more competitive in the global workplace.

Awards and prizes will be presented by NIH/BIG chapter to students who compete in a regional competition currently scheduled for June 21 in Washington D.C. Winners of regional contests will compete with students across the country at BIG’s annual National Training Institute in Las Vegas on July 31.

Dr. Joseph F. Fraumeni, Jr.

Symposium Honors Epidemiologist Fraumeni

The symposium “Cancer Epidemiology: From Pedigrees to Populations” will be held May 6 from 1 to 6 p.m. in Kirschstein Auditorium, Bldg. 45.

It provides an opportunity for scientific exchange by leading experts in cancer epidemiology, highlighting critical findings made over the past 50 years as well as opportunities for future research that has potential to advance our understanding of the causes of cancer. The conference honors the leadership of Dr. Joseph F. Fraumeni, Jr., founding director of NCI’s Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics. Presentations will focus on future directions for high-quality, high-impact research that is the hallmark of the division. Registration is free but required:

For more information, or to request reasonable accommodation, contact Jennifer Loukissas at

NIH Guide Training Sessions Recently Completed

Guide team includes (from l) Felicia Shingler, Dr. Matthew Portnoy, Dr. Erica Brown, Kemi Adetayo. Not shown is Dr. Michelle Timmerman.
Guide team includes (from l) Felicia Shingler, Dr. Matthew Portnoy, Dr. Erica Brown, Kemi Adetayo. Not shown is Dr. Michelle Timmerman.

Do you know about the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts? Known by its shorter title, the NIH Guide is an integral part of communicating with the grant community. It’s an online publication for NIH’s—and other operating divisions’—biomedical research grant policies, guidelines and funding opportunity announcements (FOA).

ICs submit FOAs and notices that are published daily by Office of Extramural Research staff via the NIH Guide publishing system. The grant community receives a list of items each week. Distribution includes more than 48,900 users. The guide is also used by NIH contracting offices and other HHS agencies to announce their funding opportunities. Recently, the NIH Guide team held training sessions for its IC liaisons, who enter announcements into the publication.

Feedback was encouraging. NIH Guide director Dr. Erica Brown “did a great job of addressing policy exceptions, deviation documentation required and nuances of FOA development/generation that can cause major delays in or derail the publication of documents,” said NIDDK liaison Terra Robinson, who attended the training.

Visit the guide at Address questions via email to

Postbacs Present Posters, May 1

Postbac Poster Day is scheduled for Thursday, May 1 at Natcher Conference Center from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Dr. Sharon F. Terry, president and chief executive officer, Genetic Alliance, will deliver the keynote address at noon. The keynote will be followed by presentation of mentoring award(s) to NIH investigators selected by the postbacs. Poster session I will take place from 10 a.m. to noon; poster session II lasts from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. For details, visit

Next Protocol Navigation Lecture, May 5

The IRP Protocol Navigation Training Program Seminar Series continues with a lecture to be held Monday, May 5 from 2 to 3 p.m. in Bldg. 50, Conf. Rm. 1227/1328. The program is a trans-NIH effort to develop resources and tools and to provide training for intramural staff and contractors involved in protocol development, writing, coordination and management. Holli Beckerman Jaffe, NIH OD deputy ethics counselor, will present, “Who’s on DEC? A Guide to the NIH Ethics Program and COI Review Process.” For details, contact Beverly Barham, (301) 594-2494, or Marcia Vital, (301) 451-9437,

Build Career, Shape Future at Career Symposium, May 16

The NIH Office of Intramural Training & Education invites all NIH graduate students and postdoctoral trainees, both basic scientists and clinicians, to participate in the 7th NIH Career Symposium on Friday, May 16 at Natcher Conference Center from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The symposium provides an opportunity for fellows and graduate students to learn about scientific career options and to explore factors that lead to career success.

Keynoter Dr. Gail Cassell, former vice president, Eli Lilly, speaks at 8:40 a.m. Panel sessions cover academic, government, industry and non-profit career paths. More than 80 speakers will provide career insights: what their current job entails, its pluses and minuses and how they got there.

For more information and registration visit

NIAMS Participates in Arthritis Twitter Chat

PBS News Hour

NIAMS recently participated in a PBS News Hour Twitter chat on the topic of arthritis. The institute was joined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Mayo Clinic, the Arthritis Foundation and the American College of Rheumatology to answer questions tweeted from the public.

The chat “trended” on Twitter, becoming one of the most popular conversations at the time. The 1,133 tweets in the chat, posted by 220 participants, were viewed more than 53 million times by Twitter users. NIAMS was listed as one of the top influencers in the chat.

Questions touched on preventing arthritis, the differences between various forms of arthritis and its impact on people’s lives, how diet and exercise can help and what new treatments are being developed. NIAMS tweeted links to its health information resources and NIH clinical research. Extramural program directors were on hand to answer questions.

NCCAM also participated by posting tweets about complementary and alternative approaches to treating arthritis.

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