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NIH Record  
Vol. LXVI, No. 15
  July 18, 2014
NIH Tech Transfer Office Speeds Global Health Products
Jha Discusses Potential of Mindfulness to Counter High Stress
Collins Addresses Postdoc Program Graduates
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NIH’s Common Fund Celebrates Its First Decade

Former NIH director Dr. Elias Zerhouni (l) and current director Dr. Francis Collins
Former NIH director Dr. Elias Zerhouni (l) and current director Dr. Francis Collins

The 10th anniversary of NIH’s Common Fund on June 19 provided an opportunity for current and past NIH leadership to explain the fund’s origins and celebrate its achievements. The event in Masur Auditorium included videos provided by creative scientists supported by the fund and a performance, at day’s end, by NIH director Dr. Francis Collins, of two fund-praisers: songs whose lyrics extolled the program’s virtues.

Collins introduced the day-long research symposium, which presented “a rich array of the science, stretching from basic to clinical” conducted by fund grantees. Among the early speakers was 2012 Nobel laureate in chemistry Dr. Brian Kobilka of Stanford, who presented results of two CF-supported studies on G-proteincoupled receptors; such receptors account for more than 40 percent of all pharmaceutical industry research expenditures, he said.


‘Definitely Takes Your Breath Away’
Astronaut Hopkins Recounts 6 Months in Space

NASA astronaut Michael Hopkins
NASA astronaut Michael Hopkins
Nothing can really prepare you for being in outer space. Sure, the months of simulations and other intense training can get you ready for space flight, but nothing on Earth can match the actual experience. That’s what NASA astronaut Michael Hopkins told a Lipsett Amphitheater crowd June 10, as he described his voyage to the International Space Station.

“You can dream about it, you can think about it, but you don’t know—until you actually experience microgravity—you’re never really sure what it’s going to be like,” he said, describing his first moments off the planet. “When that third-stage rocket shuts off, you’re in space. You’re in orbit. You’re in microgravity. You kind of get thrown forward a little bit in your [safety] straps. At that point, I felt like I was falling. So if everyone was to hang onto the ceiling and then let go, that’s what it felt like…It’s a little weird, a little different. But eventually your body does adjust.”