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Vol. LXVII, No. 6
March 13, 2015
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Briefs

Pestian Gives NLM Informatics Lecture, Mar. 18

Dr. John Pestian

Dr. John Pestian is the next speaker in the National Library of Medicine Informatics Lecture Series. He will discuss “Phenotypical Cohort Retrieval Using the Multi-Institutional Pediatric Epilepsy Decision Support (MiPeds) System” on Wednesday, Mar. 18 from 2 to 3 p.m. in Bldg. 45, balcony C.

The MiPeds system provides point-of-care surveillance of phenotypically similar pediatric epilepsy patients using electronic health records. The talk will describe the successes and challenges of developing MiPeds.

Pestian is a professor of pediatrics and biomedical informatics at Children’s Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati. He has been active in translating neuropsychiatric innovations from the bench to the bedside.

The talk will be broadcast live and archived at http://videocast.nih.gov/. Sign language interpreters will be provided. Individuals who need reasonable accommodation to participate should contact Ebony Hughes, (301) 451-8038, Ebony.Hughes@nih.gov or the Federal Relay (1-800-877-8339). For more information about the event, contact Dr. Jane Ye, (301) 594-4882, yej@mail.nih.gov.

Deisseroth Wins FNIH’s Lurie Prize

Dr. Karl Deisseroth

The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health has selected Dr. Karl Deisseroth as the 2015 winner of the Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences. He is being recognized for leading the development of optogenetics, a technology for controlling cells with light to determine function, as well as for CLARITY, a method for transforming intact organs into transparent polymer gels to allow visualization of biological structures with high resolution and detail. The Lurie Prize will be presented on May 20 in Washington, D.C.

Deisseroth is the D.H. Chen professor of bioengineering and of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. He first pioneered the field of optogenetics—which has greatly expanded our understanding of normal behavior as well as of diseases such as Parkinson’s, schizophrenia and depression—by combining genetic manipulation and optics to activate or deactivate precisely targeted brain cells. His team also pioneered CLARITY, a chemical engineering method for making biological tissues such as the intact brain fully transparent and accessible. It has already enabled scientists to observe intricate molecular-resolution details within healthy brains as well as brains from Alzheimer’s disease and autism patients.

“Karl Deisseroth has opened exciting new fields of scientific endeavor that transform how we view and understand the brain,” said Dr. Charles A. Sanders, chair of FNIH. “This research provides great hope to understand biology at a deeper level and, in time, to assist people suffering from diseases such as Parkinson’s and depression.”

Endowed by philanthropist and FNIH board member Ann Lurie, the Lurie Prize recognizes outstanding achievement by a promising scientist age 52 or younger and includes a $100,000 honorarium.

Not ‘Checkpoint Charlie,’ But an Office Door

Decorated office door

Many NIH’ers decorate their offices with photographs of friends and family, art or souvenirs from vacations. The photo at right comes from Dr. William Eaton of NIDDK’s office in Bldg. 5, a replica of the famous sign at “Checkpoint Charlie,” the Berlin Wall checkpoint between East and West Berlin. “I studied in Berlin for a year after graduating from college as a ‘Willy Brandt-University of Pennsylvania exchange student,’” Eaton said. “The sign reminds me of the time I spent there.” He bought the sign at Berlin’s Allied Museum. If you know of interesting door art around NIH, feel free to send a photo/caption to the NIH Record.

Photo: Erin Butler

Flavell Gives Director’s Lecture, Mar. 18

Dr. Richard A. Flavell

Dr. Richard A. Flavell, the Sterling professor of immunobiology at Yale University School of Medicine and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, will deliver the annual NIH Director’s Lecture (second of three) on “Inflammation, Dysbiosis and Chronic Disease,” on Wednesday, Mar. 18 at 3 p.m. in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10.

Flavell is the co-discoverer of introns in cellular genes; he showed DNA methylation correlates inversely with, and prevents, gene expression. As a postdoc, he was the first to develop reverse genetics and continued in this field, in his own lab, throughout his career. He is a pioneer in the use of this approach in vivo to study function. He identified key transcription factors that control T-cell immunity and showed that genes exhibit interchromosomal interactions that play a role in gene regulation, so called “kissing chromosomes.”

For information and reasonable accommodation, contact Jacqueline Roberts, (301) 594-6747. The event will be videocast.

NIAMS Hosts Career Development Forum

NIAMS recently hosted its third annual career development forum for extramural researchers who are in the third year of a mentored clinical scientist development (K08) or patient-oriented research (K23) grant. In addition to the K awardees, the forum included physician-scientists who recently received R01 (or equivalent) awards, established researchers and representatives of professional and voluntary organizations. The group discussed challenges junior investigators face when pursuing research independence. K awardees also had an opportunity to present their research and to interact with NIAMS leadership and program, review and grants management officials. These included Dr. Amanda Boyce (front, fourth from l), Dr. Marie Mancini (front, third from l) and NIAMS leaders including director Dr. Stephen Katz (front, second from l), deputy director Dr. Robert Carter (middle, eighth from l), Dr. Joan McGowan (front, fifth from l) and Dr. Susana Serrate-Sztein (top, sixth from l).
NIAMS recently hosted its third annual career development forum for extramural researchers who are in the third year of a mentored clinical scientist development (K08) or patient-oriented research (K23) grant. In addition to the K awardees, the forum included physician-scientists who recently received R01 (or equivalent) awards, established researchers and representatives of professional and voluntary organizations. The group discussed challenges junior investigators face when pursuing research independence. K awardees also had an opportunity to present their research and to interact with NIAMS leadership and program, review and grants management officials. These included Dr. Amanda Boyce (front, fourth from l), Dr. Marie Mancini (front, third from l) and NIAMS leaders including director Dr. Stephen Katz (front, second from l), deputy director Dr. Robert Carter (middle, eighth from l), Dr. Joan McGowan (front, fifth from l) and Dr. Susana Serrate-Sztein (top, sixth from l).

Circus Premiere Night, Mar. 18 at Verizon Center

The NIH R&W invites you to the 18th annual Children’s Premiere Night—hosted by R&W and benefiting the NIH Charities—on Wednesday, Mar. 18 at 7 p.m. with a free pre-show at 6 p.m. The theme of this year’s show is Legends. Mythology meets reality as the audience encounters Pegasus, the Unicorn and other mystical legends. Tickets are available at the R&W Activities Desk in Bldg. 31, Rm. B1W30 or call (301) 496-4600 or (301) 496-6061. Orders can be placed for tickets at any R&W store. You don’t need to be an R&W member to purchase.


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