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Vol. LXVII, No. 12
June 5, 2015
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Briefs

Akil To Give Director’s Lecture, June 10

Dr. Huda Akil

Dr. Huda Akil, who has made groundbreaking contributions to the understanding of the brain biology of emotions—including pain, anxiety, depression and substance abuse—will deliver an NIH Director’s Lecture titled “The Depressed Brain: Sobering and Hopeful Lessons,” on Wednesday, June 10 at 3 p.m. in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10.

Akil is the Gardner Quarton distinguished university professor of neuroscience and psychiatry and co-director of the Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute at the University of Michigan.

She and her collaborators provided the first physiological evidence for the role of endorphins in the brain and showed that they are activated by stress and inhibit pain. In her current research, she investigates the genetic, molecular and neural mechanisms underlying stress, addiction and mood disorders. She is the Michigan site director of the Pritzker Consortium, which is engaged in large-scale studies to discover new genes and proteins that cause vulnerability to major depression and bipolar illness.

Akil is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences. She is past president of the Society for Neuroscience and serves on numerous boards and scientific councils as well as on organizations that promote scientific and brain health awareness nationally and globally. She is also a member of the advisory committee to the NIH director.

For information and reasonable accommodation, contact Jacqueline Roberts, (301) 594-6747.

ORS Salutes Safety Award Winners

Dr. Elizabeth Conner
Dr. Elizabeth Conner
Dr. Kevin Holmes
Dr. Kevin Holmes

The NIH Mission First Always, Safety Always award, now in its third year, recently recognized two scientists who have demonstrated leadership, innovation and involvement in their organization’s safety culture. The award—offered by the Division of Occupational Health and Safety (DOHS), ORS—salutes professionals who make a difference in safety.

Dr. Kevin Holmes, chief of the flow cytometry section in NIAID’s Research Technologies Branch, developed new guidance for working safely when performing flow cytometry procedures. His paper “Characterization of aerosols produced by cell sorters and evaluation of containment” (Holmes, 2011) and the “Standard practice for cell sorting in a BSL-3 facility” (Perfetto, et al., 2011) gained worldwide recognition as the safety standards to be used during the cell-sorting process.

Holmes subsequently co-chaired a task force at NIH to develop the NIH Biosafety Policy for Cell Sorters, which was approved in 2012. It established standards for the installation and operation of cell-sorting facilities in NIH intramural laboratories. Holmes also serves as chair of the NIH occupational health and safety committee.

Dr. Elizabeth Conner of NCI’s Genetics Branch has been proactive in writing standards of procedures for the biosafety manuals in her institute. She was the first researcher at NCI to have her biosafety manual completed and reviewed by DOHS. By sharing her methods and knowledge, Conner helped other labs in the institute stay in compliance with local, state and federal safety requirements by posting a lab-specific biosafety manual in their labs.

Recently, there was a low oxygen level alarm in the freezer farm area of Bldg. 37. Conner was one of a group of individuals who helped keep others safe by restricting access to the area. After the incident, she and others developed signs to instruct people about response to this hazard if it re-occurs.

 

Children’s Inn 25th Anniversary Symposium

The event “At the Intersection of Hope and Science: The Children’s Inn 25th Anniversary Symposium” will be held Thursday, June 18 from 2 to 5 p.m. in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10.

It will highlight the history of the inn, especially the role it has played in advancing medical research by providing a free “place like home” for pediatric patients and their families. NIH physicians and families will share their stories and the scientific advances that have been made in the treatment of their diseases. Featured speakers include NIH director Dr. Francis Collins and Clinical Center director Dr. John Gallin.

To register, visit http://conta.cc/1S2kfrS. To watch the symposium online, visit http://videocast.nih.gov.

Family Observes ‘Waddle to Work Day’

We didn’t make a fuss about it here at the NIH Record, but Thursday, May 21 was Waddle to Work Day. This lovely family showed discipline and obedience on that morning as they marched from a bivouac on the lawn of Bldg. 1 toward the day’s pasturage. Clearly, they were observing Take Your Child to Eat Day as well. Question: Which gosling is named Ryan?

We didn’t make a fuss about it here at the NIH Record, but Thursday, May 21 was Waddle to Work Day. This lovely family showed discipline and obedience on that morning as they marched from a bivouac on the lawn of Bldg. 1 toward the day’s pasturage. Clearly, they were observing Take Your Child to Eat Day as well. Question: Which gosling is named Ryan?

Photo: Rich McManus

Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey—There’s Still Time

NIH employees still have one more week to share their feedback and help make NIH one of the federal government’s best places to work. The theme is “Employees Influencing Change,” and is an opportunity for federal employees to provide feedback on their level of engagement and satisfaction in areas such as work experience, work/life programs, leadership, diversity and inclusion.

In 2014, NIH’s scores improved over 2013, and were higher than government and HHS-wide scores in almost every performance category. NIH ranked 80th in the Partnership for Public Service’s Best Places to Work rankings though, so we still have opportunities for improvement. Help us make NIH an even more engaging and rewarding place to work by sharing your input on this year’s FEVS.

The Federal Employment Viewpoint Survey is easy and only takes about 25 minutes to complete; responses are confidential. HHS is striving to improve its participation rate, which was 46.4 percent in 2014 and 50 percent in 2013. Your input matters. Take a few minutes to share your perspective before June 12.

For questions about the FEVS, contact Evans Aine at ainee@od.nih.gov or Allison Kruszewski at kruszewskial@od.nih.gov.


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