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NIH Record  
Vol. LXVII, No. 13
  June 19, 2015
 Features
Radiologist Describes Cancer Treatment From Patient Perspective
Heilemann To Give NINR Director’s Lecture, June 24
Glass Receives Sabin Gold Medal Award
NINR’s Grady Honored as ‘Visionary Pioneer’
EDI, NIMHD Adopt Respect Initiatives
New Scientific Appointments at NIDCR
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Witty Repartee
Alda, Rosenblatt Share Communication Advice with NIH

Intelligence is always celebrated in Masur Auditorium; wit, not so much. That changed with (from l) Alan Alda, NIH director Dr. Francis Collins and Roger Rosenblatt on May 21.

Intelligence is always celebrated in Masur Auditorium; wit, not so much. That changed with (from l) Alan Alda, NIH director Dr. Francis Collins and Roger Rosenblatt on May 21.

Masur Auditorium is not known for gales of laughter that sweep through the audience during town hall meetings and scientific talks. But it might as well have been the site of The Colbert Report in its prime on May 21, when actor/director Alan Alda and his old friend, writer Roger Rosenblatt, joined NIH director Dr. Francis Collins for an unscripted conversation before a packed hall.

It was as though the final talk in the ninth year of the NIMH Director’s Innovation Speaker Series mistook itself for the round table at the Algonquin Hotel back in the 1920s, when writer Dorothy Parker held witty salons.

Everyone was prepared for Alda’s humor. Heck, he’s Hawkeye Pierce of M*A*S*H, a ball of irreverent and intelligent fun. His mellow geniality proved infectious though, turning his talk mates into competitive quipsters. The audience ate it up.


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‘Tranceformation’
How Can Hypnosis Treat Medical Problems?

Dr. David Spiegel

Dr. David Spiegel

That time you were totally absorbed, whether you were sinking every jumpshot or flying around Hogwarts? Well, you just might have been under hypnosis. Researchers believe that super-focused trance-like states can be harnessed to treat medical problems—to reduce pain or control neuromuscular disorders, for instance.

“[Hypnosis] is the oldest Western conception of a psychotherapy,” said NIH grantee Dr. David Spiegel in a recent NCCIH Integrative Medicine Research Lecture. “It’s the first time a talking interaction was thought to have therapeutic potential. It’s useful as a model system for understanding how brain-body interactions work.”


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