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Vol. LXVII, No. 21
October 9, 2015

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NIH’ers Earn Medals in Boating Championship

Dr. David Winter (l) and Martin Johnson show off their paddling hardware.

Dr. David Winter (l) and Martin Johnson show off their paddling hardware.

NIH is known for its world-renowned scientists, but often its staff excel as athletes in a number of disciplines as well. In addition to high-performance cyclists, runners, swimmers, rowers, weightlifters and soccer players, we can now add dragon boat racers to the list. A dragon boat is a traditional Chinese racing canoe that holds 20 paddlers and is the largest human-powered racing boat on the water. Such boats are traditionally used for sprint racing.

Recently, Martin Johnson of NIAID and Dr. David Winter of CSR participated in the International Dragon Boat Federation World Championship as members of the U.S. national team. The event drew teams from across Europe, Asia, the Americas and Australia to compete over 5 days at the Welland International Flatwater Racing Center in Ontario, Canada.

This is Johnson’s second time on the U.S. team. At Welland, he competed as a member of the U.S. masters mixed (men and women) team, winning bronze medals in the 1,000, 500 and 200-meter distances. Winter, a veteran paddler with more than 14 years in dragon boating, has now raced with the U.S. national team four times. This year he competed as a member of the masters men’s team, which won silver medals in the 2,000, 1,000 and 500-meter distances and bronze in the 200-meter race.

Both NIH’ers are active in the D.C. area dragon boat community and coach and race on several teams including the DC Dragons, GoPink!DC and the local masters team, DC Over 40. The local dragon boat community would like to get more people involved in the sport. If you are interested, send an email to or visit

NIDA Hosts Winners of Addiction Science Awards

NIDA director Dr. Nora Volkow (l) with (from l) 3rd place winner Kashfia Nehrin Rahman, 1st place winner Glenn Yu, 2nd place winner Ralph Lawton, Charles O’Keeffe (Friends of NIDA) and Dr. William Dewey (chair, Friends of NIDA)

NIDA director Dr. Nora Volkow (l) with (from l) 3rd place winner Kashfia Nehrin Rahman, 1st place winner Glenn Yu, 2nd place winner Ralph Lawton, Charles O’Keeffe (Friends of NIDA) and Dr. William Dewey (chair, Friends of NIDA)

The 2015 winners of NIDA’s Addiction Science Awards, part of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), presented their projects to NIDA director Dr. Nora Volkow and other NIDA scientists recently and later toured the NIH campus. The awards are coordinated by NIDA as well as Friends of NIDA, a private group dedicated to furthering NIDA’s mission. ISEF is the world’s largest science competition for high school students.

First place was awarded to Glenn Yu, a high school senior at Hunter College High School in New York City, for his project “Naturalistic Painkillers: Design, Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Novel Fatty Acid Binding Protein Inhibitors.” Yu, 17, used computational modeling, chemical synthesis of analogs and biological testing to identify and theoretically build a more effective and safer pain reliever. The novel compounds he developed are designed to affect the endocannabinoid system, which has proven effects on pain, inflammation, stress and drug withdrawal.

Second place went to Ralph Lawton, 16, a student at the Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School-University Scholars Program in West Chester. The high school junior’s project, “Don’t Be Led Ashtray: Toxicological Effects of Electronic Cigarettes on Inflammation and Lung Cell Viability with Comparison by Brand, Flavor and Generation,” looked at the toxicological effects of e-cigarette vapor on lung cell viability and inflammation. Using a comparison to tobacco cigarettes, his project suggests that tobacco vapor can be just as damaging to lung cells as traditional cigarette smoke.

Winning third place was Kashfia Nehrin Rahman, a freshman at Brookings High School in Brookings, S. Dak. Her project, titled “Nomophobia: Effects of Smartphone Dependence and Separation on Stress, Anxiety, Memory and Cognition in Developing Adolescent Brain,” found direct correlation between stress and the temporary loss of a cell phone, which she called “nomophobia” for “No More Mobile Phone.”

Fun Events Support 2015 CFC

Two entertaining events are planned this month in support of the NIH Combined Federal Campaign.

The CFC Directors’ Challenge adopts a new spin this year—a game of disc golf will take place from 10 to 11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 22 in front of Bldg. 1. The institute directors, joined by NIH director Dr. Francis Collins, will compete in teams, testing their hand-eye coordination, speed, strength and sense of humor as they show their support for the CFC.

Then on Thursday, Oct. 29, the R&W will host a Halloween Charity Fair from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the patio of Bldg. 31A. Stop by in your favorite costume for prizes and treats. Food from Chick-Fil-A, Hard Times Café and Ben & Jerry’s will be available for purchase. Enjoy trick-or-treating at the charity tables and learn how the organizations help people in our community.

NIGMS To Host Cell Day Web Chat, Nov. 5

On Thursday, Nov. 5 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., NIGMS will host Cell Day 2015, a web chat targeted to middle and high school students but open to all. Students from around the country will be able to ask NIGMS scientists questions about cell biology, biochemistry, research careers and other related topics. To join the live chat or get additional information about Cell Day, see

Principles of Clinical Research Class

Registration for the 2015-2016 “Introduction to the Principles and Practice of Clinical Research” is now open. The course will run from Oct. 13 through Mar. 22, 2016. Classes will be held on campus in Lipsett Amphitheater, Bldg. 10 at 5 p.m.; you can attend in person or online. There is no charge for the course but purchase of a textbook is suggested. A certificate will be awarded upon successful completion of the course, including a final exam. For more information or to register, visit http://clinicalcenter.nih. gov/training/training/ippcr.html or contact course coordinator Daniel McAnally at or by calling (301) 496-9425.

Community College Day, Oct. 20

The NIH Office of Intramural Training & Education will hold Community College Day 2015 on Tuesday, Oct. 20 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Natcher Conference Center. Community college students and faculty will visit the NIH campus and learn about careers and training opportunities in biomedical and health care fields. For details, visit www.

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