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November 20, 2015

DDM Seminar Series Announces 2015-2016 Lectures

The Deputy Director for Management (DDM) Seminar Series is set to offer another round of exceptional leadership and management presentations beginning this December.

Avish Parashar will give the first talk in the series.

The 10th annual series will host dynamic, experienced public speakers known for delivering meaningful insights into workplace concepts, challenges and solutions. The seminars will provide NIH employees the opportunity to advance their knowledge of best practices in a variety of leadership and management issues.

The first seminar will feature Avish Parashar, “Improve, Adapt and Innovate in an Ever-Changing World” on Thursday, Dec. 3 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10. The series continues into 2016 with three more Thursday seminars: Howard Ross, “Unconscious Bias” on Feb. 11; Cy Wakeman, “Reality-Based Leadership” on Apr. 14; and Daniel Pink, “The Puzzle of Motivation” on June 16.

Presentations will be available at for those who cannot attend or when Masur Auditorium reaches capacity. Sign language interpreters will be provided. Individuals who need reasonable accommodation to participate should contact the NIH Training Center at (301) 496-6211.

For more information about the series and to view previous videocasts, visit

This Thanksgiving, Celebrate Family Health History Day

This Thanksgiving, cook up your unique recipe for wellness and disease prevention and create a family health portrait using the Family Health History tool created by the U.S. surgeon general with help from the National Human Genome Research Institute.

This Thanksgiving, Celebrate Family Health History Day

Why is it important to discuss your family’s health history? Diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease are often inherited, meaning they run in families. Tracing illnesses suffered by your parents, grandparents and other blood relatives can help your health care practitioner predict your risk for specific diseases and make vital screening and treatment decisions before any disease is evident.

Precision medicine is an emerging approach for health promotion and disease prevention that takes into consideration the genes, environment and lifestyle of each person. Many efforts are under way to help make precision medicine the norm in everyday clinical practice. However, there will always be a place for family health history as a no-cost component of your personalized health care.

With the surgeon general’s online tool My Family Health Portrait (, people can record their family health history before going to medical appointments. In addition, the tool allows users to save family history information to their own computer and share health history with other family members. The tool is available in English, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese.

Before using the tool, ask family members for details about their health histories as well as the health histories of older relatives. Ideally, a family health history should contain information about at least three generations, listing the diseases and conditions that have affected family members, the age a disease was diagnosed and, in the case of deceased family members, the cause of death. The most important relatives to include are parents, siblings and children. Tips on starting the conversations are available at

NCI’s Rosenberg Wins Honors

Dr. Steven Rosenberg

It has been an exciting fall season of awards for Dr. Steven Rosenberg, chief, Surgery Branch, National Cancer Institute. He received the 6th annual Betty Ford Lifetime Achievement Award from the Susan B. Komen Foundation on Sept. 26 for his commitment to working with breast cancer patients and educating communities on this type of cancer. On Sept. 30, he was recognized for his leadership and dedication in cancer immunotherapy advancements by receiving the American Cancer Society Medal of Honor for Basic Research. And finally, on Oct. 7, Rosenberg won the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal (“Sammie”) for Federal Employee of the Year. Rosenberg pioneered what is now mainstream immunotherapy for patients and has spent more than 40 years as chief of surgery at NCI, developing treatments that seek to harness the power of the immune system to fight cancer.

NIDA, NIAAA Host Mini-Convention

NIDA’s Dr. Roger Sorensen, NIAAA director Dr. George Koob and Dr. Jeremy Waletzky.

NIDA and NIAAA hosted the annual 1-day mini-convention Frontiers in Addiction Research, a satellite event of the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting, on Oct. 16 at McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago. NIDA- and NIAAA-supported scientists from around the world presented on the neurobiological and behavioral consequences of drug and alcohol use during development. Event highlights included an overview of the development of the brain and the corresponding development of behavior; and a look at the genetics of human thought, behaviors and psychiatric disorders. NIDA director Dr. Nora Volkow (c) also announced the 2015 winner of the Jacob P. Waletzky Award, which recognizes scientists for innovative research on substance use or addiction. It went to Dr. Yan Dong (second from l) of the University of Pittsburgh. Also on hand were (from l) NIDA’s Dr. Roger Sorensen, NIAAA director Dr. George Koob and Dr. Jeremy Waletzky.

Sign Up Through Dec. 14
Fall Open Enrollment for NIH Leave Bank

Fall open enrollment for the NIH Leave Bank is now available. The enrollment period began Nov. 9 and goes through Dec. 14. The membership period will begin on Jan. 10, 2016.

The Leave Bank is a pooled bank of donated annual and restored leave available to eligible members. It acts like insurance for your paycheck and amounts to paid leave for members who have exhausted all of their leave and are affected by a personal or family medical emergency.

The Leave Bank differs from the Voluntary Leave Transfer Program (VLTP) in that the bank is a depository of leave and leave is distributed to members who are approved to be leave recipients. The VLTP, on the other hand, requires a direct donation from a donor to a recipient. An advantage of the Leave Bank is that eligible members may receive leave from the bank to cover time out of the office without awaiting donations from co-workers.

To become a Leave Bank member, access the Integrated Time and Attendance System (ITAS) during open enrollment and enroll under “Leave Bank Membership.” If you are currently a 2015 Leave Bank member, your membership will automatically continue into 2016, unless you take action in ITAS during open enrollment to opt out. The membership contribution is 1 pay period’s worth of annual leave accrual. The contribution will automatically be waived if you lack sufficient leave to make it.

A list of upcoming free Leave Bank events may be viewed at More information about this benefit can be found at Questions may be directed to (301) 443-8393 or

Ski Club Visits Africa, Doesn’t Ski

Carol Yee, a research biologist who worked at NIH from 1966 to 2011 before retiring from NCI’s Dermatology Branch, takes part in a program called Walk with the Lions, in Zimbabwe; participants walk lions to their watering hole. Lisa Bingaman, operation coordinator with NHLBI’s Information Technology and Applications Center

Despite its title, the NIH Ski Club feels no obligation to actually ski on its ventures abroad. Recently, the club spent more than 3 weeks touring Africa. Top left, Carol Yee, a research biologist who worked at NIH from 1966 to 2011 before retiring from NCI’s Dermatology Branch, takes part in a program called Walk with the Lions, in Zimbabwe; participants walk lions to their watering hole. Top right, Lisa Bingaman, operation coordinator with NHLBI’s Information Technology and Applications Center, visits a park dedicated to Nelson Mandela in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, on the Indian Ocean. The R&W-sponsored club has discussed changing its name to the NIH Travel Club, said Randy Schools, retired R&W president, who was along for the trip. “What has happened is that as members have become more senior, they want more travel to different places with a bit of adventure,” he explained. “We need to rethink our ski program and look for new leadership with a focus on skiing, but still allow the travel program to expand. The group I was with really likes to travel together.”

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