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March 11, 2016
Briefs

Workshop on Preventing Youth Suicide, Mar. 29-30

NIH will convene a Pathways to Prevention Workshop: Advancing Research to Prevent Youth Suicide on Mar. 29-30 in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10. A panel will identify research gaps and future research priorities.

Suicide was the second leading cause of death for youth (10- to 24-year-olds) in 2014, resulting in 5,504 deaths in the United States. This mortality has not decreased compared to other external causes of death; youth suicide attempts have remained at consistent rates for decades.

The Office of Disease Prevention, NIMH, NIDA and NCCIH are sponsoring the workshop. Sign language interpreters will be provided. Those who need reasonable accommodation to participate should contact Deborah Langer via email at langerdh@ od.nih.gov.

For more information and to register for the workshop, which is free and open to the public, visit https://prevention.nih.gov/programsevents/pathways-to-prevention/workshops/ suicide-prevention.

Volunteer for Science, Engineering Festival, Apr. 16-17

NIH will have its own pavilion at the widely attended USA Science & Engineering Festival (USASEF) held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Apr. 16-17.

The festival is the nation’s largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The free biennial event is open to children of all ages and their family and friends. The 2014 event attracted more than 325,000 people to its many hands-on activities, enticing visitors young and old to learn, create and explore the wonders—and excitement—of STEM. USASEF is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Apr. 16 and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Apr. 17.

If you are an NIH staff member, you are also invited to volunteer at the NIH Pavilion, a vast anchor exhibit in the Health and Medicine Pavilion featuring activities organized by 19 institutes, centers and offices. This is a great opportunity for NIH employees to communicate their enthusiasm for science and technology to the public. For information on volunteering, visit https://dpcpsi.nih.gov/SciFest.

Management Intern Program Recruits

The NIH Management Intern Program, a way to unlock a new career path, is recruiting Apr. 4-8. It is a highly competitive, 2-year career-development program for current NIH employees. MIs come from a variety of job backgrounds including both scientific and administrative fields. Upon completion of the program, MIs transition into an administrative-management career in one of many areas throughout NIH. Eligible employees are invited to apply. For program FAQs and details about eligibility, visit http://trainingcenter.nih.gov/intern/mi/.

Learn more by attending any of these information sessions, all of which are held from noon to 1 p.m.:

  • Mar. 22, Bldg. 31, 6C, Rm. 6
  • Mar. 23, Bldg. 45, NIH Training Center (adjacent to cafeteria)
  • Mar. 28, Rockledge 1, Suite 4000, RT1

NIAMS Holds Career Development Forum

DNIAMS recently hosted its fourth 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 staff, including director Dr. Stephen Katz; deputy director Dr. Robert Carter; Dr. Susana Serrate-Sztein, director of the Division of Skin and Rheumatic Diseases; Dr. Joan McGowan, director of the Division of Musculoskeletal Diseases; Dr. Marie Mancini, director of the Systemic Autoimmunity Program, Division of Skin and Rheumatic Diseases; and Dr. Amanda Boyce, director of the Muscle Development and Physiology Program, Division of Musculoskeletal Diseases.
NIAMS recently hosted its fourth 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 staff, including director Dr. Stephen Katz; deputy director Dr. Robert Carter; Dr. Susana Serrate-Sztein, director of the Division of Skin and Rheumatic Diseases; Dr. Joan McGowan, director of the Division of Musculoskeletal Diseases; Dr. Marie Mancini, director of the Systemic Autoimmunity Program, Division of Skin and Rheumatic Diseases; and Dr. Amanda Boyce, director of the Muscle Development and Physiology Program, Division of Musculoskeletal Diseases.

PHOTO: RICH CLARK

Down Syndrome Registry Expands to Spanish Population

Down syndrome (DS) is one of the most common genetic causes of developmental and intellectual disabilities in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 6,000 babies are born in the U.S. each year with Down syndrome, or about 1 out of every 691 live births.

Little is known about the global health impact of DS, such as heart defects, gastrointestinal malformations and other medical and behavioral issues. Further research is needed to develop the next generation of novel therapies and compounds aimed at improving cognition, reducing dementia and mitigating other manifestations of DS.

To help address this need, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development created a web-based, voluntary registry called DS-Connect (https://dsconnect.nih.gov) in 2013; it collects demographic and health information about individuals with DS. It will provide information to doctors and scientists about how DS affects those suffering from the disease and foster new educational, behavioral and pharmaceutical treatments.

Drs. Melissa Parisi and Sujata Bardhan of NICHD’s Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Branch were instrumental in developing DS-Connect. They explain that while people with DS are living longer, researchers and health care providers do not know what issues are related to typical aging in this population. DS-Connect provides a portal to consolidate health information across the lifespan.

“There are currently more than 3,200 people with Down syndrome who have joined the registry and we want to see that number grow,” said Parisi.

The researchers recognized the need to expand outreach efforts to include Spanish-speaking people, so last June, DS-Connect en Español was launched.

Parisi and Bardhan also work with the Down Syndrome Consortium to obtain feedback and help promote both the English and Spanish DS registries. Through research, they say, scientists can gain a better understanding of Down syndrome and develop early interventions to improve the quality of life for children and adults with this disorder.

Your Science on Page 1

NIH Record Cover

The new design of the NIH Record relies on high-resolution color scientific images for the masthead on p. 1. We’re always on the lookout for more fresh images for future issues of the Record. If your research lends itself to high-resolution, print-quality images, consider sharing them with our readership. Email candidate jpgs to the editors, along with a brief caption and credit line. The best images for publication are horizontal, with lots of color and contrast.

Estes Speaks at Chanock Lecture

Dr. Jeffrey Cohen, chief of NIAID’s Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, greets Dr. Mary K. Estes of Baylor College of Medicine, who gave the 2016 Chanock lecture recently
Dr. Jeffrey Cohen, chief of NIAID’s Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, greets Dr. Mary K. Estes of Baylor College of Medicine, who gave the 2016 Chanock lecture recently.

PHOTOS: DANIEL SOÑÉ

Getting an infection in your gastrointestinal tract can be a painful ordeal. Dr. Mary K. Estes, Cullen endowed chair of human and molecular virology at Baylor College of Medicine, discussed noroviruses at the NIAID Chanock Memorial Lecture on Feb. 23 in Bldg. 50.

She and her lab have developed new diagnostics and a promising virus-like particle vaccine for noroviruses—research that may help settle many people’s stomachs.

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