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August 11, 2017
Briefs

Free Editing Help for NIH Fellows

The Fellows Editorial Board (FEB) was created in spring 2002 to meet the scientific editorial demands of postdoctoral and clinical fellows in the NCI Center for Cancer Research. Now, FEB provides free, fast and confidential scientific document editing services for the entire NIH and FDA fellow community.

At any given time, FEB has up to 40 members who edit submitted manuscripts, grant proposals, abstracts and other scientific documents for grammar, structure and clarity. However, FEB does not comment on scientific merit.

FEB is an all-volunteer organization composed of postdoctoral and clinical fellows. It accepts members from all NIH components; previous editing experience is not a requirement. However, due to the popularity of FEB, it is not uncommon for applicants to be on the wait list for 6 months.

The process is as follows: a senior editor assigns a manuscript to an associate editor. The associate then builds a team of three primary editors to thoroughly edit the submission. Although all board members review each submission for the weekly meeting, which is video-conferenced to NIH campuses in Baltimore, Frederick and North Carolina, the team leads the editing discussion for the manuscript. All editors’ comments are compiled and returned to the author, usually within 10 business days.

All NIH fellows (postbacs, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and clinical fellows) can submit their scientific documents to FEB. The research does not have to have been completed at NIH or FDA, but the submitting author must currently be an NIH or FDA fellow.

FEB has edited more than 920 documents to date; FEB-edited manuscripts have been published in journals including Molecular and Cellular Biology, Cancer Research, Oncogene, the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Molecular Cell and Neuroscience Research.

For more information, visit https://ccr.cancer.gov/trainee-resources-editorial-board for submission instructions and membership applications or send an email to FEB editors at ncieditors@mail.nih.gov.

NCATS To Launch Toolkit for Patient-Focused Therapy Development

NCATS will launch its Toolkit for Patient-Focused Therapy Development online resource portal on Sept. 8 during a meeting at Natcher Conference Center. Patients, their caregivers and patient-support organizational representatives are invited to attend the full-day event to learn how the toolkit can help streamline the search for the right resources to help in their therapeutic development activities. Participants also will have the opportunity to provide input into how the toolkit can be expanded and made more useful.

Learn more at https://ncats.nih.gov/events#toolkit.

Improving Campus Pedestrian Safety Through Technology

Since 2014, 8 pedestrians and 1 bicyclist have been struck by vehicles on the Bethesda campus. It’s a sobering statistic. Even one accident is too many.

Barone chats with Karen Rothenberg, Marjorie Cook professor of law at the University of Maryland and a visiting scholar in bioethics at the Clinical Center.
Before (above) and after improvements
Barone chats with Karen Rothenberg, Marjorie Cook professor of law at the University of Maryland and a visiting scholar in bioethics at the Clinical Center.

If you’ve walked on Center Dr. near Bldg. 3 or Lincoln Dr. between Multi-Level Parking Garage 6 and Bldg. 35, you’ve seen the latest measure installed on campus to address pedestrian safety. Using photo-electric sensors and directional infrared light, these pedestrian-activated, LED-lit crosswalks and flashing warning signs are typically in the middle of a block where there is no stop or yield sign. Once activated, the in-road lighting is directed at the eye level of motorists and cyclists, alerting them to pedestrians already in the crosswalk and increasing drivers’ warning times.

Many other places are also adopting this pedestrian safety technology, with Walter Reed, the City of Charlottesville, James Madison University, Norfolk Naval Base and Bolling Air Force Base as examples. More lighted crosswalks and warning signs are coming. This summer and fall, 12 additional crosswalks will be upgraded around campus with 8 more planned for the future. Locations were determined with NIH community input, selecting places with high-volume vehicle traffic, high-volume pedestrian traffic or both.

Even though additional lighted crosswalks will help NIH become a safer campus for all, they don’t replace the need for everyone to follow the rules of the road. NIH follows State of Maryland and Montgomery County laws as they pertain to pedestrian right-of-way. At a crosswalk, in most situations, the pedestrian has the right-of-way and a vehicle should come to a complete stop while a pedestrian is crossing or approaching the roadway. However, it’s not all on the driver. Maryland code also states “…a pedestrian may not suddenly leave a curb…and walk into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield” safely. Also, no bike or other vehicle may pass another vehicle stopped to let a pedestrian cross the roadway.

Installation of these improvements has already begun. No road closures are expected. Lane closures are limited to nights and weekends and one lane of traffic will be open at all times. The Office of Research Facilities project officer overseeing installation is Michael Oppelt. He can be reached at michael.oppelt@nih.gov or (301) 435-7827.

Risk Management Reports Due by End of August

It is August—the end of the fiscal year approaches next month and the familiar hum of activity crescendos across NIH as budget offices work to meet close-out requirements and plan for next fiscal year. But there is another annual, mandatory, fiscal year requirement. This one is set forth by the NIH Risk Management Program and requires all institutes, centers and OD offices to submit an annual risk inventory report by the last Friday in August to the OD Office of Management Assessment. There is a management analyst within your IC/OD called the risk management champion. The champion plans, coordinates, manages and reports on your risk inventory.

Your champion is working to update your risk inventory. To create the inventory, your champion scheduled numerous interviews with leaders and managers across extramural and intramural programs to capture data. Champions brainstorm and collaborate with leaders and managers on initiatives to improve business processes. As this is an arduous undertaking, some champions start interviewing as early as March. After conducting interviews, your champion presents the risk inventory to your executive officer and your director.

For many, this may be your first realization that your organization has a risk inventory. As a leader and manager, you may recall participating in past interviews. If not, you may be interested in contributing to the identification of risks and finding out who your champion is. To find out, visit https://oma.nih.gov/RMAL/NIHRM/default/Pages/RMORMCh-Website.aspx.

Researchers Discuss Next Steps for Studying Hard-to-Treat Joint Tissue

At the meeting on entheses were (seated from l) Drs. Anthony Ratcliffe, CEO of Synthasome, Inc.; Leesa Galatz, professor and chair of orthopaedic surgery, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; Stephen Katz, NIAMS director; Robert Carter, NIAMS deputy director; Joan McGowan, director of the NIAMS Division of Musculoskeletal Diseases; and Charles Washabaugh, director, NIAMS Orthopaedic Research Program.
At the meeting on entheses were (seated from l) Drs. Anthony Ratcliffe, CEO of Synthasome, Inc.; Leesa Galatz, professor and chair of orthopaedic surgery, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; Stephen Katz, NIAMS director; Robert Carter, NIAMS deputy director; Joan McGowan, director of the NIAMS Division of Musculoskeletal Diseases; and Charles Washabaugh, director, NIAMS Orthopaedic Research Program.

PHOTO: RICH CLARK

Basic researchers, tissue engineers and orthopaedic surgeons recently met with NIAMS leadership and staff to discuss approaches for repairing injured or degenerated entheses.

An enthesis is a region where a tendon or ligament inserts into bone. Despite the many scientific discoveries that are illuminating the intracellular pathways and signaling molecules that contribute to tendon and ligament maintenance and healing, reattaching connective tissue to bone remains challenging. Preclinical advances in the field of regenerative medicine have enlisted scaffold technology, cell therapy and delivery of growth factors to re-establish the bone-tendon or bone-ligament interface, but few have been rigorously tested in patients.

Discussion focused on ways to address knowledge gaps that limit current treatment approaches to these injuries, to accelerate translation of basic findings to clinical interventions and to better understand and optimize therapies already in clinical use.

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