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January 26, 2018

NIH To Host Rare Disease Day Event, Twitter Chat

Rare diseases affect an estimated 25 million Americans. On Mar. 1, NIH will host an event to raise awareness about these disorders, the people they affect and current research collaborations.

Sponsored by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences and the Clinical Center, Rare Disease Day at NIH will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10. The event will feature presentations, interactive panel discussions, posters, exhibits and tours of the Clinical Center. Admission is free and open to the public. In association with Global Genes, participants are encouraged to wear their favorite pair of jeans.

Rare disease day at NIH banner

Learn more about Rare Disease Day at NIH at Visit to register and view the agenda. Be sure to follow the event on social media at #RDDNIH.

Prior to the event, NIH is hosting a Twitter chat on rare diseases on Friday, Feb. 23 from 1 to 2 p.m. The chat will feature NIH director Dr. Francis Collins and NCATS director Dr. Christopher Austin as well as representatives from the rare diseases advocacy community. Join in the conversation via #NIHChat.

New Web Page Offers ‘Hope’

NIH has created a new web page——aimed at advancing NIH’s mission of hope. The page provides quick links to various things that people from all walks of life can do to help NIH. Such actions range from speaking up about the positive impacts of biomedical research to enrolling in clinical trials to pursuing careers in science. The web page was developed by NIH OD’s Office of Communications and Public Liaison, based on input from NIH scientific and administrative leadership. To spread the word about this new resource, NIH director Dr. Francis Collins plans to feature the page in many of his presentations to groups across the country in 2018.

DASH Ranked Best Diet Overall

For the 8th consecutive year, U.S. News and World Report ranked the NIH-developed DASH Diet “best overall” diet among nearly 40 it reviewed. The announcement came just as new research suggests that combining DASH, or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, with a low-sodium diet has the potential to lower blood pressure as well as or better than many anti-hypertension medications.


With its focus on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean proteins, DASH tied this year for “best overall” diet and was ranked No. 1 in the “healthy eating” and “heart disease prevention” categories.

According to the World Health Organization, hypertension, more commonly referred to as high blood pressure, is the most common chronic condition worldwide. It is a major risk factor for heart disease, affects 1 billion people and accounts for 1 in 8 deaths each year.

Researchers funded by NHLBI developed DASH to prevent and treat high blood pressure, but the diet also has proven highly effective in lowering blood cholesterol.

“The consistent high rankings of DASH over the years bode well for the way the diet is received and adopted, not just by health professionals, but also by the public at large,” said Janet de Jesus, registered dietitian and program officer at NHLBI’s Center for Translation Research and Implementation Science. “This is especially gratifying now that new research underscores the significant blood-pressure lowering effects of a reduced intake of sodium in combination with the DASH diet.”

NIAID Dedicates Conference Room to Paul

NIAID recently honored the memory of Dr. William E. Paul by dedicating a conference room in his name at the Vaccine Research Center. Paul served as chief of NIAID’s Laboratory of Immunology from 1970 until his death on Sept. 18, 2015. He was also director of NIH’s Office of AIDS Research from 1993 to 1997.

Paul is remembered annually through an NIH Director’s Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series talk named in his honor. The lecture recognizes outstanding contributions to the immunology field. The 2017 William E. Paul WALS lecture was given by NCI’s Dr. Thomas Waldmann, NIH distinguished investigator and co-chief of the Lymphoid Malignancies Branch.

On Dec. 24, more than 40 members of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, D.C. brought holiday cheer to Clinical Center patients. This year marked their 35th year of caroling. They first started coming to lift the spirits of patients on HIV/AIDS protocols in 1982. This year, the chorus visited 9 units in the hospital.
On hand at the dedication of the William E. Paul Conference Room are NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci (l), VRC deputy director Dr. Richard Koup (second from l), VRC director Dr. John Mascola (fifth from l) Paul’s widow, Marilyn, and his sons and granddaughter.


Now Online, On Demand: Principles of Clinical Pharmacology Course

This past November, the NIH Principles of Clinical Pharmacology course relaunched online. It is a free lecture series covering the fundamentals of clinical pharmacology as a translational scientific discipline. The course consists of approximately 50 lectures by thought-leaders from around the world. Topics covered in the course include pharmacokinetics, drug metabolism and transport, drug therapy in special populations, assessment of drug effects, drug discovery and development, pharmaco-genomics and pharmacotherapy. Registration is now closed, but mark your calendar for the 2018-2019 course, which is targeted to open registration in September.There is no continuing education credit offered for the course. However, a certificate of completion is awarded to registered participants who achieve a passing score on the final examination. For more information on the course, visit or contact the course coordinator at

Sailing Association Open House, Mar. 8

The NIH Sailing Association invites everyone to its open house on Thursday, Mar. 8 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the FAES House at the corner of Old Georgetown Rd. and Cedar Ln.

Explore your interest in learning to sail and discover opportunities for sailing with NIHSA. There will be information about 6-week basic training classes, the club’s racing program and social activities offered by NIHSA.

A fee of $5 at the door includes pizza, drinks and snacks. Cash bar for beer and wine—$2 each. Look for NIHSA posters and flyers around campus. For more information, visit

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