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September 7, 2018
Briefs
Research Festival Set, Sept. 12-14

NICHD scientific director Dr. Constantine Stratakis (r) was recently honored at the University of Athens, where he got his start.
Colorized structure of a prototype for a universal flu vaccine denotes Research Festival.

The 2018 NIH Research Festival: A Celebration of Intramural Science will be held Sept. 12-14. The annual festival highlights the diversity of scientific disciplines within the NIH Intramural Research Program.

There will be three plenary sessions, one each morning, on: the research of four IC directors; immunodeficiency and lysosomal disorders; and atopic dermatitis and influenza. The concurrent symposia sessions, which will take place in the afternoons, will focus on cell-based gene editing and CRISPR; myeloid malignancies; vascular biology; computational biology, data science and machine learning; high-throughput sequencing; and biochemistry.

The festival will be held in and around Bldg. 10 and will include more than 300 scientific posters. Other highlights include the IC directors and scientific directors poster session; a hackathon; NIH Green Labs Fair and exhibits; the FARE awards ceremony; R&W Taste of Bethesda lunch; animal tribute ceremony; the Technical Sales Association vendor tent show; and virtual reality and technology hub demonstrations at the NIH Library.

Visit http://researchfestival.nih.gov for the full schedule and schedule downloading options.


35th Institute Relay Set, Sept. 20

The 35th NIH Institute Challenge Relay will be held on Thursday, Sept. 20 on the south side of Bldg. 10, beginning at 11 a.m. To accommodate the large number of teams, there will be 4 heats this year rather than the usual 2.

The relay consists of teams of five runners, each of whom runs a loop around parking lot 10H. All institutes, centers, divisions and contractors are invited to enter as many teams as they wish. Each team must have men and women, with at least two runners of the same sex.

The most important part of the race is to have fun and enjoy the company of your fellow NIH’ers. Register your team for $25 at www.govemployee.com/nih/event-detail/nih-institute-relay-2018. Each group leader is asked to provide the name and contact info for one volunteer. Make sure to visit with event exhibitors as well. To volunteer or for more information contact David Browne at browned2@mail.nih.gov or (301) 594-2411.

Bor To Give Next ‘Mind the Gap’ Webinar

Dr. Jacob Bor will give the Office of Disease Prevention’s next Mind the Gap webinar about regression discontinuity designs in public health research on Thursday, Sept. 27 at 11 a.m.

Dr. Jacob Borhave
Dr. Jacob Bor

Regression discontinuity designs offer an internally valid approach for causal inference without need for randomization. They can be implemented when an exposure is assigned at least in part based on a threshold rule: the party with more than 50 percent of the votes wins in a two-party election; the HIV patient with a CD4 count below 500 cells is offered therapy; residents downstream of a point pollution source swim in contaminated water. Historically, regression discontinuity designs have been underutilized in public health and medical research. However, the last few years have seen burgeoning use of this method. The presentation will review the theory behind regression discontinuity designs and their implementation, with a focus on examples in public health research.

Bor is assistant professor and Peter T. Paul career development professor in the departments of global health and epidemiology at Boston University School of Public Health. His research applies the analytical tools of economics and data science to the study of population health, with a focus on HIV treatment and prevention in southern Africa. He will accept questions during the webinar via WebEx and Twitter. Use #NIHMtG.

Registration is required and can be done at https://prevention.nih.gov/education-training/methods-mind-gap/regression-discontinuity-designs-public-health-research.

Workshop on Preventing Osteoporotic Fracture, Oct. 30-31

NIH will hold a Pathways to Prevention Work-shop: Appropriate Use of Drug Therapies for Osteoporotic Fracture Prevention on Oct. 30-31 at Natcher Conference Center.

More than 10 million people in the United States Borhave osteoporosis, a skeletal disorder that causes bones to become weak and fragile as a result of low bone mass. The condition makes people more susceptible to fractures, which can impair their ability to live independently and even threaten their lives. Lifestyle changes and medications can help reduce a person’s risk of osteoporotic fractures. Bisphosphonates, a first-line pharmacological treatment for most people with osteoporosis, have been found effective with short-term use among individuals who have a high risk of fracture; however, the benefits and risks of longer-term treatment are less clear.

The workshop’s goal is to better understand current knowledge gaps and to identify future research needs in using osteoporosis drugs.

For more information and to register visit http://bit.ly/P2PFracture.

Lecture on Health Effects of Contact with Nature, Sept. 19

Dr. Gregory Bratman, an environmental scientist at the University of Washington, will speak on “Nature Contact and Human Health: A Multimethod Approach” on Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 11 a.m. in the lecture hall of Bldg. 60. His talk is part of NCCIH’s Integrative Medicine Research Lecture Series.

Dr. Gregory Bratman
Dr. Gregory Bratman

A leader in an emerging field, Bratman’s work takes place at the nexus of psychology, public health and ecology. People around the world are increasingly disconnected from nature, as they spend more and more time (in some cases, over 90 percent) indoors. Yet contact with nature has been shown to benefit human beings in a variety of ways.

Bratman will discuss the current state of the science on nature and mental health, as well as a proposed agenda for future research. He will describe various approaches to measuring the impacts of nature experience on mood, cognitive function and emotion regulation; evidence on the causal mechanisms that may be responsible; and implications for urban planning and public policy.

The inaugural holder of the Doug Walker endowed faculty fellowship, Bratman is an assistant professor in UW’s School of Environmental Science and Forest Sciences. He holds a Ph.D. in environment and resources from Stanford University, where he was a Kelso fellow and a Packard Foundation fellow. The lecture will be streamed on NIH Videocast and Facebook Live, with more information available at https://nccih.nih.gov/news/events/IMlectures.

Kay To Deliver Lindberg-King Lecture, Sept. 26

Dr. Alan Curtis Kay

Computer science pioneer Dr. Alan Curtis Kay will deliver this year’s Lindberg-King Lecture on Wednesday, Sept. 26 from 2 to 3 p.m. in Lister Hill Auditorium, Bldg. 38A. His talk is titled “The Best Way to Predict the Future Is to Create It. But Is It Already Too Late?” A child prodigy, Kay was an original member of the seminal Xerox-PARC group, and for his myriad innovations in computer science was awarded the field’s highest honor, the Turing Prize. He has been elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society of Arts. He is president of the Viewpoints Research Institute and an adjunct professor of computer science at the University of California, Los Angeles. The Lindberg-King Lecture honors former NLM director Dr. Donald Lindberg and former NLM deputy director of research and education Dr. Donald West King. The event is co-sponsored by NLM, Friends of the National Library of Medicine and the American Medical Informatics Association. The event will also be videocast and archived at https://videocast.nih.gov/.


Damage to Inn Roof Gets Attention

cranes (above) were used to remove construction materials from the damaged roof.

During repairs to its roof, the Children’s Inn at NIH sustained structural damage on Aug. 21, forcing temporary evacuation of the facility while engineers checked out the problem. The next day, cranes (above) were used to remove construction materials from the damaged roof. The problem occurred when a roofing contractor placed a large amount of construction material on the roof, causing it to sag. Inn residents were relocated to area hotels at the time of the accident and 10 apartments were rented to accommodate families. The facility partially reopened by week’s end; 23 of 59 rooms were deemed safe to occupy. NIH facilities staff will determine the cause of the sagging, which occurred atop the inn’s bistro. Meanwhile, the inn asked for community support in sponsoring meals, making donations, making goodie bags for families and providing other needed items. For more information on inn emergencies, visit http://childrensinn.org/emergency/.

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