Progress Notes November 2010

THE HENRY M JACKSON FOUNDATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF MILITARY MEDICINE, INC has selected three Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences doctoral students to receive fellowships for the 2010-2011 academic year. The program, established in 1988, includes two Henry M Jackson Fellowships and one Val G Hemming Fellowship. Each fellow receives a stipend and travel support. Diana Riner, a fourth-year graduate student in the Emerging Infections Diseases program, won the Val G Hemming Fellowship. Riner works in the laboratory of Dr Stephen Davies, focusing on the parasite Schistosoma mansoni. Norah Hibbits, recipient of a Henry M Jackson Fellowship, is a sixth-year student completing her thesis project in Dr Regina Armstrong’s laboratory in the neuroscience program at USU. Hibbits’ research centers on mouse models of axon demyelination and remyelination. Sangeetha Rajesh, a fifth-year student in the Molecular and Cell Biology program, also received a Henry M Jackson Fellowship. Rajesh works in the laboratory of Dr Thomas Darling studying tuberous sclerosis complex, a genetic disorder with an incidence of 1 in 6,000.

DR ROBERT JESSE, VA’S PRINCIPAL DEPUTY UNDER SECRETARY FOR HEALTH, has accepted an appointment to the first Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute’s board of governors. The board, created by the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, is charged with identifying comparative effectiveness research priorities and establishing a research agenda. CER studies are head-to-head trials that compare different clinical practices and therapies to see how they stack up against each other for treating a defined patient population. The studies are unlike most clinical trials conducted in the US, which examine only whether a drug or other medical approach works better than an inert placebo alternative.

VA GREATER LOS ANGELES HEALTHCARE SYSTEM research scientist, Dr Stephen Henry, has received a $75,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The 24-month grant is through the New Connections program to review jail and prison aftercare/reentry programs associated with positive medical, psychiatric, and social outcomes for previously incarcerated Latino Americans and African Americans. In addition to working at the VAGLAHS, Henry will participate in this national program, New Connections, as a junior investigator with researchers evaluating health and healthcare. New Connections is a national program designed to <br />introduce new scholars to RWJF and expand the diversity of perspectives that inform the foundation&rsquo;s programming.</p>
                <p>THE 2010 NOBEL PRIZE IN CHEMISTRY HAS BEEN AWARDED TO NIH GRANTEE Ei-ichi Negishi, PhD, of Purdue University. Negishi shares the award with Richard F Heck, PhD, of the University of Delaware, and Akira Suzuki, PhD, of Hokkaido University, Japan. The three researchers were honored for developing complementary methods to find more efficient ways of linking carbon atoms together to build complex molecules. Negishi has received more than $6.5 million in support from the NIH&rsquo;s National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) since 1979.

FIVE LEADERS AT NIH WERE ELECTED TO THE INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE last month. Election to the IoM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of medicine and health. The NIH officials elected are: Jeremy M Berg, PhD, director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences; Linda S Birnbaum, PhD, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; Dr Ira H Pastan, chief of the laboratory of cell biology at the National Cancer Institute; Thomas E Wellems, MD, PhD, chief of the laboratory of malaria and vector research at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; and Carl Wu, PhD, chief of the laboratory of biochemistry and molecular biology, Center for Cancer Research at the National Cancer Institute. They are among 65 new members and five foreign associates of the IOM.

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