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Environmental Factor, November 2012

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Fellows and scientists stand out at NIH Research Festival

By Eddy Ball

Kirsten Verhein, Ph.D.

Environmental Genetics Group fellow Verhein won her second FARE this year. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Maria Shatz, Ph.D.

Shatz is a visiting fellow in the Chromosome Stability Group. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Xiaofeng Zheng, Ph.D.

Zheng is a visiting fellow in the Stem Cell Biology Group. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

NIEHS intramural scientists and trainees presented four talks and four posters at the annual National Institutes of Health (NIH) Research Festival Oct. 9-12 in the Natcher Conference Center at NIH in Bethesda, Md. In addition, NIEHS Laboratory of Reproductive and Developmental Toxicology (LRDT) head Kenneth Korach, Ph.D., co-chaired a concurrent symposium, Here, there, everywhere: the journey of nuclear receptors, and NIH officially recognized 220 winners of the Fellows Award for Research Excellence (FARE), including 19 awardees from NIEHS (see story).

Along with a full slate of plenary talks, symposia, poster sessions, a biovisualization exhibit, and the annual meeting of the National Graduate Student Research Conference, NIH also took the opportunity to celebrate its 125th anniversary, tracing its roots to the one-room Hygienic Laboratory established in 1887 by Joseph Kinyoun, M.D. Kinyoun’s interest in bacteriology and his isolation of the cholera organism laid the groundwork for the present 27 institutes and centers of NIH.

Posters and talks reflect breadth of NIEHS research

  • Talks at the “Here, there, everywhere: the journey of nuclear receptors” symposia session — “Whole-genome estrogen receptor binding in mouse uterine tissue revealed by ChIP-Seq,” by LRDT senior biologist Sylvia Hewitt; and “Proteasome activity and glucocorticoid receptor transcriptional mechanisms in breast cancer cells,” by Laboratory of Molecular Carcinogenesis (LMC) staff scientist Harriet Kinyamu, Ph.D.
  • Talk at the “Disease in a dish – modeling human diseases using induced pluripotent stem cells” symposia session — “Differential susceptibility to ozone-induced lung inflammation maps to mouse chromosome 17: role of Notch receptors,” by Laboratory of Respiratory Biology fellow and FARE winner Kirsten Verhein, Ph.D.
  • Talk at the “Translational research of aging” symposia session — “’Premotor’ research on Parkinson's disease,” by Epidemiology Branch lead researcher Honglei Chen, M.D., Ph.D. 
  • Virology section poster — “The three faces of riboviral spontaneous mutation: spectrum, mode of genome replication, and mutation rate,” by Laboratory of Molecular Genetics (LMG) visiting fellow Maria Libertad García Villada, Ph.D., and lead researcher Jan Drake, Ph.D.
  • Cell Biology section poster — “Cytotoxic effects of cerium dioxide nanoparticles in primary human cells are mediated through apoptosis and autophagy,” by Clinical Research Unit (CRU) visiting fellow Salik Hussain, Ph.D., biologist Annette Rice, and biologist Jamie Marshburn; NTP Deputy Division Director for Science Nigel Walker, Ph.D.; and CRU Medical Director Stavros Garantziotis, M.D.
  • Signaling section poster — “p53 cooperates with MAP kinase and NFkB signal transduction pathways to potentiate human immune/inflammatory response,” by LMG fellow and FARE winner Maria Shatz, Ph.D., staff scientist Daniel Menendez, Ph.D., and lead researcher Michael Resnick, Ph.D.
  • Stem Cell section poster — “Identification of a novel component of the self-renewal circuitry conserved in mouse and human ESCs,” by LMC visiting fellow and FARE winner Xiaofeng Zheng, Ph.D., former fellow Raluca Dumitru, M.D., Ph.D., and biologist Brad Lackford; Biostatistics Branch (BB) former fellow Johannes Freudenberg, Ph.D.; LMC fellow Ajeet Singh, Ph.D., and LMC head Trevor Archer, Ph.D.; BB lead researcher Raja Jothi, Ph.D.; and LMC lead researcher Guang Hu, Ph.D.

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