September 2013

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    Published monthly for CC employees by the Office of Communications and Media Relations. News, article ideas, calendar events, letters, and photographs are welcome. Submissions may be edited.

    Clinical Center News
    National Institutes of Health
    Building 10, 10 Center Drive
    Room 6C-420,
    Bethesda, MD 20892-1504
    Tel: 301-594-5791
    Fax: 301-402-4984

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    RM ResearchMatch

    NIH Clinical Cener on ResearchMatch

    Stop searching on your own for clinical studies.
    Let opportunities to join a study find you.

    The NIH Clinical Center has joined ResearchMatch, an online, national clinical research registry that "matches" people who want to participate in clinical studies with researchers who are seeking volunteers. To learn more, visit [disclaimer]


    HHS Secretary Sebelius visits NIH, shows support for
    scientific research

    Dr. Francis S. Collins and Kathleen Sebelius

    NIH Director Dr. Francis S. Collins and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, at the Town Hall meeting held in Masur Auditorium. Dr. Collins read the Secretary questions submitted by members of the NIH community.

    "To take advantage of major breakthroughs, you need to put a big bet down," U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said, in a NIH Town Hall meeting on Aug. 1. With those words, Sebelius praised the leadership of NIH Director Dr. Francis S. Collins and summed up the importance of the federal government's investment in NIH.

    The Secretary's visit began with a stop at the Children's Inn at NIH and a tour of the CC's Laboratory of Molecular Biology of Lymphoid Malignancies. It continued with a meeting with NIH senior leadership, and concluded with the Town Hall meeting held in Masur Auditorium.

    "The efforts here are going to have a huge impact on not only the future health of this country, but I think the future financial well being of the country," Sebelius told the crowd. "The more we can reduce disease impact, the longer the people can live, the less acute disease there is, the more prosperous Americans will be."

    Sebelius called Dr. Tara Palmore and Dr. Julie Segre's contributions towards "Superbug" research "typical of the efforts under way" at NIH. (Palmore and Segre are finalists for the 2013 Service to America Finalists for their work in stopping the spread of a deadly hospital-acquired infection through the first-ever use of genome sequencing.)

    After her remarks, Sebelius answered questions submitted by NIH staff. When asked about the effects of sequestration on the NIH budget, Sebelius questioned the wisdom of cutting back on research. "Everyone agrees funding science at this moment in time is one of the single best investments the country could make; and cutting back on scientific research and funding is idiotic in a global economy," she said.

    In response to a question from a young scientist concerned about future prospects for clinical researchers, Sebelius said she had "no magic wand to wave" about what future funding will be like. But, she added, "I can't imagine a more exciting time to be involved in this field. There is a revolution underway. There's never been a better time to be right here."

    Sebelius ended the town hall meeting by emphasizing the support the NIH enjoys in President Barack Obama's administration.

    "The President is fascinated by science and research," she said. "He understands what a critical component of our economy research is, and how staying at the forefront of the world, and NIH continuing to be the gold standard, is really critical."

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    NIH-Duke Clinical Research Training program brings classes to NIH via video conference

    Dharmvir Jaswal, Marcela Ferrada, Micaela Iantorno, and Ashwini Mallappa

    Joining the NIH-Duke Clinical Research Training program this fall are four CC employees (from left): Dharmvir Jaswal, Marcela Ferrada, and Micaela Iantorno, from the Critical Care Medicine Department; and Ashwini Mallappa, from Pediatric Endocrinology.

    Meeting in the new Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences Academic Center for the first time in August, 17 NIH young clinician-scientists, mostly clinical fellows—four of them CC employees—are taking advantage of an extraordinary opportunity offered by the NIH-Duke Clinical Research Training Program. Designed primarily for clinical fellows and other health professionals who are training for careers in clinical research, the program offers courses in research design, statistical analysis, medical genomics, research management, and responsible conduct of research by Duke University faculty via video conference, as well as on-site instruction at the CC.

    The collaboration began when CC Director Dr. John I. Gallin was looking for a way for NIH clinical fellows to continue their education in clinical research in a degree-granting program. Working with Dr. Ralph Snyderman, then Chancellor for Health Affairs at Duke University and Dr. Bill Wilkinson, then program director of the Duke Clinical Research Training Program, the NIH-Duke Training Program in Clinical Research was created. Duke invested in videoconferencing equipment, and the first participants began their studies in 1998.

    "This 15-year partnership is robust," says Dr. Frederick P. Ognibene, CC deputy director for educational affairs and strategic partnerships. "We are very pleased that despite fiscal challenges enrollment is still brisk, reflecting the ongoing interest in and importance of formal training in clinical research."

    "I cannot say enough about the NIH-Duke program," says Dr. Isaac R. Rodriguez-Chavez, Director of the AIDS and Immunosuppression Program at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. "It gave me the training, hands-on experience, and credentials I needed to complement my scientific expertise and to work in clinical research—a professional dream come true." Chavez now oversees basic, translational and clinical research related to HIV/AIDS and participates in the development and conduction of trials within two sponsored clinical networks, including more than 400 clinical research professionals, reaching globally.

    Dr. Raphaela Goldbach-Mansky, Acting Chief of the Translational Autoinflammatory Disease section of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases is another alumnus. "I would encourage anyone who wants a career in translational or clinical research to apply for this program," she says. "It teaches you the whole process, from planning, to conducting, to analyzing a clinical trial. And the tools students are introduced to through the program are not provided in most medical training programs or residencies."

    Since its creation the program has served 210 students at NIH, representing a cross-section of Institutes and Centers: 88 of them have earned a Master of Health Sciences in Clinical Research degree from the Duke University School of Medicine while continuing their work at NIH.

    While the benefits to NIH are clear, it is a mutually beneficial collaboration. For example, since 2007 the Clinical Center's Dr. Juan Lertora has been teaching Duke's courses in Clinical Pharmacology. "He's a great member of the faculty, and his involvement has brought something really valuable to Duke students," says Wilkinson, former director of the program. "And it's been great to have NIH clinical fellows involved in the Duke program."

    For more information: http://www.

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    Dr. John L. Fahey describes CC's opening day

    Dr. John L. Fahey

    Dr. John L. Fahey in1953 (left) and in 2010.

    Dr. John L. Fahey is an immunologist, researcher, and educator. He discovered Immunoglobulin D and delineated and characterized the important classes and subclasses of human immunoglobulins while at NCI in the late 1950's and 1960's.

    Fahey shared with CC News his firsthand memories of the opening day at the NIH Clinical Center.

    CC NEWS: You were present at the Clinical Center's Dedication Ceremony in July 1953. Can you describe it?

    Dr. Fahey: The day was hot and sunny. We were standing on the Clinical Center's north side for the dedication, where the 1982 Ambulatory Care Research Facility is now. There was a group of dignitaries, including Department of Health, Education and Welfare Secretary Olvita Culp Hobby, who spoke. The speeches promised that this site would contribute to future improvements in medicine. This turned out to be true. But no one there could have foreseen the incredible advances of the next 60 years.

    Can you also describe the emotions of the attendees that day?

    The new clinical research staff (designated as clinical associates) were impressed with the size of the Clinical Center, a new, large brick building. We wanted to see inside. How would it be different from the academic medical institutions we had been in previously? Clearly, the intent was to provide great resources for medical research. We were not familiar with the Public Health Service. How would this work out? What exactly would be expected of us? Only one floor was ready to receive patients. The first patients didn't arrive until several days later.

    Why was the opening of the Clinical Center important?

    The Clinical Center's opening was a big advance for clinical research. Scientists conducting clinical research at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research in New York City could not do studies in July and August because there was no air conditioning. Since the Clinical Center was air conditioned, we could work in the summer. We were all aware of the Clinical Center's potential. No building on that scale had ever been devoted to medical research. The clinical associates who came were bright and enthusiastic.

    You arrived at NIH in July 1953. What did you do on your first tour of duty?

    I used the time to build protein and metabolic laboratories that focused on Immunology research.

    What do you think Americans need to know about the CC?

    Americans need to realize that research is conducted in many ways, in the CC and elsewhere. Very significant and clinically relevant work was—and still is—taking place there.

    Be on the lookout for the full version of this interview at our 60th anniversary website at

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    FAES Academic Center to open during the NIH Research Festival

    FAES Academic Center

    A skylighted terrace in the new FAES Academic Center will provide space for poster sessions and other gatherings as well as for quiet reflection.

    As anticipation mounts and curiosity peaks, the long-awaited time has come: the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences will open the final completed sections of their new academic center next month.

    The newly renovated space encompasses 20,000 sq. ft. in the NIH Clinical Center. The center has been opening in stages, with some classrooms in use since the spring. The bookstore is scheduled to open by the end of September, and the administrative offices as well as a coffee shop and graduate student lounge are scheduled to open during the NIH Research Festival (October 7-11). The dining room will open later this fall.

    "We're really excited about the opportunity to collaborate directly with the NIH Office of Intramural Research, the Office of Intramural Training and Education, and the Clinical Center Office of Clinical Research Training and Medical Education," says FAES Executive Director Christina Farias. "These new classrooms are available to the whole NIH community, to be used for any educational purposes—including symposia, lectures and other activities—in addition to classes."

    As the new space was nearing completion, the CC Office of Clinical Research Training and Medical Education was looking for space in which to house videoconferencing equipment for the Duke-NIH Clinical Research Training Program, and FAES was looking for videoconferencing equipment to supply their classrooms. "We're just so happy to be able to support each other in this way," says Farias, "and we look forward to further collaborations."

    FAES was launched in 1959 with a mission to "foster and encourage scientific research and education." The FAES Academic Center was built with funds provided by FAES and space provided by NIH. FAES classes, taught by NIH scientists and fellows, range from introductory to advanced courses in the biomedical sciences.

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    UMD athlete helps young patients tackle their hospital stays

    Zander Hertzel and Rashid Conteh

    Zander Hertzel, age 9, plays Rashid Conteh "NCAA Football 14" on the Xbox system at the Recreational Therapy Department's playroom.

    Every Tuesday, University of Maryland football player Rashid Conteh volunteers with the Recreation Therapy Section's Family Centered Care Program at the NIH Clinical Center. When he visits, Conteh plays "NCAA Football 14" with a diverse mix of kids, including pediatric patients and adult patients' children. The video game features a player who plays defensive back, and has Conteh's jersey number.

    "It's exciting for kids to be able to play video games with a football player who's also featured in the game. The kids view him as a real-life hero and value the time and attention they receive from a college athlete," says Recreation Therapy Chief Donna Gregory.

    Recreational therapy involves meaningful activities that focus on improving cognitive and physical function, as well as enhanced social and emotional well-being. Using therapeutic techniques, the Family Centered Care Program helps pediatric patients, their siblings and children of adult patients share their feelings about the many complex issues they face at the CC.

    A government major, Conteh learned about volunteering in the CC playroom through Madieu Williams, an NFL player and former UMD student athlete who volunteered with the Recreational Therapy Section of the Rehabilitation Medicine Department. After speaking with Conteh, Williams encouraged him to volunteer. Since volunteering, Conteh has learned what contributions volunteers can make to recreational therapy. "As a volunteer in the playroom, my role is to help kids be kids and not worry about what goes on during their treatment," Conteh said. "My visits also help me maintain perspective. I realize that being sore from football practice is minor compared to what these kids are dealing with."

    "The playroom offers a place to just be a kid in the unfamiliar world of NIH," says Gregory. "Rashid contributes his time and energy to support these patients as they cope with being in a hospital. Volunteers like Conteh have a positive impact on our mission, and make a difference in the day-to-day lives of Clinical Center patients and their families."

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    Veterans Incentive Program welcomes first cohort
    to the NIH Clinical Center

    Shaun Wesberry, David Smith, Chad Koratich, Gillian Foster, and Evelyn Simmons

    VIP Program Manager Cmdr. Chad Koratich, with the first four PCTs in the VIP Program. Left to right: Shaun Wesberry, David Smith, Gillian Foster, Evelyn Simmons. Welcome to the CC, veterans!

    They have served as medics or corpsmen in various parts of the world, gaining valuable experience in delivering expert patient care, often in far from ideal conditions. Now they're re-entering civilian life, looking for jobs and determining the next steps in their lives and careers.

    A new and innovative program developed by the Clinical Center Nursing Department in collaboration with the NIH Office of Human Resources—the Veterans' Incentive Program, or VIP—offers qualified veterans the chance to work as Patient Care Technicians while being provided with the flexible time arrangements and financial support they need in order to pursue their nursing degrees.

    Those selected for the program are on initial 13-month temporary appointments. "If they meet their performance and scholastic goals we will extend their appointments yearly, up to a total of four years, while they complete the requirements for their nursing degrees," explains Cmdr. Chad Koratich, senior nurse consultant and VIP program manager. The CC will then make efforts to recruit VIP graduates to the permanent nursing staff or facilitate them in meeting other career goals.

    "It's a wonderful opportunity for veterans—and a wonderful opportunity for the CC," says Dr. Clare Hastings, CC Chief Nursing Officer. "This project has been designed by staff leaders in both NIH Human Resources and the CC Nursing Department, who themselves have service as corpsmen or medics. The VIP program allows us to explore another avenue for recruiting talent into clinical research while at the same time providing a unique opportunity for our returning veterans."

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    Flu clinic starts Sept. 9

    Foil the Flu - Flu BugStarting Sept. 9, the NIH Office of Research Services and the Clinical Center will offer free flu shots to anyone who has a valid NIH identification badge.

    "Healthy adults can infect others a full day before symptoms develop. So even if you stay home when you get sick, you may already have transmitted the flu," says Dr. Tara Palmore, deputy hospital epidemiologist for the NIH Clinical Center.

    With a particularly susceptible population of immune-compromised patients, the CC requires all staff who have patient contact—employees and contractors—to get the flu vaccine each year. Staff members who are age 65 or older are eligible to receive a high-dose flu shot. For more information about the high-dose flu shot, visit:

    The flu clinic will be held on the east side of the 7th floor of the CC. Please wear clothing that allows easy access to the upper-arm area. The Occupational Medical Service will send an email with a certificate of immunization.

    For more information, visit to view the immunization schedule or call 301-496-2209.

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    Registration open for "Introduction to the Principles and Practice of Clinical Research"

    Registration for the 2013-2014 "Introduction to the Principles and Practice of Clinical Research" course is now open. The course will run from October 15, 2013 through March 24, 2014. Classes will be held on the NIH campus on Monday and Tuesday evenings from 5:00 p.m. to approximately 6:30 p.m. There is no charge for the course; however, the textbook, Principles and Practice of Clinical Research, Third Edition is suggested.

    The enhanced curriculum will include additional lectures and will provide more comprehensive content on clinical research infrastructure. A certificate will be awarded upon successful completion of the course, which is based on a final exam.

    For more information:

    • Website:
    • Phone: 301-496-9425 (NIH Clinical Center, Office of Clinical Research Training and Medical Education)
    • Application Deadline: October 8, 2013 If you require reasonable accommodations to participate in this activity, please call 301-496-9425 during the business hours of 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. at least seven business days prior to the event.

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    Help plan the 2014 CC Brown Bag Series

    The 2013 CC Brown Bag Series was once again a great success, with more than 170 participants attending one or more sessions, representing 25 Clinical Center departments, four other institutes and centers, and even a few patients and visitors.

    The Office of Workforce Management and Development (OWMD) wants to ensure they continue to offer development opportunities that are the most relevant and valuable to CC employees.

    Send your feedback and ideas to by October 15.

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    Volunteers wanted

    NIDDK seeks adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Researchers want to learn how the body regulates vitamin C in individuals with diabetes. The study includes two outpatient visits. Study related tests and procedures are provided at no cost. Compensation will be provided. For more information, call the CC PRPL office at 1-866-444-2214 (TTY 1-866- 411-1010) and refer to study 04-DK-0021.

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    Upcoming Events

    Contemporary Clinical Medicine: Great Teachers lecture
    September 11, 2013
    12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
    Masur Auditorium

    HIV/AIDS: Much Accomplished, Much To Do
    Anthony S. Fauci, MD, Director, NIAID.
    Lectures will be streamed and archived at

    National Symphony Orchestra Concert
    September 11, 2013
    2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
    Hatfield Building, North Atrium Hall

    All patients, families, visitors, and staff are invited to attend a special NSO performance led by Assistant Conductor Ankush Kumar Bahl.

    NIH Research Festival
    October 7-11, 2013
    8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    Masur Auditorium, Lipsett Amphitheater, and the FAES Academic Center

    60 Years Onward: The Double Helix in the Clinical Center
    Learn about new research efforts and celebrate the NIH intramural research community. For more information, visit or email

    1st Annual NIH Clinical Fellows Day
    October 25, 2013

    8:10 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    Lipsett Amphitheater

    NIH clinical fellows are invited to attend the first annual Clinical Fellows Day. The event will feature presentations from NIH leaders. (Open to clinical fellows only)

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